FAQs

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the FAQ’s, don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions office. Your story, your ministry goals, and your needs are completely unique, and we want to hear from you! If you have questions specifically about Costs & Aid, check out our Costs & Aid FAQ page.

 Theological Distinctives

1. Does GRTS have a particular denominational affiliation?
2. What sets GRTS apart from other seminaries?
3. I have a unique denominational background. Will I fit in?

Faculty

4. How many faculty members do you have?
5. What educational background do your professors have?
6. Is your faculty active in research and publishing?

Campus

7. How large is your student body?
8. What is the campus like?

Accreditation

9. Is GRTS accredited?
10. Will my denomination accept my degree from GRTS?
11. Does the MA Counseling program prepare me for state licensure?

Degree Programs

12. What degrees does GRTS offer?
13. Can I specialize my degree to my area of interest?

Requirements

14. Do I need to have a Bible or theology degree to attend seminary?
15. Do you require the GRE or other entrance exams?
16. Do I have to request college transcripts?
17. What is the application due date?
18. I’ve already taken Bible and theology classes. Do you offer Advanced Standing?
19. Can I be considered for admission if I did not complete a bachelor’s degree? What if my school was not accredited?
20. Is health insurance available to GRTS students?

Program Flexibility

31. Do you offer evening classes?
32. How long will it take me to complete my degree?
33. Do you have online and distance courses?
34. Are there ministry opportunities available as a part of the degree curriculum?
35. How does your Master of Arts in Counseling degree differ from counseling degrees offered at other institutions?


 

Theological Distinctions

Does GRTS have a particular denominational affiliation?

No, GRTS is multidenominational. We affirm an evangelical biblical worldview as expressed in the Cornerstone Confession.

What sets GRTS apart from other seminaries?

Each seminary will have particular strengths. The primary mission of GRTS is to educate students who are gifted for ministry for service in the church and other ministry settings. As a multidenominational school GRTS trains students from many different backgrounds and this is reflected in the curriculum and classroom discussion. GRTS is also committed to engaging education from a high view of Scripture and to exegeting the Bible in its original languages. The Ministry Residency program at GRTS provides an in-depth ministry training experience for ministry students. M.A. Counseling students complete Practicum and Internships as part of their practical training prior to graduation. GRTS also integrates academic learning and classroom discussion with practical hands-on training.     

I have a diverse denominational background. Will I fit in?

Yes, students at GRTS come from many different church backgrounds and denominations. GRTS values learning together in community and students find that they have others who can identify with them and encourage them during their time at seminary.   

Faculty

How many faculty members do you have?

We currently have 32 faculty members, including nine full-time, two part-time and 21 adjunct faculty.

What educational background do your professors have?

GRTS professors are experts in their chosen field of study having spent many years studying and researching. The vast majority of GRTS faculty have earned doctorates from north American and UK universities. Four of the full-time faculty have masters degrees from GRTS. For more detailed information on each faculty member please see our faculty page or the GRTS academic catalog. 

Size

How large is your student body?

We are a mid-sized seminary with more than 300 students (both full- and part-time) enrolled for any given semester. We offer small class sizes (typically 15 students or less) and scholarly professors who view themselves as co-learners and foster an atmosphere of community learning.

What is the campus like?

We are a part of Cornerstone University, and all seminary classes and offices are located in the Wood Seminary building just off Leonard St. We have six main classrooms located in our main hallway, as well as a multipurpose chapel. The second floor of our building houses the Hoch Bookroom, where you can purchase all your required textbooks, and the Dobson Study Center, which is open all week as a quiet place to study. We have Wednesday morning chapels to build community among our students. There is a time of fellowship (and Panera bagels), then a program that varies week to week, such as special guest speakers, round-table discussions, prayer/worship time, etc.

Accreditation

Is GRTS accredited?

Yes, GRTS is fully accredited by both the Association of Theological Schools and the Higher Learning Commission.

Will my denomination accept my degree from GRTS?

Most denominations will accept a degree from GRTS as part of the requirements for ordination. However, it is important to verify with the denomination (or church association) in which you plan to serve to confirm that they do recognize GRTS degrees. Each denomination establishes their own ordination process and standards so it is advisable to be in contact with your church to confirm their requirements.

Does the MA Counseling program prepare me for state licensure?

Yes, the MA Counseling degree at GRTS is approved by the State of Michigan to provide training towards LPC status. For more details see the MA Counseling FAQ page.  

Degrees

What degrees does GRTS offer?

