Each year, Luther Seminary welcomes dozens of new international students. The Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) provides resources to students from application to graduation. For more information, visit the international students page.
1. Start your application
The international student applications apply to you if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Complete the online application form to get the process started. You can save your progress and return to complete your online application at any time.
Individuals from the global church or communities abroad who are interested in short-term study or research at Luther Seminary (not leading to a degree) should contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs directly for instructions (firstname.lastname@example.org). Those interested in continuing education should contact Lifelong Learning.
Note: The application process and deadlines for international students are different than those for U.S. citizens, as follows.
Applicants interested in financial support from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission should submit a separate application to ELCA Global Mission by Oct. 15 of the year prior to enrollment.
The deadline for receiving all international application materials is:
- Fall start: March 31
- Ph.D. Application Deadline: January 1
Once your initial application is received, you will be sent an email that walks you through the next steps in the application process and provides login instructions for MyLutherNet, where you can track your application progress.
Additional notes for ELCA Companion Church candidates
If you are an international applicant whose church or institution has a companion synod relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission, and you are seeking financial support for your study and stay at Luther Seminary, you are strongly encouraged to apply for an ELCA International Scholarship through your national (home) church body to ELCA Global Mission.
For example, if you are a member of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), you should apply through the LCCN following the LCCN’s procedures.
The application must be submitted to ELCA Global Mission by October 15 of the year before you intend to enroll. The complete application to ELCA Global Mission can also serve as an application for admission to Luther Seminary.
2. Additional Application components
TOEFL or IELTS score
- TOEFL scores: Composite score of 80 or above on iBT (213 on the computer-based or 550 on the paper-based).
- IELTS score of 6.5 or above (7.0 or above for Th.M. or Ph.D.).
Luther Seminary’s institutional code for TOEFL and GRE is 6377.Questions about TOEFL or IELTS can be directed to email@example.com. Applicants requesting a waiver to this requirement must provide proof of completion of at least four semesters of English language study with an average grade of B or higher.
National church or institutional endorsement
Download and submit the national church endorsement form (PDF) or institutional endorsement form (Word doc) to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs, Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108 USA.
3. Once your application is complete
Once all of your materials are received, your application will be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled admissions committee meeting. You will be notified of their decision after the meeting.
If you are accepted (congratulations!), you will:
- Receive a follow-up letter with further instructions from the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA).
- Receive communications from other departments at Luther Seminary with additional instructions and requirements.
You will also be asked to send an affirmation of intent to the Admissions Office (email@example.com or 2481 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108).
Additional steps in the process include:
- Provide additional information as requested by ISSA, including passport copies, financial statements, and the completed Estimate of Expenses worksheet.
- After ISSA has received and verified all requested documents, you will receive a Form I-20 (DS-2019, when applicable) within two months of your arrival date at Luther Seminary. If you are within the United States, contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs for your next actions.
- Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System’s (SEVIS) fees, when applicable; information is available at www.fmjfee.com.
- Schedule your visa interview with a U.S. Consulate.
- Obtain the appropriate visa from a U.S. Consulate.
- Provide your flight information and arrival plan to ISSA. If you are entering from outside the U.S., your arrival date cannot be more than 30 days prior to your start date.
Once you arrive at Luther Seminary:
- Meet with the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) to complete the process.
- Participate in the Writing and Research Workshop, mandatory International Student Orientation, and the seminary’s scheduled orientation.