Degree Programs Available at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Theological Seminaries in the United States.
The Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary offers graduate and doctoral programs through four campuses and an online system. It has a Master of Theology program that features just 24 credits and a Master of Divinity program that includes 96 credits. Students spend three years in the divinity program and take courses such as The Church to the Reformation, Theology Survey I and II, Spiritual Formation for Ministry and Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey. Students can skip those last two classes if they receive a passing score on two exams.
Students can choose from Master of Arts (MA) programs that include academic options for those who will later enroll in a doctoral program and professional programs for those who want to go right to work. The professional programs include majors in global leadership for those who want to do missionary work and counseling for students who want to serve their parishioners through counseling sessions. This program has accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and includes 87 credits. Students can take up to 25 percent of their classes online and complete their remaining credits on any seminary campus. It meets all the standards and requirements for licensed counselors in Massachusetts. Both the Christian leadership and intercultural studies programs include 60 credits of classes.
The seminary’s MA programs also include options for students to focus on one of seven concentration or emphasis areas. Each program features 60 credits and allows students to combine classes taken on a seminary campus with online courses. They can choose from focus areas that include Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical languages and religion. In the church history concentration, students focus on the history of the church and its parishioners.
Through the online system, students can earn a certificate in Christian studies or an MA in the same subject. It takes 31 credits to complete the certificate program and 48 credits to earn a graduate degree. A Doctor of Ministry is available from the campuses in Charlotte and Boston. It includes 10 tracks designed for students who work with Korean and Chinese parishioners and a leadership track for students who want to inspire changes within their churches. Though students can take most of their classes online, the seminary asks them to complete three on-campus residencies too.
About the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
The Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is a private seminary affiliated with both the Protestant Church and the Evangelical Church. It was officially established in 1969 after two schools merged. The Gordon Divinity School opened in 1888 and was originally part of Gordon College. A second school called the Conwell School of Theology opened the following year as part of Temple College. When Temple became a public university, it ended its relationship with the theology school. That schooled then merged with the Gordon Divinity School to become Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary or GCTS.
GCTS started with one campus in New Hamilton, Massachusetts and later added a second campus in Boston. Later campuses opened in Jacksonville, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. There is also an online campus that allows students to take several courses or complete most of their degree requirements over the web. Across all four physical campuses and the virtual campus, GCTS has an enrollment of more than 1,700 students.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Accreditation Details
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (CAATS) granted full accreditation to GCTS, which is a type of regional accreditation. Any student who has a financial need can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get an aid package that includes help from the government and the seminary.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Application Requirements
Students who want to apply to GCTS can view all the admissions and application requirements online. The seminary only accepts those who have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school. Students can apply up to one year before they plan to start a program. GCTS will also accept applications up until one month before the semester starts. Those who need scholarships should apply by the beginning of February. The seminary recommends that those who need housing apply by the middle of March. It only offers housing after this deadline if any of the residence halls have remaining space.
To apply, students must complete the GCTS application and do several other steps, including:
- Pay a $50 application fee, which increases to $100 when the student applies via the paper application
- Write a one-page application essay
- Write a one-pay autobiography
- Submit three letters of recommendation
- Provide their official transcripts
Students should submit letters of recommendation that show the commitment that they have to their churches and their future education. GCTS asks a church endorsement letter too. Students can download or print this form off the internet. They’ll need to have a pastor or ministry complete the form and submit it to show that the church approves of the student entering a seminary program.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Though GCTS offers courses on several campuses, students at all branches pay the same tuition rate. They pay $700 per credit hour or $2,100 per class. Students who want to audit classes pay $150 but will not get any credits for the courses they take. They also pay fees of $175 in both the fall and spring semesters and $100 in fees if they take classes in the summer. Students can pay extra for health insurance through the seminary too. Special packages offer health insurance for the student and his or her spouse/children.
GCTS believes that pastors and ministers should have an affordable option when it comes to college. That is why the seminary reduces tuition increases every year and offers financial aid packages for all students. The Partnership Program offers assistance in the form of scholarships that come from individuals and organizations. Students need to apply to the director of the program. Those who receive the full-tuition scholarships will attend special programs that discuss the finances of preachers and prepare students for their futures. More than 10 donors take part in this program every year. Students can qualify for federal loans and get scholarships and grants from the seminary too. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary only grants financial aid to students who enroll in a degree program and submit a FAFSA.