Frequently Asked Questions
Many students who are considering attending North Park Theological Seminary have similar questions about the application process and options for study. While this list isn't comprehensive, and each applicant is unique, we hope it begins to answer some of your questions as you discern your call to seminary study. Many questions about our academic programs can also be answered by reading the program information for each degree or certificate.
You are also welcome to contact the Seminary admissions team with more questions or for more information about any of our programs.
When are applications due?
North Park admits students to our master's degrees and most certificate programs on a rolling application system, meaning you can apply at any time. However, we have identified priority deadlines for applications to various terms and programs. These deadlines ensure priority consideration for financial aid, scholarships, course registration, and housing. Some cohort-based programs do have specific application deadlines.
Do I need to have official transcripts?
Yes. Our accrediting agency requires that we receive official transcripts sent to us by the institution attended in a sealed envelope.
Must I include transcripts from all colleges attended, even community colleges?
Yes. We need all transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have ever attended. This includes trade schools, military, etc.
What if I don't have a church right now? Do I need to fill out the church reference?
Yes. If your situation is unique, contact us.
Will a letter, instead of the reference form, suffice from my recommenders?
No. Please have them fill out the relevant form located inside your application
. You need to fill it out fully. Please do not say, "see resume" or "see transcript."
If I want to take only one or two classes, do I need to complete an application?
Yes. If you want to take a couple of classes for personal reasons, or as you are discerning what program is right for you, you will complete the Visiting Student Application
. It is shorter than the regular applications.
What are the costs for tuition and fees? Is there financial aid available?
North Park is committed to making a Seminary education affordable for all students who are called to ministry. We aim to keep our tuition at a reasonable rate, and offer a range of scholarships, grants, and loans to help you fund your education. Learn more about current tuition rates and scholarship options.
Can I earn a master's degree by taking courses only online or at the regional course sites?
No. Each degree program requires a minimum number of credit hours to be completed on North Park's Chicago campus. However, the Seminary offers intensive courses during the summer and January terms to help distance students meet this requirement.
Can the classes I take for a certificate program apply toward a master's degree?
Yes. In almost all cases, the classes you take toward a certificate can be applied toward required courses or electives in a master's program.
How long are courses?
North Park operates on a semester schedule. Fall and spring semester-long courses are 16 weeks, which includes either a fall or spring break and final exams. The Seminary also offers intensive courses over the winter and summer breaks, which vary in length.
How long will it take to complete a program?
Program length varies by certificate or degree, and by whether you attend full-time or part-time. If attending full-time, most master's degrees can be completed in two or three years. Certificates typically take at least one year, due to course scheduling. Cohort certificates are offered on a specific two-and-a-half-year schedule. Your Seminary Admissions representative can help you determine how long it might take you to complete the program you're interested in, given your unique circumstances.