The M.A. is a rigorous post-baccalaureate program of theological
studies intended for:
- persons who are ordained ministers in churches that do not
require the M. Div. degree who wish to pursue theological study
for the enrichment of their ministry;
- persons in church-related vocations that do not require ordination,
who wish to pursue theological study for the enrichment of their
- persons in non-church-related vocations (e.g., secondary school
teacher, counselor, writer) for whom graduate study in the humanities
may be particularly helpful or enriching;
- persons who, for reasons of professional specialization, wish
to supplement a professional degree (e.g., the Master of Library
Science or the Master of Social Work) with a theological degree;
- persons who have already completed the M.Div. degree but desire
further in-depth theological study;
- persons who, with or without an M.Div. degree, wish to prepare
to enter a Ph.D. program in a theological discipline, or in some
other related field within the humanities.
The application deadline for a term is two months before the first day of classes. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for admission in the following semester.
The applicant must:
1) hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with an academic record indicating scholarly ability and academic achievement, including a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate work pursued to date are required. Applicants completing undergraduate study are accepted on the basis of a partial transcript, but a transcript showing a baccalaureate degree must be provided prior to matriculation;
2) complete the application form supplied by the Seminary's Office of Student Services which includes two letters of recommendation, and an indication of the applicant's area of concentration within the M.A. program;
3) pay a $50.00 non-refundable application fee;
4) once admitted, pay a $250.00 admissions deposit 30 days prior to the beginning of the first day of the new term to indicate acceptance of admission. This deposit is applied to the student's first-term tuition. New students are required to complete their registration two weeks before the first day of classes for the term. Registration after that date will be assessed a $100.00 late fee.
In addition to the admissions procedures mentioned, applicants who seek to enter the US to pursue a degree program at NBTS must:
• Submit transcripts of undergraduate degree programs*, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose written in English
• Demonstrate their proficiency in English (see English Proficiency Requirements)
• Apply to the US Government for an F-1 nonimmigrant student entry visa.
*The Admissions Committee recommends that all transcripts that originate from an institution outside the United States or Canada be sent to a professional transcript service for a course-by-course evaluation.
For any other questions involving international student admission please contact email@example.com .
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In order to insure success in our degree programs, the Seminary requires that students for whom English is a second language must have their English skills evaluated prior to full matriculation in its Masters or Doctor of Ministry programs. This evaluation will determine whether additional language studies are needed to achieve the proficiency levels described below. Note, this policy does not apply to students who have graduated from a four year college or university where the instruction was in English.
There are several paths to full matriculation into the Seminary’s degree programs:
1) A completed application and a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper score of at least 550 with an essay score of at least 4 OR an Internet TOEFL score of at least 79-80. New Brunswick Theological Seminary's TOEFL school code is 8937. Following admission, if it appears that the student’s English skills need improvement, the faculty may require the student to complete a language evaluation through the Rutgers PALS (Program in American Language Studies) program which may result in further language study.
2) A completed application and an IELTS score of at least 6.0. Students with this score can be admitted to NBTS. Following admission, if it appears that the student’s English skills need improvement, the faculty may require the student to complete a language evaluation through the Rutgers PALS (ESL) program which may result in further language study.
3) A completed application without a TOEFL or IELTS exam. Students may be provisionally admitted to the Seminary based on their prior academic record. Before matriculating at the Seminary, students will enroll in the Rutgers PALS (ESL). In this case, the Rutgers PALS program will issue the I20 visa. Students will continue in the PALS program until they have achieved proficiency at the highest level of PALS in all categories. Students enrolled in PALS can audit one course at the Seminary each semester, at no charge, to enhance their English listening and conversational skills.
Students who have completed, or are enrolled in, an accredited ESL program other than PALS, may submit detailed information concerning the program with their NBTS application. The Admissions Committee will evaluate the program, and where warranted, grant it the same standing as the Rutgers PALS program. Where not warranted, students will be required to be evaluated through PALS for English proficiency.
For further information contact Betty Rucker at 732-247-5241 ext. 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
F-1 NONIMMIGRANT STUDENT VISAS
Once the Admissions Committee approves an application from an international student, the Office of Student Services sends information on how to obtain Form I-20, the Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Nonimmigrant Student Status in the United States. Prospective students use the form and supporting documentation to apply for an F-1 visa. The United States Government makes all visa decisions according to its regulations:
• F-1 applicants must document in advance that they (and/or their financial sponsors) have sufficient funds available to cover tuition, fees, textbooks, and living expenses for the entire course of study at the Seminary.
