Apply for 2017-2018

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  • Basic Degree Application

    • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

      Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.)

      Master of Divinity/ Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.Div./M.A.C.E)


      These steps can be completed in any order. Applications are not reviewed by our Faculty Admissions Committee until all steps are completed.

      1. Complete online application. We recommend you complete an online application for admission. Frequently asked questions about the online application system can be found here. You also may download, print, and fill out a paper application.

      2. Send application fee*
      January 1 – no fee
      February 1 – $45 fee
      March 1 – $75 fee
      *Charlotte and ECP applicants – $65 fee

      3. Contact and inform three references. If you have completed the online application, your references will receive an email asking them to fill out an online evaluation form. We highly recommend that references be (a) an Academic or Supervisor (b) your Pastor or (c) a Personal. We do not accept family or current student references. You can also download a paper evaluation.

      4. Request all transcripts. Official (signed and sealed) transcripts from ALL previously attended academic institutions are required. Institutions can email eScripts to admissions@upsem.edu.

      5. Complete a background check. A background check is required of all applicants who are US Citizens, Resident Aliens, and International Applicants who have lived in the US for more than two years. To order your background check, go to the CastleBranch website, enter “ua37” into the Package Code field and click go. Review and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use, then click continue to proceed to payment and confirmation.

      6. Return your personal disclosure statement. Download a Personal Disclosure Statement and fax back to us at (800) 665-8679 or email to admissions@upsem.edu.

      7. Interview with a faculty member. Richmond and Hybrid Program applicants email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221 to arrange your interview. Charlotte applicants email Lisa McLennan to arrange your interview.

      8. Be in conversation with Admissions Director and/or Associate Director. Contact Mairi Renwick (Richmond and Hybrid Program applicants) or Lisa McLennan (Charlotte applicants).


      Other details:

      Mail all materials to:
      Union Presbyterian Seminary, Attn: Admissions
      3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227

      Materials may be faxed to (800) 665-8679.

      For questions about the application process, email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221.

      Director of Admissions-Richmond
      Rev. Mairi Renwick
      804-278-4222 office
      804-291-8314 cell

      Associate Director of Admissions-Charlotte
      Rev. Lisa McLennan
      980-636-1662

  • Advanced Degree Application

    • Master of Theology (Th.M) Deadline to Apply: March 1

      These steps can be completed in any order. Applications are not reviewed until all steps are completed.

      1. Complete online application. We recommend you complete an online application for admission. Frequently asked questions about the online application system can be found here. If you have limited access to the internet, you may download, print, and fill out a paper application.

      2. Send application fee*
      January 1 – no fee
      February 1 – $45 fee
      March 1 – $75 fee

      3. Contact and inform three references. If you have completed the online application, your references will receive an email asking them to fill out an online evaluation form. You can also download a paper evaluation.

      4. Request all transcripts. Official (signed and sealed) transcripts from ALL previously attended academic institutions are required. Institutions can email eScripts to admissions@upsem.edu.

      5. Complete a background check. A background check is required of all applicants who are US Citizens, Resident Aliens, and International Applicants who have lived in the US for more than two years. To order your background check, go to the CastleBranch website, enter “ua37” into the Package Code field and click go. Review and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use, then click continue to proceed to payment and confirmation.

      6. Return your disclosure statement. Download a Personal Disclosure Statement and fax back to us at
      (800) 665-8679 or email to admissions@upsem.edu.

      7. Interview with a faculty member. An interview with both the Director of Graduate Studies and a (the) member of faculty with whom you wish to study are required. Email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221 to make arrangements.


      Mail all materials to:
      Union Presbyterian Seminary, Attn: Admissions
      3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227

      Materials may be faxed to (800) 665-8679.

      For questions about the application process, email Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221.

  • International Applicants

    • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

      Documented endorsement of their denomination or other church agency.

      English Language Proficiency:  International applicants who do not speak, write, or read English as their first language are required to submit current scores from the four sections of the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). Scores from the paper-based test will no longer be accepted. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 20 on each section of the TOEFL iBT in order to be considered for admission. We will not accept IELTS scores in lieu of TOEFL iBT scores. Test information is available from Educational Testing Services at www.ets.org. Those who have completed four years of bachelor’s or higher level of study in an institution in the United States of America may request an exemption from the Director of Admissions.

