Application Process

Application Process for US Citizen

All inquiries regarding admission to the seminary should be addressed to the Director of Admissions, P.O. Box 22740, Fort Worth, Texas 76122-0740, by e-mail at admissions@swbts.edu or by web access at www.swbts.edu.

Former students of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary can be re-admitted. Those who have not attended within the past three years will have to apply as a new student. Within a three-year time period from previous enrollment at Southwestern, former students may be re-admitted through the Office of the Registrar.

The application for admission includes:
  • Official Application for Admission form. It includes a non-refundable application fee, basic demographic information and a statement of call and commitment to Christian ministry. The written statement should document: 1) conversion experience; 2) family background; 3) spiritual development; 4) call to ministry; 5) vocational/ministry goals; and 6) educational goals.
  • Medical/Emotional/Social information. This section, completed by the applicant, asks for a brief medical and social history.
  • Spouse/Fiancé(e) information form. This form, completed by the spouse or fiancé(e) of the applicant, asks for biographical information as well as a description of present Christian service and understanding of the commitment to vocational Christian ministry.
  • Church Endorsement form. This form, completed by the church where the applicant is currently a member, gives evidence of the applicant's sincere commitment to Christian ministry. Where possible, the church endorsement should be affirmed at a regular business meeting as the recommendation of a body of believers, not the recommendation of denominational leadership. The current pastor should provide reference information on the church endorsement form. If the endorsement covers a period of membership for less than one year, an additional church endorsement from a second church is required by the Admissions Committee. For student fee purposes, denominational affiliation is determined by the church endorsement form submitted with the student's application to Southwestern Seminary.
  • Personal Reference Forms. Two personal references are required from persons other than relatives who have known the applicant rather intimately for at least two years.
  • Official transcripts of college credits earned at post-high school institutions. Official transcripts are those forwarded from the academic institution directly to the Director of Admissions at Southwestern. The transcript from the institution granting the baccalaureate degree is necessary for all applicants (including doctoral). If the degree program is incomplete when application is filed, a transcript of work to that date must be submitted, and after graduation from college, a final official transcript must be furnished indicating the degree received. High school transcripts will be needed for all prospective students applying for a baccalaureate degree. Prospects, who have completed 30 or more hours, are exempt.
  • Any additional information as requested. For example, if an applicant or applicant's spouse has been divorced, a divorce statement will be requested.
  • Additional documents for permanent residents and international students. See next section regarding international student requirements.

The responsibility for approving or rejecting an application for admission belongs to the Admissions Committee. In order to protect the interests of the applicant, the persons supplying references, the Southern Baptist Convention, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the proceedings of the committee cannot be shared with the applicant or other interested persons.

When an applicant's file is completed, the applicant will be notified promptly by the Admissions Committee concerning action taken. The seminary reserves the right to require a personal interview before a final decision is reached.

Applications are valid for one year from the date filed. An updated application may be required if a student does not enroll within a year.

All documents contained in the applicant's file are the property of the seminary and will not be returned or reproduced for the applicant or other interested persons.

Application Process for Permanent Residents and International Students

International students on F-1 visas must contact the International Student Office to comply with the proper admissions procedures for internationals. International students are allowed to attend the Fort Worth or Houston campus. New international students may begin only during the fall or spring semesters. In addition to the requirements listed above, international students (F-1 visas) must also supply the following:

  • Statement of Financial Support. The United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires that students on F-1 visas provide evidence of adequate financial support for the entire period of stay in the United States while pursuing a full course of study.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All permanent residents and international applicants who are citizens of a country where English is not their first language must take the TOEFL and have the score sent to the Admissions Office. A minimum score of 79 on the internet-based exam is required for master level applicants.  Southwestern's institutional code is 6668. Doctoral requirements may be higher; please consult the section of this catalog pertaining to the specific degree in question.
  • Transcript Evaluation. All transcripts of academic degrees earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a recognized credentials evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES), PO. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087. A baccalaureate degree equivalency is required for entry into a master level program. If the applicant has post-baccalaureate work in theological study for transfer, it must be at the master level and include subject breakdown. A copy of the evaluation results should be sent directly to Southwestern from the evaluation service. This transcript evaluation is to be requested and paid for by the applicant.
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card. All resident alien (permanent resident) applicants must provide a copy of their Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551 (green card).
  • Applicants classified as R-1 visa status for religious work must furnish a copy of their R-1 visa accompanied by an employment verification letter from their current employer.

What are the application deadlines for the next academic year?

All applications for admission must be fully processed and approved by the Admissions Committee before enrollment in seminary classes if possible. The following deadlines are indicated so you will be aware of the dates for submitting the application and all supporting documents. Applications and supporting documents received after the deadlines will be processed as quickly as possible.

United States Citizens Optimal dates for completed application:

Our Admissions Office will work with you to do everything possible in helping you enroll. As long as the semester has not begun, it is not too late to apply. We are here to help you in the process.  Click here to begin application.

International Students: Optimal dates for completed application:

  • Fall: April 1
  • Spring: October 1
  • Summer: Not eligible to begin in summer semester

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas