Admissions Requirements

The standard admission requirements are 1) a complete online application form, 2) references, and 3) academic transcripts. Scroll down to the next section to details about these requirements.

The Admissions Committee will review the documents submitted to determine your suitability for admission. Admission may be granted on the basis of these documents alone, or the committee may require additional requirements.

Are you an international student? Besides the standard requirements, there are additional requirements for international applicants. Click the button below to learn more.

Online Application

Begin your RTS Application online here. You will be required to create an RTS ID which will allow you to manage your application and save your progress.

To complete the application form, you must provide all of the following:

  1. Your contact information.
  2. Present employment, church membership, and educational background information.
  3. Biographical information.
  4. A recent photograph.
  5. A statement of Christian faith.
  6. A statement of reasons for wishing to pursue a particular degree.
  7. Reference information for three individuals, including your pastor.
  8. A $75 non-refundable application fee.
  9. Emergency contact information.


You will be required to submit three references as part of your application: pastoral, academic, and general. In other words, one from your pastor, one from a former professor, and one from a friend—people who will vouch for you, your character and abilities. You must provide the names and contact information for these references as part of the application form. Your references will receive an electronic reference form to submit directly to our Admissions Team.

Academic Transcripts

You will be required to provide official transcripts from each college and/or university you have attended and listed in your application. A baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a 2.6 cumulative GPA is ordinarily required for admission to the seminary. Remember you must make this request.

Transcripts must be mailed to the following address:

Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
Attn: Admissions
8227 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 300
Vienna, VA 22182

What’s Next?

Once you submit your application, and we receive all the required documents, your application file will be examined by the Admissions Committee. Normal review takes 1-2 weeks, and decisions are communicated via email.

Admissions FAQ

At the Washington, D.C. campus, applications are received throughout the year. For regular students, we recommend that you submit your application, along with all the required documents, at least one month prior to the beginning of your first class. For international students, we recommend that you begin the application process at least 6-12 months prior to your expected start date.

Application for scholarships or financial aid may be requested and submitted after you’ve received a letter of admission.

Applicants to the Special Student program may skip the second essay, submit one reference (pastoral), and pay a non-refundable fee of $40.

You will need to provide all the items which were not required for your Special Student application, namely, a statement of reasons for wishing to pursue a particular degree, an academic reference, a general reference. (You may have already provided some of these. Contact our Admissions Team to check if these items are already in your file). Additionally, there is a non-refundable application fee of $35, payable by check or at

To provide the remaining items, click here.

That will ultimately depend on whoever is writing your reference, but they should budget at least 10-15 minutes to fill it out.

No. Once you begin your application, our system allows you to send the reference forms any time.

Perhaps. You may have entered their email information inaccurately. If you believe this is the case, contact our admissions team. Or, the RTS reference from may have been flagged as spam or filtered by your reference’s email provider. If you believe this is the case, please ask them to look for the RTS email in their spam/junk/promotions folder.

In order to avoid any excessive bias, we ask that you list only non-relatives as references. If one of your parents happens to be your pastor, please ask another leader in the church to fill out your reference.

This is a fairly common situation. Contact our admissions team and they’ll work with you to find an alternative and fulfill this requirement.

We will not accept any transcripts unless they are official (see below).

A transcript is considered official when it’s issued and sent by your university directly to us.

While we strongly recommend that you request hard-copy transcripts, digital ones are acceptable. They can be sent to

In most cases, your foreign transcripts will need to be evaluated by a third party. Follow this link and read the second point under Overview.

Concerning unaccredited schools, all degrees are considered on a case-by-case basis. In these cases, the primary criterion is general compatibility with the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Theological Schools.

You may apply for admission to the M.Div. diploma program. Admission will be restricted to persons with life experience and academic skill that has prepared them for theological study at the graduate level. Contact our admissions team if you’d like to learn more about the M.Div. diploma program.

We will keep them for one year. Within that period, we will follow up with you to see if you are still interested in completing your application. After one year, we may discard them.

If you have not enrolled for an entire year, your student status will go inactive and you will not be able to register for classes through Self-Service unless you reapply. Click here to start the reapplication process.