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Application Requirements

Ready to take the next step? Our application for admission has been streamlined to make it easier than ever to apply. Still, you may have questions, and we're here to help! Please read the instructions below to find out what materials are required for a complete application. We look forward to learning more about you, and helping you learn more about Candler.


My Application Checklist

The Candler application for admission has three steps:

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Submit your required application materials
  3. Pay the application fee ($50.00)

Required Application Materials

Program

Resume

Academic Writing Sample

Transcripts (all schools attended)

Autobiographical Statement

Plan of Study Statement

Number of Recommendations

**Program Specific Materials

MDiv

X

X

X

X

N/A

3

MTS

X

X

X

X

X

3

MRL

X

X

X

X

N/A

3

MRPL

X

X

X

X

X

3

ThM

X

X

X

X

X

3

DMin

X

X

X

X

N/A

3

Non-degree

X

N/A

X

X

N/A

N/A

Your application is an opportunity to showcase your strengths, interests, theological maturity and individuality. It is the place to tell your real story. Each item we've requested helps us get a better understanding of your interest in theological education and your future goals.

Find your program in the chart above to see what items are required to complete the application. Each component of the application is described in greater detail below. While some of the required materials are the same for each program, some are different. Please carefully read the program-specific materials section to understand what is specifically required for your program of interest.         

**See below for additional materials required for transfer, international, or dual-degree applicants.


General Application Requirements

Application requirements—specifically the autobiographical statement, plan of study, and recommendations—differ depending on the academic program you’ve selected. Please be sure that you read through the section on “Program-Specific Application Requirements” to be certain you are submitting the correct information.

The following application requirements are the same for all programs:

Submit your Résumé

Your résumé should provide a brief summary of your educational background, job experience, vocational aspirations, leadership goals and accomplishments, professional affiliations, honors and awards, community service, skills, personal qualities, and interests and hobbies. Tip: This can be uploaded directly to the online application before you submit it.

Submit your Academic Writing Sample

The academic writing sample should be a four- to seven-page sample of recent academic writing that provides evidence of writing skills, the ability to engage texts, and the ability to form clear arguments or theses. This may be an excerpt from a larger work or a short paper written for a class assignment. If the nature of the paper or the larger context for it is not evident, please provide a cover page explaining the context. Applicants who have been out of school for more than five years and/or cannot provide a recent academic writing sample are required to complete an alternate writing assignment provided by the Admissions Committee. Tip: This can be uploaded directly to the online application before you submit it.

Note: DMin applicants may also submit an article or essay submitted for publication or a sermon for an academic writing sample.

Submit your Official Academic Transcripts

Official transcripts from all previous colleges, universities, graduate schools and seminaries must be submitted, regardless of when you attended, how many hours you earned, or whether you earned a degree. Official transcripts should be sent directly to Candler from these institutions electronically or via mail; transcripts can also be delivered in a sealed and signed envelope to the Candler Admissions Office. If you are currently enrolled at an institution, please send an official transcript of your work to date and ask that a transcript be sent promptly following the completion of the term and/or conferral of a degree.

Electronic transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to candleradmissions@emory.edu.

Send hard copies of transcripts to:

Candler School of Theology
Emory University
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 301
Atlanta, Georgia 30322


Program-Specific Application Requirements

Submit your Autobiographical Statement

Your autobiographical statement is a critical element of your application. It will be evaluated on content, style, grammar and organization. This statement is your introduction to the Admissions Committee and will help faculty advisors guide and evaluate your learning experience in your program of interest. Please select your program of interest for specific instructions on your Autobiographical Statement. Tip: This can be uploaded directly to the online application before you submit it.

Write a reflective essay that addresses the following:

MDiv Autobiographical Statement
  • 3-4 pages typed, double-spaced
  • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses and experiences in college, church, service-related activities and employment.
  • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
  • Your reasons for applying to Candler School of Theology.
  • Your understanding of vocation, details of a call to ministry and plans following completion of study at Candler School of Theology. United Methodist applicants should indicate plans for ordination as a deacon or elder in an annual conference, and status in the United Methodist candidacy process, if applicable.
MRL Autobiographical Statement
  • 3-4 pages typed, double-spaced
  • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses, and experiences in college, church, service-related activities and employment.
  • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
  • Your reasons for applying to Candler School of Theology and the ways in which study in one of the Master of Religious Leadership concentrations (Mission, Evangelism, and World Christianity; Justice, Peacebuilding, and Conflict Transformation; Pastoral Care; Ministries with Youth; Worship and Music) will enhance your ministry.
  • Your understanding of vocation, your own call to ministry and plans following completion of study at Candler School of Theology.
MRPL Autobiographical Statement
  • 3-4 pages typed, double spaced
  • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses and experiences in college, church, service-related activities and employment.
  • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
  • Your reasons for applying to Candler School of Theology and the ways in which study in the Master of Religion and Public Life will enhance your professional endeavors.
  • Your understanding of vocation and plans following completion of study at Candler School of Theology.
MTS Autobiographical Statement
  • 3-4 pages typed, double-spaced
  • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses and experiences in college, church, service-related activities and employment.
  • Academic and other interests that motivate you to engage in theological studies.
  • How the Master of Theological Studies program at Candler School of Theology addresses your interests.
  • Your plans following completion of study at Candler School of Theology.
ThM Autobiographical Statement
  • 3-4 pages typed, double-spaced
  • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses and experiences in college, church, service-related activities and employment.
  • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
  • Your reasons for applying to Candler School of Theology.
  • Your plans following completion of study at Candler School of Theology.
DMin Autobiographical Statement
  • 3-4 pages typed, double-spaced
  • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses, and experiences in college, church, service-related activities and employment.
  • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
  • Your reasons for applying to Candler School of Theology and the ways in which further study in one of the Doctor of Ministry concentrations (Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation or Church Leadership and Community Witness) will enhance your ministry.
Non-degree program Autobiographical Statement
  • 1-2 pages typed, double-spaced
  • Aspects of your background that inform the unique perspective you would add to the diverse and vibrant community that exists at Candler School of Theology.
  • Your reasons for applying to Candler.
  • The course(s) you hope to enroll in at Candler.
  • Your plans following completion of study at Candler.