      Interviews:  Interviews with both a member of the faculty, and a member of admissions, are required. If you are applying for the Th.M. program, an interview with both the Director of Graduate Studies, and a (the) member of the faculty with whom you wish to study, are required. Once we have received your completed application and your TOEFL scores, we will help you to schedule them. There are three ways in which you may interview: in person on either campus, by Skype, or by phone. Please email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221 to arrange your interview.

      Financial requirements:  An international student Certification of Funding form with bank statements showing available funds from each source of assistance and documentation certifying the availability of funds sufficient to cover living expenses during the course of study at Union Presbyterian Seminary. Applicants who are accepted must deposit funds with the seminary by May 1 preceding the fall term.

      Living Expenses (2016-2017 estimated costs)
      $38,030 single student 11-month budget for tuition, books, and living expenses if living on campus. International health insurance rates vary and are not included in this figure.
      $39,854 married students with no children 11-month budget for tuition, books, and living expenses if living on campus. International health insurance rates vary and are not included in this figure.

      Financial Aid
      Students who are admitted and qualified for need-based financial aid receive funds to pay up to 75% of tuition. Particularly well-qualified international students may receive aid in the form of merit scholarships. However, international students who accept merit-based scholarships are not eligible for institutional need-based aid. Financial aid will not cover travel or living expenses.

      The international student advisor in the academic dean’s office will assist admitted students in completing visa forms after money has been deposited.

      Submit all required forms and deposit all required funds by May 1 for each year of study.

      All international students and their family members living in the U.S. are required to have health insurance through a company approved by Union Presbyterian Seminary. International health insurance rates vary. More information can be found at International Student Insurance.


      Checklist Reminders

      For questions about the application process, email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221.

      UPSem recommends international students not bring family members with them for the first year of study.

      International applications are accepted for Richmond campus only.

      International students cannot apply as a Limited Enrollment applicant.

      Click here for more information on tuition, housing and living exspense

  • Transfer Applicants

    • Transfer Credit Policies

      A limited number of transfer credits for M.A.C.E. and M.Div. students may be accepted for work completed within the past eight years at accredited institutions.

      Work must have been done at a school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the U.S. or Canada, or at an institutions offering graduate-level work accredited by one of the nationally recognized regional accrediting agencies in the U.S. Union Presbyterian Seminary reserves the right to deny transfer credit for courses taken at institutions that do not meet its accreditation standards.

      Students who receive transfer credit for all required courses in any academic department are required to take at least one elective course in that department (biblical studies, theology and ethics, history, education, and practical theology).

      Transfer students must earn at least half of the credits required for their degree at Union Presbyterian Seminary, including at least two credits in supervised ministry for M.Div. students.

      Students transferring into the Dual degree program must spend a minimum of three years enrolled in the program in order to receive the degrees.

      Union Presbyterian Seminary does not accept for transfer credit courses that were offered solely through a “correspondence” format, and considers for transfer only those distance-learning courses for which it can be established, in the judgment of the associate dean, or the dean of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte campus, that peer and student-faculty interaction met or exceeded standards maintained in Union Presbyterian Seminary courses.

      Credits that have already been applied toward an earned degree cannot ordinarily be transferred.


      Transfer Credits Procedure

      By the end of their first term following matriculation at Union Presbyterian Seminary, transfer students must by written notice to the registrar initiate requests to transfer course credits earned prior to attending Union Presbyterian Seminary.

      The student is responsible to provide the registrar with documentation of the content of each course proposed for transfer.

      The registrar will assemble a packet of proposed transfer materials for the student and submit it to those determining acceptance of the credits.

      The associate dean, or the dean of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte campus, as is applicable, the chair of the department into which the transfer of credit is requested, and the registrar will review the packet and determine the acceptability of transfer credits and decide the student’s remaining degree requirements.

