Upon submitting your electronic application, you will receive a user ID & password that allows you to edit & print your application. You will also be able to check your application status to see which items have been received. Before you begin, please read carefully and print out the instructions below.
1. Statement of Purpose. Respond to the following 4 questions with fully developed essays. The Admissions Committee will evaluate clarity of thought, written expression and substantive content.
1a. Please describe your background (education, work experience, volunteer work, and/or relevant personal experience) and how your background has prepared you for graduate theological study.
1b. What are your hopes for your theological education and why, in particular, do you want to study at Vanderbilt?
1c. What do you perceive as the challenges and rewards of ministries (congregational and other), religious studies or theological scholarship for you?
1d. Reflect on a theological book, issue or idea that has recently captivated you, highlighting its connection to your own theological development in relation to the academy and/or world.
2. Transcripts. First term grades of graduating seniors must be received prior to an admission decision. All applicants are required to submit unofficial or official transcripts from all institutions you have attended as part of the application. Please note that official transcripts will be required for any admitted student wishing to matriculate.
3. Resume. A resume is required if you have not pursued formal academic studies for 3 years or more.
4. GRE scores are not required.
5. Foreign Language Proficiency - Not Required. However, you will be asked to complete that section. If you do not have a foreign language, select "Not Specified/Other" and "N/A" for the fields.
6. Application Fee is not required.
7. Letters of Recommendation. 3 letters of recommendation are required. At least 2 should be from professors who can evaluate your academic work. If you have been away from formal academic studies for 7 years or more, you may select any 3 persons who can evaluate your academic potential & professional accomplishments. Each letter must be accompanied by a completed reference form. If a recommender wants to mail us his/her recommendation letter, please fill out your portion of this reference form & give it to your recommender.
8. Vanderbilt Background Check Authorization & Release Form. All admissions are issued pending our receipt & approval of the results of the applicant's background check. Download the form, fill it out and send it to the address below.
9. Transfer Students. Transfer applicants should submit (a) a letter stating the reasons for transferring & (b) a letter of good standing from the president or dean of the theological school from which the transfer is being made.
10. International Students. Additional requirements include: a.Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants whose native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 600 on the paper test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 95 on the internet-based test. The IELTS minimum acceptable score is 7.0. Scores should be sent to institution code 1871. b. Financial Resources. Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to meet the expected costs of their educational program. Send documentary evidence to the address below.
If applicable, paper letters of recommendation *only* (No Other Paper Materials) may be sent to:
Vanderbilt Divinity School
Office of Admissions
411 21st Avenue South, Room 102
Nashville, TN 37240
For technical questions
regarding the application process, please contact us at
or via e-mail to