We offer a Master of Divinity (94 credits), M.A. in Counseling (72 credits), M.A. Intercultural Ministries, M.A. Educational Ministries, M.A. Old Testament, M.A. New Testament, M.A. Systematic Theology, M.A. Historical Theology, M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, and a Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree. Learn more about our full degree programs here.

Can I specialize my degree to my area of interest?

Yes! All of our programs have elective space that allow you to tailor your degree. Several of our programs include cognates, or specializations, that allow you to graduate with an area of emphasis on your degree. For example, Master of Divinity students can specialize in Adult Ministries, Pastoral Ministries, Women's Studies, Intercultural Ministries, Counseling and Chaplaincy. We also offer specializations within the M.A. Counseling and M.A. Christian Formation degrees. Please see the individual degree pages to learn more.

Getting Started

Do I need to have a Bible or theology degree to attend seminary?

No, you can apply to GRTS as long as you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. Our degree programs serve both those who will be taking their first formal theological classes as well as those who have completed a theological degree.

Do you require the GRE or other entrance exams?

The GRE is not normally required for the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degrees , but some applicants to the Master of Theology (Th.M.) program may be required to take the GRE.

Do I have to request college transcripts?

Yes, we need transcripts from any higher learning institutions you have attended. Please have final, official transcripts sent to:

Seminary Admissions
Cornerstone University
1001 E. Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

What is the application due date?

We operate on a rolling admissions basis, so you can submit your application at any point throughout the year. However, there is a preferred due date for each semester which is usually about 7-10 days before the semester begins. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible for application processing, course availability and financial aid opportunities.

I’ve already taken Bible and theology classes. Do you offer Advanced Standing?

Yes, we offer advanced standing exams at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters by appointment. You may take exams for preapproved 300-level (or higher) undergraduate courses if you earned a B (3.0 GPA) or better in the class at an accredited institution. You may only fulfill one-fourth of your total program credit requirements with advanced standing credit. Contact the Admissions Office for a complete list of classes that offer examinations.

Can I be considered for admission if I did not complete a bachelor’s degree? What if my school was not accredited?

We consider applicants who have not completed a bachelor’s degree on a very limited basis. We would likely require you to complete the GRE successfully. Also, please contact us if you received your bachelor’s degree at a non-accredited institution. We maintain a list of non-accredited institutions from which we accept degrees.

Is health insurance available to GRTS students?

Cornerstone University offers a premium-based injury and sickness insurance plan to all students of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Interested students can obtain an insurance brochure from Cornerstone University Health Services or from the GRTS Admissions office.

Program Flexibility

Do you offer evening classes?

We offer a variety of course offerings in both the morning, afternoon and evening. Our classes start as early at 8:30 a.m. and as late as 6:20 p.m. We have block scheduling, which means that your class is only one day a week, making it easier for you to balance a work schedule. (The only exceptions are our Tuesday/Thursday Greek and Hebrew classes.) We do not currently offer any weekend classes but we do have two-week intensive courses in early January and during the summer months.

How long will it take me to complete my degree?

If you enroll on a full-time basis (11 credits or more per semester), you will take two to three years to complete your degree, depending on which degree you are pursuing. If you enroll part time, you will have up to five years to complete your degree. You will need to make an appeal to the academic dean if you do not plan to complete your degree within five years, but it is possible if you demonstrate that you are actively and consistently moving forward in the program.

Do you have online and distance courses?

Yes! A growing number of our courses are available online. You can take up to 8 online courses during your program here. There is also the option to consider the two fully online degrees offered through Cornerstone University in Ministry Leadership and Biblical Studies, which are Higher Learning Commission accredited.

Are there ministry opportunities available as a part of the degree curriculum?

Yes. GRTS partners with over 70 local and regional churches and ministries to provide students with a ministry residency. The ministry residency is for students in the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Formation and Master of Arts in Intercultural Ministries programs. Hundreds of other churches are available for spiritual formation and ministry service. There are also many local sites where Master of Arts in Counseling students can fulfill their practicum and internship for professional licensure.

How does your Master of Arts in Counseling degree differ from counseling degrees offered at other institutions?

Upon successful completion of our degree, you will be eligible for your Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in Michigan and most other states. Our curriculum includes a 39-credit counseling concentration as mandated by the State of Michigan, with an additional 24 credits in Bible and theology and 9 credits in a cognate of your choice. This integrated approach provides you with excellent counseling skills, biblical interpretation skills, theological and ministry exploration, and the foundation for state licensure.  Many other schools offer "Christian" counseling programs, but you will find a significant difference in the amount of Bible and theology you complete at GRTS.  We want you to be the most well equipped to help hurting people find hope in a broken world.

Admissions