Application Overview

Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Divinity/Distributed Learning (MDiv/DL), Master of Divinity/Co-operative Model (MDiv/Co-op), Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership (MAML), Master of Arts (MA), Certificate of Theological Studies, Certificate in Anglican Studies, Affiliate

Please read this carefully before completing your application online.

General Information

Previous Names – please provide any previous name(s) if you have changed your name since completing your undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Primary Phone – The number at which you would like us to contact you during the application process.

Email Address – The e-mail address at which you can be contacted during the application process.

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.


Transcripts – We require an official transcript from 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 seminary. Mailing address for the Office of Admissions is on the back of this page. 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 –Applicants are expected to have an earned 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 coursework.

Grade Point Average –The minimum GPA expected of applicants, from previous undergraduate and graduate course work, is 2.8.


Your essay must be 5-7 pages, doubled spaced, submitted in PDF (preferred) or MS Word format. Please address the following questions:

Your sense of call. 
1. Why do you feel called to pursue theological education to either parish or non-parish ministry?  
2. What events, people, books, and experiences have led to this decision? 
3. Why are you pursuing theological education at United Lutheran Seminary?

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

The role of the church.
1. What are your hopes for the future of the church and its role in the world?

2. How do you see your sense of call and understanding of ministry overlapping with this hope? 

Applicants who are involved in the ELCA Candidacy process may submit their Candidacy essay as part of their application. However, be certain each of the above questions is addressed in your essay.


You are asked to provide us with three references. Forms will be emailed from ULS, please have the CORRECT email addresses of your references ready when completing the online application and 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 – The pastoral reference must be from a pastor at your home church.

Academic – This is 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 – The final reference is to be from someone that knows you well that is not a relative.

Other Information

Application Fee – There is a non-refundable $50.00 application fee.  

Application Deadlines – Although it is wise to apply at least six months prior to your intended start date, to be considered for admission for the fall semester your application must be completed and ALL* documents received by July 15th  Spring applications must be completed, and ALL *documents received by November 15th. After you begin the application process as new materials arrive you will be regularly notified of your application status by email.  


When all your application materials are received, you will be notified by the Admissions Office that your file is complete.  Your file will then be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and you will be informed of the committee’s decision by an email and a mailed letter, typically by July 30th or November 30th.

Financial Aid – United Lutheran Seminary is excited to announce scholarships for ALL students enrolled in degree seeking programs.  These scholarships, in partnership with outside student support, ensure that ALL degree-seeking students have their education fully funded.  

We encourage every student to apply for financial aid, we suggest that you do so at the same time you apply for admission.  In order to be eligible for aid you must be ADMITTED by July 30th for Fall and November 30th for Spring. You may apply for federal aid at, and you must also complete the Institutional Financial Aid Application.  Otherwise you will receive notification of your financial aid package once you have completed the appropriate forms. For financial aid questions, contact 215-248-6301 (Mon. - Fri. 8:30AM-5:00PM EST) or

Housing – Contact Director of Housing, Wendy Mizenko for housing information and forms.

Contact information - Admissions Team: 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