Application Overview

Application Overview
Master of Divinity/Distributed Learning (MDiv/DL),  Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership (MAML), Master of Arts (MA), Affiliate

Please read this carefully before completing your application

General Information

Previous Names – If you have changed your name since completing your undergraduate or graduate degrees.
Primary Phone
Email Address
Addresses – If you do not currently reside at your home address (e.g. you are away at school), please provide both your home/permanent and current addresses.


Official Transcripts — All institutions at which you have studied regardless of whether a degree was granted.
- Transfer students must also have a letter of good standing sent from the Dean of your current institution.
- Due to the Family Education Rights Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) policy requires, it be the stated recipient; ULS will not share transcripts with any entity.
Undergraduate Degree — Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from an accredited undergraduate institution.
- Occasional exceptions may be made for applicants who have completed at least 78 credit hours of undergraduate course work and have demonstrated academic readiness for graduate- level course work.
Minimum Grade Point Average of 2.8.


Must be 5-7 pages, Times New Roman, 12-point font, doubled spaced, submitted in PDF (preferred) or MS Word format.
Applicants who are involved in the ELCA Candidacy process may use their Candidacy essay as the basis of their Autobiographical Essay.
All applicants must address each of the below questions in their essay:
Your sense of call.
Why do you feel called to pursue theological education to either parish or non-parish ministry?
What events, people, books, and experiences have led to this decision?
Why are you pursuing theological education at United Lutheran Seminary?

Your understanding of ministry
How will a theological education help you in your pursuit of the specific ministry to which you feel called?
What unique gifts and experiences will benefit your ministry?
What do you still need to learn in order to best serve God’s mission in the world?

The role of the church.
What are your hopes for the future of the church and its role in the world?  
How do you see your sense of call and understanding of ministry overlapping with this hope?


Reference forms will be emailed from ULS. Ensure reference email addresses are accurate. Provide their first and last names ONLY. Due to the Family Education Rights Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the ULS policy requires original references for your application.
Pastoral Reference — Must be from a pastor at your home church.
Academic Reference — To be written by a professor who has taught you. If you have been out of school for some time you may use a current work supervisor.
Leadership Reference — From someone that knows you well that is not a relative.

Background Check
All persons submitting applications for degree and certificate programs to ULS will be required to complete the Background Check Authorization, provided securely by Castle Branch. An application will not be considered by the Admissions Committee until we receive the results. These results, along with all application materials, are kept confidential and included in the applicant’s file as a part of the application process.

Other Information

Application Fee $50.00 (Non-Refundable)
Fall Application Submission Deadline May 15th*
Spring Application Submission Deadline October 15th*

*Completed application, fee, essay, transcripts, background check, and references all must be received by the admissions office no later than June 1st for the Fall Semester and November 1st for the Spring Semester. It is wise to apply at least six months prior to your intended start date. After you begin the application process as new materials arrive you will be regularly notified of your application status by email.

Admissions decisions are made by June 15th for Fall and November 15th for Spring.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Application deadlines are June 30th for Fall and November 30th for Spring. Priority is given to students that submit their applications prior to theses deadlines.

ULS is excited to offer scholarships up to full tuition for all eligible degree-seeking students. The Institutional Financial Aid Application must be completed after you have been admitted and are issued a ULS email account. Students interested in pursuing Federal Graduate Direct Loans for other educational expenses must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the ULS Financial Aid Department can determine eligibility. Visit the ULS Financial Aid webpage to learn more about financial aid policies and opportunities.


ULS offers a variety of resident housing options on both the

Gettysburg and Philadelphia campus on a first come, first served

basis. A Student Housing Application may not be completed until an

offer of admission has been accepted. Commuter housing is also

available on either campus for 1-3 nights per week for the entire

semester. Visit the Student Housing webpage for more information

and find details about campus residential housing policies.

Admissions Team Contact information:
Deacon Nancy Gable and Marlita Lee
Tel: 215-248-7302
Fax: 215-248-7315

Mailing Address for all Admissions Documents:
United Lutheran Seminary Office of Admissions  
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119-1794