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Admissions and Applications

Those seeking admission to the Master of Divinity degree program offered jointly with St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, should apply first to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. An application and reference letter form can be requested in writing or downloaded directly from sidebar. The deadline for submitting the application and related materials for admission in the Fall semester is February 15. In addition to the application, applicants must furnish a recent photograph; a written endorsement from the applicant’s diocesan bishop; complete official college transcripts sent directly to St. Nersess; a copy of the applicant’s baptismal certificate; three letters of recommendation and a personal essay. Full details are provided in the application form. Interviews with members of the Admissions Committee are also required. The interviews are best done on campus, following submission of the completed application.

Admission to the M.Div. degree program ordinarily requires a four-year degree (B.A. or B.S.) from an accredited university or college or arts and sciences or its equivalent, with at least a 2.5 grade point average (G.P.A.). Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be asked to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores if graduated from a U.S. college or university. Applicants holding a baccalaureate degree from a non-accredited college may be admitted provisionally, as determined on an individual basis. Students without a baccalaureate degree are not eligible to pursue the regular degree program at the Seminary except by special action of the faculty or of the Admissions Committee.

Except for a four-year degree or its equivalent, with ample courses in the liberal arts, the Seminary does not require one particular type of undergraduate preparation as a prerequisite for theological study. However, the Seminary encourages prospective applicants to avail themselves of Armenian language courses and of courses in music theory and sight-reading. The Seminary concurs with the judgment of the Association of Theological Schools that “a normative pattern of pre-seminary education” will include work in most of the following subjects: English literature and composition; history, including non-Western cultures as well as European and American; philosophy, particularly its history and its methods; natural sciences, both physical and the life sciences; social sciences, particularly psychology, sociology, or anthropology; the fine arts and music, especially their creative and symbolic values; biblical and modern languages; and religion, both in the Judeo-Christian and in the Near and Far Eastern traditions.

All overseas and U.S. students (citizens or with permanent resident visas) whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before admission and must score at least 550 on the paper-based test or 215 on the computer-based test. At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, students who score close to this level may be admitted provisionally , for one semester, but must retake the test and meet the required level before further work will be allowed. Application forms for this test are available from the Educational Testing Service, Box 6155, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6155 USA (email: or online at Students needing additional proficiency in English are encouraged to take courses in English as a second language, in their home countries or states.

Qualified students are admitted to the Seminary for one year and their continuing enrollment is subject to renewal annually thereafter by decision of the faculty.

The Seminary does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color or national origin, and it complies with all applicable non-discrimination laws not contrary to the faith and canons of the Armenian Apostolic Church.