Admissions

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“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
–Frederick Buechner

God doesn’t call us out of ourselves to be faithful leaders. Instead, God calls us more deeply into ourselves to in order to answer the call of leadership. This has always been true, but it seems especially true in our current day and time.

God needs you to be you.

In this way we may all work for the liberation of all God’s people.

At American Baptist Seminary of the West, it is our hope that your sense of calling is rooted deeply in who you are, your passions, skills, and your ties to community. We invite you to join our diverse community of leaders in the journey of living most fully into God’s calling for your life.

Request more information about our programs, and apply today.

Meagan Wood
Director of Admissions
mwood@absw.edu
admissions@absw.edu
(510) 841-1905 ext. 229

 


Application Requirements

Select the program you are applying to below for application requirements.

Masters Applicants

Eligibility:
All applicants must have a bachelors degree from an accredited institution with at least a 2.5 GPA.

Required Application Materials:

  • Application form – available online here. If you require a print application, please email admissions@absw.edu.
  • Non-refundable application fee – $40 for domestic applicants, $80 for international applicants. Payable online through the online application form, or by check or money order.
  • Personal statement – can be uploaded or typed in the online application. Applicants are required to answer the following questions (1000 words maximum):
    1. Briefly describe your spiritual journey, including your leadership experience and/or your capacities for leadership.
    2. What are your educational and/or your vocational goals? What do you hope to draw from or rely upon to reach those goals?
    3. What in particular about ABSW (curriculum, community, people, offerings, and/or values) influenced you to apply?
    4. Select what you understand to be one of today’s most critical issues and reflect on it in terms of your own theological perspective.
  • Three references – persons completing references must not be the spouse or other relative of the applicant. Online recommendation forms can be sent automatically through the online application. If you require a print letter of recommendation form, please email admissions@absw.edu. References must be from:
    • Two academic references – persons who can attest to your academic ability. If you have been out of school for five or more years, you may substitute two working colleagues.
    • One pastoral reference
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended after high school.
  • Official TOEFL score – for all applicants whose native language is not English. ABSW’s school code is 4016.

 
Doctor of Ministry Applicants

Eligibility
All applicants must have completed a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited seminary or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, all applicants must have a minimum of three years of ministry experience and present engagement in ministry.

Application Materials:

  • Application form – available online here. If you require a print application, please email admissions@absw.edu.
  • Non-refundable application fee – $40 for domestic applicants, $80 for international applicants. Payable online through the online application form, or by check or money order.
  • Personal statement – can be uploaded or typed in the online application. Applicants are required to answer the following questions (1000 words maximum):
    1. Briefly describe your spiritual journey, including your leadership experience and/or your capacities for leadership.
    2. What in particular about ABSW (curriculum, community, people, offerings, and/or values) influenced you to apply?
    3. Select what you understand to be one of today’s most critical issues and reflect on it in terms of your own theological perspective. How does your preaching reflect your global and theological perspectives?
    4. Describe the focus of your proposed research project. What is the context of your research project (the churches, communities and geographic locations in which your research will take place)? Who will benefit most from the results of your research project? Keep in mind the Doctor of Ministry’s interdisciplinary design, ecumenical intention, and attention to critical cross-cultural scholarly resources.
  • Three references – persons completing references must not be the spouse or other relative of the applicant. Online recommendation forms can be sent automatically through the online application. If you require a print letter of recommendation form, please email admissions@absw.edu. References must be from:
    • Two academic references – persons who can attest to your academic ability. If you have been out of school for five or more years, you may substitute two working colleagues.
    • One ordained person who is a church official (pastor, denominational executive, etc.)
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended after high school
  • Official TOEFL score – for all applicants to English-speaking D.Min. program whose native language is not English. ABSW’s school code is 4016.

 

Online Application Checklist

The online application must be completed in one sitting. Before starting your application, please have the following items ready:

  • Your personal statement addressing the program-specific prompt above
  • Your academic history (schools attended, approximate dates attended, degrees received, approximate GPA)
  • Your work history (names of employers, dates of employment, job title/description)
  • Names and email addresses for your three references
  • Credit card or PayPal information (if you choose to pay your application fee online)

All supplemental application materials (including transcripts and test scores) should be sent to:

Office of Admissions
American Baptist Seminary of the West
2606 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704


 

The Admissions Committee of ABSW meets regularly throughout the academic year and evaluates applications as they are completed. Housing and financial aid are allocated to newly admitted students in order of receipt and confirmation of intent to enroll.

It is the policy of the American Baptist Seminary of the West not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, creed, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws in its educational programs, student activities, employment or admission policies, in the administration of its grant and loan programs, or in any other school administered programs. This policy complies with requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Procedure 321-1, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments as amended.

While ABSW has a formal relationship with the American Baptist Churches USA, the seminary encourages applicants from other Christian denominations and traditions.