      Transferability of credits to be earned through study at another school (including a Richmond Theological Consortium school), after a student has enrolled at Union Presbyterian Seminary, should first be investigated with the registrar, who will consult with the associate dean for academic programs or dean of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte campus, before the student commences study at the other school.


      Checklist Reminders

      Even if you are applying using the online application, you may need to print out additional forms, fill them out by hand, and mail them.

      If you are mailing the paper application form, don’t forget to include the application fee with your application form.

      To download our PDF forms you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader Plug In.

      For help or information, email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221.


  • Limited Enrollment Applicants

    • Non-Degree Limited Enrollment

      We accept a limited number of non-degree seeking, Limited Enrollment (LE) students each year. Limited Enrollment students may choose this path as:

      1. Continuing education for a pastor or Christian educator

      2. Personal growth through a limited number of seminary courses

      3. Students from other seminaries seeking a course offered through Union such as Presbyterian polity

      4. An opportunity to experience Union Presbyterian Seminary while discerning their own call to ministry

      Limited Enrollment Requirements

      Applicants must have graduated from a college or university accredited by one of the nationally-recognized regional accrediting agencies.


      Limited enrollment students may take a maximum of four courses across any platform. Exceptions must be approved by the associate dean for academic programs in Richmond or the academic dean in Charlotte.

      Limited enrollment students are not eligible for financial aid.


      Limited enrollment students may subsequently apply to a degree program, and if admitted, request transfer credit for a maximum of four courses through the appropriate dean. A limited enrollment student must have paid all seminary bills before being admitted to a degree program.

      Application Process

      Complete the Application for Admission.  The form can be mailed, faxed, or scanned and emailed to the Admissions Office after printing.

      REFERENCES Please provide the names of two persons such as a pastor or church educator and/or a professor, or someone who can comment on your academic ability. In considering your request, we may find it helpful to contact other sources of information.

      TRANSCRIPTS Applicants must have an original transcript, showing courses and grades, sent directly from each accredited four-year college or university they have attended. A final transcript showing a bachelor’s degree and the date conferred must be on file before a student may enroll.

      ESSAY Limited Enrollment applicants must submit an essay of less than 800 words that speaks about their educational and ecclesiastical background, the courses they wish to take, and their reasons for taking them.

      BACKGROUND CHECK A background check is required of all applicants who are:

      1. U.S. citizens
      2. Resident aliens
      3. International applicants who have lived in the U.S. for the last two years

      The Admissions Office recognizes that personal integrity, emotional health, and spiritual maturity are essential to faithful and effective ministry. Yet we affirm that even serious misdeeds have sometimes been a part of an experience of growth, transformation, and call, by the work of God’s Spirit that leads a person to seminary, and to faithful ministry. We also realize that people come to the attention of criminal justice systems for a variety of reasons-including not only the commission of crimes but also mistaken allegations, acts of civil disobedience, and systemic injustices such as racism. No charge or past offense automatically disqualifies an applicant from admission. All records will be evaluated in context, and prior to an admission decision.

      The background check consists of two parts:

      1. Applicants should download a Personal Disclosure Statement, disclose any information that may be found by the legal background check, sign the form, and mail it to the Director of Admissions at the address given.

      2. Go to www.certifiedbackground.com.

      Presbyterian Church (USA) students need only complete the background check once. All PC(USA) seminaries can share. Your application file is not complete until the Personal Disclosure Statement and the results of the background check have been received at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

      APPLICATION FEE An application fee of $30.00 must be included when mailing the application.
      SUBMIT Mail or email application and all supporting documents to Union Presbyterian Seminary, Office of Admissions, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227.

      Checklist Reminders

      1. Even if you are applying using the online application, you may need to print out additional forms, fill them out by hand, and mail them.

      2. If you are mailing the paper form, please include the application fee with your application form.

      Each PDF form will open in a separate browser window.

      To download our PDF forms you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader Plug In.

      For help or information, email Admissions Assistant Laura Nealley or call 804-278-4221.


Union Presbyterian Seminary does not discriminate among applicants to, or participants in, its degree programs on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, or physical disability.