Submit your Plan of Study Statement

All MTS, MRPL, and ThM applicants are required to submit a two- to three-page Plan of Study statement. Please select your program of interest for specific instructions. Tip: This can be uploaded directly to the online application before you submit it.

MRPL Plan of Study Statement

Explain how your proposed area of interest builds on your current professional expertise and personal interests, drawing on the resources of Candler and Emory and outlining a possible integrative paper.

MTS Plan of Study Statement

Detail your proposed discipline of study, topic of research and special interests that you hope to develop at Candler.

ThM Plan of Study Statement

Explain how your proposed topic of research in the area of Bible, Preaching and Worship, Pastoral Care, Theology, Ethics, or Religious Education is best suited to Candler's offerings in one of those required areas.

Request Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation from persons other than family members are required for all degree programs. Each of your recommenders must be listed in the Recommendations section of the online application, which, once submitted, will trigger an email to the individuals asking them to complete a secure online recommendation. This will expedite our receipt of the recommendation. Recommenders who cannot access the online form or who are added after you have submitted your application may download the recommendation form.

Please see the information below on the specific types of recommendations requested for your program.

MDiv Required Recommendations
  • Pastoral recommendation, provided by a pastor, chaplain, campus minister or equivalent (required).
  • Academic recommendation, provided by a college or graduate school professor. If you have been out of school for more than five years and/or are unable to secure an academic recommendation, submit an additional professional recommendation. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to include a recommendation from a professor at their current seminary.
  • Professional recommendation, provided by a work supervisor or a person who has known you for three or more years. If you are currently a student, you may prefer to submit a second academic recommendation in lieu of a professional recommendation.
  • In addition to the three required recommendations, Anglican and Episcopal students who wish to participate in the Episcopal Studies program must submit a letter from their bishop stating that they are postulants and/or have the bishop's permission to enroll in the program. In the latter case, the bishop should be added as a recommender only if the bishop will provide your pastoral recommendation, indicating permission to enroll in the Episcopal Studies program, within the same letter.
MRL Required Recommendations
  • A pastoral recommendation, provided by a pastor, chaplain, campus minister or equivalent.
  • An academic recommendation, provided by a college or graduate school professor. If you have been out of school for more than five years and/or are unable to secure an academic recommendation, submit an additional professional recommendation. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to include a recommendation from a professor at their current seminary.
  • A professional recommendation, provided by a work supervisor, or a person who has known you for three or more years. If you are currently a student, you may prefer to submit a second academic recommendation in lieu of a professional recommendation.
MRPL Required Recommendations
  • Academic recommendation, provided by a college or graduate school professor. If you have been out of college for more than five years and/or are unable to secure an academic recommendation, submit an additional professional recommendation. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to include a recommendation from a professor at their current seminary.
  • Two professional recommendations, provided by a colleague, work supervisor or other person who has known you for three or more years.
MTS Required Recommendations
  • Two academic recommendations, provided by college or graduate school professors. If you have been out of college for more than five years and are unable to secure two academic recommendations, submit additional professional recommendations as needed. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to include a recommendation from a professor at their current seminary.
  • Professional recommendation, provided by a work supervisor, or a person who has known you for three or more years.
  • If you are currently a student, you may prefer to submit a second or third academic recommendation in lieu of a professional recommendation.
ThM Required Recommendations
  • Academic recommendation, provided by a college or graduate school professor. If you have been out of school for more than five years and are unable to secure an academic recommendation, submit additional professional recommendations. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to include a recommendation from a professor at their current seminary.
  • Professional recommendation, provided by a work supervisor, or a person who has known you for three or more years. If you are currently a student, you may prefer to submit a second academic recommendation in lieu of a professional recommendation.
  • If you are ordained, please provide an ecclesial reference from a bishop, district superintendent or denominational executive showing support for your enrollment in the ThM program.
DMin Required Recommendations
  • One academic recommendation provided by a graduate school professor. If you have been out of graduate school for more than five years and are unable to secure a professor's recommendation, submit an additional professional reference, either from a layperson or an ecclesial colleague.
  • One professional reference provided by a layperson in a leadership position at your current ministry site.
  • One ecclesial reference from a bishop, district superintendent or denominational executive showing support for your participation in the Doctor of Ministry degree program.

Additional Application Materials

Transfer Applicants

Transfer students will be asked to submit a hard-copy letter of good standing from the institution from which they hope to transfer. In most cases, transfer students can be admitted provisionally pending receipt of this letter. Letters of good standing cannot be submitted through online recommendation.

Dual Degree Applicants

If you are applying to one of Candler's dual-degree programs, you must complete a separate application for the second degree program with the corresponding school.