Application for degree status overview.

Admission Requirements

All students who wish to pursue a degree with ABTS must complete the full application process to be accepted with degree status.

Basic Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Demonstrate commitment to Christ and evidence of the new birth.
  • Be actively engaged in ministry and possess gifts for Christian service.
  • Have earned a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a recognized college or university and maintained a grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 system. Students having a GPA less than 2.5 may apply for admission under Academic Probation.
  • Affirm the ABTS Core Confession of Faith.
  • Enroll in the Introduction to Graduate Theological Education course.
  • Manifest ability to use the English language in speech and writing. All new applicants to ABTS whose first language is not English will be required to take an English proficiency examination.

This exam will be administered through ABTS, and further details can be obtained from ABTS country coordinators. The exam has both audio and reading portions, and will require approximately 2-3 hours to complete. The English Proficiency Exam serves as part of the ABTS application requirements, and the test results will be considered in the admissions process  according to the following criteria:

  • Applicants who score 450 or above will be admitted to ABTS without restrictions.
  • Applicants whose score falls from 400-449 will be admitted to ABTS with probationary status. Students on probation will be allowed to have only 1 open class at any time. They will remain on probation until they complete a minimum of 3 classes while maintaining a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher. Students on Probation who fail to maintain a GPA of 1.5 or higher will be liable for withdrawal from the ABTS program.
  • Applicants whose score falls below 400 will not be admitted to ABTS. They may pursue English instruction and reapply to ABTS after one year.

Documents Required for Admission

  • Completed application packet, including an essay relating to the applicant's personal faith and ministry involvement and a statement of support from the applicant's spouse.
  • Official academic transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended. Photocopies are not acceptable. Students who have difficulty in obtaining original transcripts may contact the ABTS Office for help in resolving the issue.
  • Reference forms from a supervisor or colleague in the ministry, from a pastor, elder or deacon of the applicant's local church, and from one other person (not a member of the applicant's family).

Application Process

All application materials should be sent to the ABTS office. Acceptance for admission will be considered upon receipt of all the required documents and successful completion of THL500 Introduction to Graduate Theological Education course.

Applicants will be notified by letter when they are accepted as students. The acceptance process does take time. In order to expedite the process, we request that you fill out all forms promptly and completely before submitting them to our office.

Students are allowed to enroll in only one residence seminar, in addition to the Introduction to Graduate Theological Education course, before official acceptance. Credit will only be granted upon formal acceptance. No student will be allowed to enroll in any course for credit without submitting an application form.

Admission for Audit Status

ABTS welcomes Christian workers to audit classes. Anyone auditing a class who is not already a student of ABTS must complete an Audit Application form. The extent of participation in the class by an audit student should be arranged between the professor and the student.

Other Enrollment Options

Below are forms for a number of different kinds of enrollment with ABTS.


Any former student who has been withdrawn must apply to the ABTS Headquarters office for readmission, preferably before arriving to take a class. Official transcripts of all studies which have been completed in the interval must be submitted. Updated reference forms may also be required. Readmitted students must comply with all new requirements for admission.

For former students who have been out of classes for 5 years or less, a special application form can be accessed here.

Non-Degree Enrollment

ABTS permits the enrollment of students seeking advanced education in Bible, theology or ministry, without a specific degree objective. These students are required to complete a short Non-Degree Application form, submit official academic transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate schools, and sign a statement of non-objection to the ABTS Core Confessional Statement. Non-Degree students who possess a recognized undergraduate degree may apply courses taken for graduate credit on a Non-Degree basis toward fulfillment of a specific degree program at a later time.

The form can be accessed here. This form does not require references and may not be used by students who wish to enroll in a degree program.

Transfer Students

Students who wish to transfer to ABTS should submit a transcript of all credits previously earned with their application for admission. Credit may be given for approved, comparable work taken in graduate programs in accredited colleges, universities, or seminaries. By approval of the Dean, credit may be given for a limited number of courses taken in graduate programs which are not offered in the seminary, but which correlate with education for the Christian ministry and ABTS degree programs.

In-Ministry M.R.E. students may transfer 12 credit hours into their degree program. Master of Arts students may transfer 24 credit hours. For each degree, transfer students must achieve the specified minimum credit hours in ABTS residence seminars: 21 credit hours for M.R.E. students and 40 credit hours for the M.A. The remaining hours may be a combination of transfer and extension courses. Student may complete up to 50% of their degree program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary on the US campus of Cornerstone University.

Guest Students

ABTS welcomes guest students from other accredited seminaries for limited enrollment. A Guest Student Application is required in advance of enrollment and must carry the certification of the home institution. Upon completion of a given course, an academic transcript can be secured from Cornerstone University for the transfer of credits to the home institution. Please access the Guest Student application here, and contact the ABTS headquarters for further instructions.