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Academic Requirements

The academic requirement for admission is the Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent. Normally this degree will be from a member institution of the Association of Universities and Colleges or an institution accredited by a United States agency recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation.

Students should have a broad background in liberal arts and demonstrate basic
competence in the following areas.

  • Thinking:  A student's framework for critical, abstract thinking should
    include some knowledge of the history of ideas. Students should be
    able to critique and analyze issues in logical ways.
  • Language:  The use of language in writing, reading, speaking, and
    listening is the primary tool for thinking and communicating in any
    ministry setting. Students need to be competent in English grammar
    and composition and they should be familiar with at least one significant
    body of literature, for example, Shakespeare.
  • Science:  Students should be familiar with the scientific method and know one area of natural science, preferably anthropology, cosmology, or the social sciences.
  • History:  Students should know the broad outline of world history and should have a historical consciousness that helps them see events and ideas in relationship to historical processes, including an understanding of how people and societies have interpreted themselves.
  • Cultures:  Students should have some knowledge and understanding of cultures other than their own, of world religions, and of the phenomenon of religion.
  • Values and Ethics :  Students should be able to reflect on issues and make choices in a way that is wary of final answers and yet reaches decisions with an appropriate exercise of critical judgment.
  • The Arts :  It is important that students' perceptual world be enriched and broadened by an appreciation of the fine arts and the performing arts.
  • Numbers:  Students should be able to understand numerical data and to evaluate it appropriately.

As an aid to acquiring competence in these areas, we recommend that a candidate's college course of studies include 12 hours of English (including literature), 12 hours of a modern language, 6 hours of history, 6 hours of natural science, 6 hours of social science, and 6 hours of philosophy and the humanities.

Though deficiencies in any of these areas are evaluated in light of the student's total record, the seminary may request additional course work prior to admission or during the first year at seminary to compensate for serious deficiencies in a student's preparation for theological study.

Since writing is essential to professional ministry, Wartburg Seminary offers a graduate writing course. Many new seminary students have reported that their writing skills are not up to the rigors of graduate level course work, candidacy committee expectations, and congregational ministry. Therefore, students admitted to the M.Div. or M.A. degree programs complete a writing assessment during the first week of starting coursework at Wartburg. The assessment is an essay assignment that is based on required readings. Essays are reviewed by faculty to determine who would benefit from the graduate writing course. Some students may be required to take this course, which requires a separate, nominal tuition charge. Those who have taken this course in years past have reported that it was extremely helpful.

Eight semester hours of Greek are prerequisite to the M.Div. junior (first year) curriculum. Students will have completed 8 semester hours of college Greek when enrolling or be able to demonstrate competency through a proficiency exam. Students admitted with no Greek shall be required to satisfactorily complete the summer Greek course (BI 003-004W). The Greek prerequisite must be met before a student can enroll in BI 160W Exegetical Readings in New Testament Greek, which is normally taken in a student's first fall semester and serves as a foundation course for all New Testament coursework.

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the effect of a disability should contact Wartburg's ADA Compliance Officer to coordinate reasonable accommodations for documented disabilities. We encourage you to self-identify after admission to Wartburg Theological Seminary, and prior to the start of the term. Please give us the necessary lead time to discuss your accommodation needs before the start of class.



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