International Seminary Students
International students choose Calvin Theological Seminary as their home for seminary education every year. As an international student, you will be warmly welcomed into our global, Christian learning community. We fully commit to the success and wellbeing of all our students, and that includes a specific commitment to a community of support for international students.
Calvin is truly an international seminary, with current students hailing from over 20 countries around the world, with more than 30% of our students from outside the United States and Canada. As an international student, you will find a supportive environment at Calvin Seminary.
Our Dean of International Students and Scholar Services Sarah Chun has served international students at the seminary since 2012 and looks forward to meeting new students each year.
Application & Eligibility Requirements
The hospitable community at Calvin Seminary begins even as you complete the application process and follow steps to enter the United States. If you have any questions about the admissions and financial aid process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Visa and Immigration
Most international students admitted to Calvin Seminary will need to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa. After your application is accepted, you will receive an official Letter of Admission. A Letter of Admission is required to continue the process of applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa, and we are here to help you through that process.
Non-Native in English
Applicants who are not native English speakers must submit official TOEFL or IELTS exam results as a part of their application for admission. For the TOEFL, a minimum internet-based total score of 80 with a score of 23 in the writing section is required. For the IELTS, a minimum 6.5 overall and 6.5 in the writing section is required. Use Calvin Theological Seminary's institutional code 1096 to order scores.
Any exceptions to this requirement are handled on a case-by-case basis. Earning a previous degree at an English speaking college or university does not automatically exempt someone from the TOEFL requirement. Non-native English speaking individuals from countries where English is an official language, who also complete their primary and secondary education in English, are exempt from the requirement to send a TOEFL or IELTS score.
Program Options for International Seminary Students
International students are eligible for all of our residential degrees and programs, with courses held in-person in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
Life on and around our campus, located in the Midwest region of the United States, will bring opportunities to deepen your personal formation and ministry connections. Grand Rapids is a vibrant city featuring cultural influences from all over the globe, and there are many opportunities to get involved in local churches and ministries.
International students are also eligible for select hybrid programs, which require week-long, on-campus intensives twice a year.
All hybrid students are required to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the residential intensive weeks (one week in October and one week in March). See our visa and immigration process for more information about securing immigration documents.
International students are eligible for all of our fully online programs, which have no on-campus requirements.
International Seminary Housing in the U.S.
Calvin offers comfortable, clean, and convenient seminary housing to individuals and families at Grand Rapids at below-market rates. Apartment communities for seminarians are available on-campus and nearby campus. Many students and their families also save money when they qualify for free items from our food pantry and clothing closet.
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
Our most popular program, the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree prepares students for a wide range of careers in ministry. Popular roles for graduates of this program include pastors (including youth and worship pastors) and leaders in parachurch organizations, denominational ministries, and nonprofits. Alternatively, some recipients of this degree can also go on to become school administrators, teachers, writers, artists, or any number of other occupations. The MDiv program requires 87 credit hours to complete and can be obtained in 3–4 years, either on-campus or through a hybrid option. Learn More
Master of Arts in Bible and Theology (MABT)
Master of Arts in Bible and Theology is another great program for students looking to grow their understanding of Christianity and the Bible while developing their leadership skills. Courses will cover the Old and New Testaments, biblical interpretation for ministry, and digital Bible tools for teaching and preaching. Online, hybrid, and on-campus programs are available. Students are able to complete the 39 credit hours required for the degree within 2–3 years. Learn More
Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL)
This degree offers a streamlined yet flexible program that will empower students to gain a deeper understanding of Scripture, church history, and ministry skills. Master of Arts in Christian Leadership offers eight tailored concentrations, including advanced urban ministry, organizational management and administration, discipleship and faith formation, and missional ministry. Courses will cover great books in ministry, biblical interpretation, and a contextual ministry internship. Students will also work with the Vocational Formation Office to gain on-the-ground experience. This 39-credit-hour program can be completed in 2–3 years, and is available both in hybrid and online formats, as well as on-campus. Learn More
MASTER OF ARTS IN CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING (MCMHC)
The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MCMHC) is a professional and theologically grounded degree consisting of coursework in religious and theological foundations, clinical counseling, and clinical practice. Graduates will be proficient in the scholarship and clinical skills required to pass the National Counselors Exam (NCE) and/or prospectively qualify to apply for state licensure, which varies for each state. The online format of this program is available to international students at this time. Students are able to complete the 60 credit hours required for the degree in three years. Learn More
Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
Through the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program, Calvin students will further develop an academic understanding of the Christian faith and Scripture. Students will perform in-depth studies of the Old and New Testaments, Greek and Hebrew, Christian theology, and apologetics. This 55-credit-hour course will take 2–3 years to complete. In addition to on-campus, this program also has a hybrid and online option. Learn More
MASTER OF THEOLOGY (THM)
The Master of Theology Program is ideal for students looking to enter a doctoral-level program or specialized field of study. Participants in this program will be able to choose from one of many concentrations, including ancient Near Eastern language and literature, the Old and New Testaments, philosophy and moral theology, evangelism, pastoral care, educational ministry, and more. Students will showcase their newly gained knowledge with a final thesis or major paper. This degree is available to on-campus students as well as through a synchronous online format. It's 24 credit hours can be completed in 1-2 years. Learn More
DOCTOR OF MINISTRY (DMIN)
Calvin’s Doctor of Ministry degree is specifically designed to further develop the skills of pastoral leaders while also fitting into their careers. Its flexible approach empowers students to bring their own diverse backgrounds and experiences to the program while creating space for them to explore the learning opportunities of their choice. This program is only available through a hybrid-learning program, and its 36 credit hours are completed between 3–5 years. Learn More
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PHD)
Our PhD program is perfect for individuals looking to become a professor or researcher at a college, university, or seminary. It is also ideal for those looking to become a writer or lead a faith-based organization, such as a think tank, institute, or center.
Students in this program will learn advanced skills in critical analysis, scholarly writing, independent inquiry, and academic research. Several concentrations are available, including a history of Christianity, moral theology, the New Testament, philosophical theology, and systematic theology. This 36-credit-hour program is only available to on-campus students and takes between 4–5 years to complete. Learn More
Certificate in Christian Leadership
Calvin’s Certificate in Christian Leadership program is all about flexibility and allowing students to choose the concentration and field of study that aligns with their career goals. It is available in either online or hybrid formats, and also on-campus for US students, and its 15 credit hours take between 2–3 years to complete. Learn More
Calvin Theological Seminary is committed to making a seminary education affordable for all students. Our tuition and aid page lists current tuition rates and offers an estimated cost sheet for international students.
Seminary Scholarships for International Student
Calvin’s financial support is available to you. Thanks to the generosity of donors, students receive a tuition discount and almost all admitted, full-time, degree-seeking students receive a scholarship. There are also scholarships reserved specifically for international students. Learn more about financial aid and your path to seminary.
Take Your Next Steps with Calvin
Calvin Theological Seminary is here to support you. It is our joy to welcome international students to Calvin, and we are excited for your next steps. Please apply now or request information.