International Applicants


Union Presbyterian Seminary has been equipping ordained ministers, church leaders, and Christian educators for the global church for more than 200 years. The Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education, established in 2018, is committed to continuing and nurturing our commitment to the church universal by hosting students from overseas at our Richmond campus. Here, men and women seeking to follow their call to ministry are transformed by interactions with distinguished and caring professors, research in a world-class library, thoughtfully designed curricula, and innumerable learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. We treasure and celebrate the insights and experiences international students bring to the classroom and the seminary community, as these enhance the learning/teaching environment on campus.

UPSem welcomes international applicants to our Richmond campus in the following degree programs: Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.), M.Div./M.A.C.E. dual degrees, and Master of Theology (Th.M.). (Our Doctor of Ministry and Master of Arts in Public Theology programs, and all programs on our Charlotte campus, are not open to international students. We are not currently offering any online programs for international students.) All international students must begin in the Fall term. Information about application processes and deadlines can be found on our Admissions page.

UPSem’s International Student office is responsible for assisting admitted students with obtaining the necessary documents for your visa and entry into the United States. Further information about visa requirements and procedures can be found on the U.S. government’s website, Study in the States.

Admitted students must provide proof of sufficient funding In order to be approved for the U.S. Form I-20. Total expenses for 12 months (2021 estimate) for tuition, books, and living expenses for a single student living on campus are approximately $25,000 – $30,000 including approved health insurance. A deposit equal to 40% of first-year costs is also required. Financial aid including tuition scholarships, merit scholarships, and need-based aid is available to many of our well-qualified applicants. A majority of Union Presbyterian Seminary students receive some sort of financial aid.

Welcome from the UPSem faculty and staff!

Check out an alumnus testimonial

After successfully obtaining my Master’s Degree in Christian Education, I was promoted in my Church to become a Presbytery Moderator in the Upper Northern Presbytery. All that I have learned has really broadened my mind, which is having a positive impact on the execution of my work.
–Rev. Vincent Dagadu
Presbytery Moderator in the Upper Northern Presbytery Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana
M.A.C.E. 2014


I always think of the word “community” when I think of my experience at UPSem. I learned the meaning and practice of community in class, on campus, and every moment I met students, staff, and faculty in person. Perhaps, the methodology would be “Jesus Christ.” As Jesus did, it was natural for members to become witnesses of community life, learn from each other, and encouraging one another.

Of course, there were challenges and struggles to become one body. I thought that embracing otherness might result in losing myself. But, the challenges became the opportunities to grow! I’ve learned that understanding and accepting otherness does not mean losing myself. My life becomes more colorful because of otherness. In fact, just like a mosaic, “Me-ness” was defined by otherness.
–Mihye Jang
Ph.D. Candidate, Seoul Women’s University
M.Div. 2011; Th.M. 2012


Forms, Links, and Documents

Study in the States is a helpful U.S. government website with a wealth of information and resources for prospective students in the U.S.

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.