Concordia Lutheran Seminary

Admission Requirements – Master of Divinity

An application is complete when the Director of Admissions has received the following:

  • The Application for Enrolment - Master of Divinity Program, completed in full.
  • The non-refundable Application Fee.
  • Official Transcripts from all universities/colleges attended.
  • Reference Letters. Request letters of reference from your pastor and other referees as indicated in the Application Form. Please allow enough time for your referees to submit their letters directly to the Director of Admissions.
  • Criminal Record Check.
  • Additional letter indicating special circumstances for consideration of application (Applicants without Bachelor’s Degree only).
  • TOEFL Proficiency Exam Scores (International Applicants only).
  • Letter of Recommendation from home church body (International Applicants only).

Official Transcripts

Applicants are normally required to have their official transcripts sent directly to the Director of Admissions from all of the post-secondary institutions that they have attended. The Director of Admissions may accept hand-delivered transcripts in envelopes that have been officially sealed by the issuing institutions; seals must be unbroken.

Academic Requirements

Official Transcripts must provide proof of:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4 point scale or 5.0 on a 9 point scale
  • One year (two semesters or three quarters or 6 credits) of Greek (with a minimum passing grade of 5 or “C”)
  • One year (two semesters or three quarters or 6 credits) of Hebrew (with a minimum passing grade of 5 or “C”)

Biblical Languages

Both biblical languages are required for acceptance into the Master of Divinity program. CLS cooperates with Concordia University of Edmonton, which offers pre-seminary courses including Hebrew and Greek in alternate years. Biblical language courses may also be taken by correspondence or online from other institutions.

The seminary generally offers Hebrew or Greek as online, evening courses in alternating years.

Criminal Record Check

A Criminal Record Check (including the 'Vulnerable Persons/Sector' check) must be obtained by the applicant and submitted to the seminary. This can be obtained from your nearest RCMP detachment or local police service. There is usually a charge for this, and it may take several weeks to process your request. Contact your local police service or RCMP detachment for information on the request process. The website for Edmonton Police Information Checks is

Non-Degree Admission Policy

Applicants without a bachelor’s degree may be admitted to the Master of Divinity program, although such admission is competitive and is normally restricted to a maximum of 15 percent of the total M.Div. student body. A candidate ordinarily must be an active member of a Lutheran Church-Canada congregation or a partner church, show evidence of his commitment to Christian ministry, be of good character, enjoy satisfactory health, demonstrate pastoral suitability and be prepared to demonstrate the ability to do graduate level work. In addition to the normal admission requirements, the applicant must:

  • Cite in writing circumstances (age, family, finances, etc.) indicating it is unrealistic for him to obtain a bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment;
  • Have satisfactorily completed (minimum GPA of 2.0 or a “C” average) at least one year of university level study in liberal arts, including courses in English composition, sociology, psychology, logical or analytical thinking, early European history, religion, etc;
  • Register sufficiently high on the Graduate Record Examination to give reasonable assurance that he is capable of doing satisfactory academic work at the seminary level;
  • Have completed one year of Greek (two semesters or three quarters) and one year of Hebrew (two semesters or three quarters) with passing grades of 5 (“C”) or above.

Non-degree applicants may not be fully accepted into the M.Div. program until after they have demonstrated the ability to do consistent graduate level work for at least one year. In effect, these students enter the seminary on academic probation.

English Language Requirement

CLS welcomes international students and seeks to provide an academic and social climate which promotes understanding, acceptance, and personal growth through interaction among Christian people of different cultures and lands.

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Master of Divinity program, students for whom English is a second language, and who have not completed a previous degree in English, are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless this requirement is waived by the Admissions Committee. Details about where and when the test is given can be found on the TOEFL website:

The minimum score required is 80 (iBT).

Concordia Lutheran Seminary's TOEFL Institution Code is: 5020

Transfer Students

Students at accredited theological seminaries (external link to ATS) who wish to transfer to CLS are urged to make early contact with the registrar for an evaluation of their transcripts in order to identify which courses may meet a portion of the proposed program requirements. Undergraduate university and college courses are not transferable to seminary programs.

In the case of students transferring from another seminary of Lutheran Church–Canada or a partner church, a letter of recommendation, transcripts and biographical information from the transferring institution are required.


Individuals who have withdrawn or been discontinued for cause, and for those who have been denied admission, should contact the Director of Admissions to request information on procedures for re-application.

Admission Timeline – Master of Divinity

It is advisable for a prospective student to begin early in making plans to enroll in the seminary pastoral education program. The completion of a broad liberal arts program at the college or university level is a great asset to the seminary student. This background should include courses in English, speech, humanities, philosophy, psychology, religion, social sciences, natural sciences, the biblical languages, and, if possible, foreign languages such as French or German.

Ordinarily, application for admission should be made by April 1 of the final year of the prospective student’s college or university studies.

Prior to admission, the applicant is required to take the Graduate Record Examination (General Test), receive satisfactory results and have them forwarded to the seminary. Arrangements should also be made to have official transcripts sent from all post-secondary institutions as soon as possible. A criminal background check is required. In some instances a personal interview with the applicant will be requested.