• F-1 visa applications must demonstrate to the consular officer at a US embassy or consulate abroad that they seek to enter the US temporarily and solely for the purpose of full-time study at the Seminary.
Once students enter the US in F-1 status, regulations require that they maintain full-time study at NBTS. The Seminary defines full-time as 12+ academic credits per semester.
Under exceptional circumstances, a student without a baccalaureate degree many be admitted with a probationary status to the M.Div. Program. Non-traditional students admitted will be on probationary status until the college courses are completed with a grade of “B” or better and 16 credits of NBTS course work has been completed. At that time, the student’s faculty advisor in consultation with the faculty will review the student’s progress in the M.Div. Program and make the appropriate recommendations for the student. The faculty will vote on the status of non-traditional students enrolled in the program at least once each year.
Such a student shall complete the process described above, and:
a) be at least forty years of age;
b) have demonstrated distinguished service to the church and shows a sense of vocation and commitment to professional ministry;
c) prepare for the M.Div. program by completing five college courses with a grade of “B” or better at an accredited college or university. At least three of these courses must be completed with a transcript submitted and with a plan for the completion of the other two courses before the admissions committee will process the application. These course must cover five areas: English composition, history, philosophy, behavioral science (psychology, sociology, or anthropology), and literature.
Please contact the Admissions office for information, transcript review, and aid in selecting the needed college courses, and the ordaining body within your church and/or denomination about the possibility of ordination without a college degree. Admission to the non-traditional program does not guarantee you are eligible for ordination within your church.
TIME LIMIT & RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
Advanced standing of up to, but not exceeding, twenty-eight credits
may be granted on the basis of the student’s previous academic
work. The dean or assistant dean, working together with the student’s
projected adviser, will determine this advanced standing upon the
student’s acceptance of admission.
The student must be “in residence” for at least twenty-six
credits of her or his course work toward the M.A. degree. In
other words, twenty-six credits must be taken in NBTS courses, even
if the student has received the maximum possible advanced standing.
Completion in One Year
Students who have received the maximum of twenty-eight credits of
advanced standing may reasonably expect to be able to complete the
degree in one year of full-time study. In the event that limitations
in course offerings within that academic year make it difficult
for the student to fulfill the residence requirement of twenty-six
NBTS credits (see above) and still meet her or his concentration
requirements, faculty in the concentration will arrange independent-study
work with the student as necessary. In any case it is not intended
that the residence requirement be waived.
Students at the New York Campus
Students are welcome to enroll for the M.A. at the New York
campus. In the case of the Urban Ministry concentration, certain
of the required courses are offered only at the New Brunswick campus.
The Urban Ministry professor should be consulted for particulars.
Students in other concentration likewise--especially those who have
been granted substantial advanced standing (see above) - may find
it necessary to take one or more courses at the New Brunswick campus
in order to fulfill their concentration requirements without falling
below the residence requirement of twenty-six NBTS credits.
Procedures for Matriculation
A student who has been admitted must indicate acceptance of admission
by paying the admissions deposit 30 days in advance of the beginning
of the term in which she or he will matriculate. Once the admissions
deposit has been paid, the registrar will assign the student an
adviser from the faculty in the area of the student’s chosen
concentration, as indicated on the student’s application.
In cases in which the new student has completed previous relevant
graduate study, the registrar will then request the dean or assistant
dean to evaluate the student’s transcript(s) for advanced
standing. The dean or assistant dean will then contact the student’s
projected adviser and, together with the adviser, assign advanced
standing credit, which will be entered on the adviser’s “course
audit” form for the student.
The M.A. degree requires the completion of sixty (60) course
credits with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Within this
total of 60 credits, specific course requirements vary according
to areas of concentration; see “Areas of Concentration,”
below. No credits of less than two quality points (2.0 or C) and
no more than sixteen credits of work graded "C" may be
used toward the degree.
M.A. AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
Upon applying for admission to the M.A. program, a prospective
student must choose one of the following five concentrations: Biblical
Studies; Pastoral Care; Historical and Constructive
Theology; Church and Society. Upon the student’s acceptance
of admission, she or he will be assigned a faculty adviser within
the chosen concentration (see “Procedures for Matriculation,”