Special Student

Admission Requirements

Applicants whose gifts and calling have been verified by the church but who have not earned an accredited bachelor's or master's degree may be considered for admission to a Fuller degree or certificate program as Special Students. Candidates for admission as Special Students are required to demonstrate a likelihood for success in a graduate course of studies at Fuller. In addition, applicants must demonstrate at least 12 years of work experience subsequent to the completion of a high school diploma and at least 3 years of full-time vocational ministry or at least five years of significant part-time ministry. Along with the 12 years of required work experience, MA in Global Leadership Special Student applicants must have at least 4 years of significant ministry experience (10 hours per week or more) and be actively engaged in a leadership role.

Special Students are initially admitted on probation, but may eventually be removed from probation and Special Student status if they are in good standing (Certificate applicants without an accredited bachelor's or master's degree are admitted on academic probation for the entirety of the certificate program). In addition, the following restrictions apply to those admitted as Special Students:

  • Applicants can apply to the MDiv, MATM, MACL, MAICS, MAGL and most Certificate programs, but not to the MA in Theology program.
  • Students are required to take ST511:Orientation to Theological Studies in their first quarter of studies (Certificate in Youth Ministry and Korean Studies applicants are exempt from this requirement)
  • Students are restricted to a limited number of units in their first quarter at Fuller
  • Students are not allowed to take Individualized Distance Learning classes until the probationary period has been completed. Online courses are permitted.

All Applicants

  • Completed and signed Application for Admission, including:
    • Religious Autobiography, parts A and B
    • Additional Application Questions
    • A $100 nonrefundable application fee (if the application is submitted in paper form) or a $75 nonrefundable application fee (if the application is submitted online), or a $25 nonrefundable application fee if applying to a Certificate program
  • If you have attended any post-secondary institutions, submit official transcripts of all undergraduate or graduate academic work
  • Three references:
    • One from a pastor to whom you are spiritually accountable. For pastors, this may include a denominational leader, area supervisor, bishop, etc.
    • One from a supervisor who can testify to your competence in ministry. For pastors, this may include the chair of their elders or deacons organization.
    • A professional reference
  • At least one of the following:
    • An official score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). You must earn a score of at least 153 on the Verbal Section and 4 on the Analytical Writing Section. You do not need to submit scores from the Quantitative section. If you are applying to the Centro Latino program in the School of Theology, you may submit an official score from the Examen de Admisión a Estudios de Posgrado (EXADEP).
    • An official score from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) with a minimum Scaled Score of 408
    • Transcript evidence demonstrating successful completion (3.0 GPA or better) of at least 30 semester or 45 quarter units from accredited institution(s) or those recognized by Fuller Theological Seminary for the purpose of admission as a Special Student
    • Transcript evidence demonstrating successful completion of a Bible Institute degree program. A 3- to 4-year degree is generally required.
  • If English is not your native language or your medium of instruction for any post-secondary education is not English, please see the English Language Requirements page.
    • Spanish- and Korean-language program applicants are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to Fuller. However, if you are admitted to Fuller you may be required to take an English-language placement exam. Based on the results of this test, you may also be required to take the course EL519: English for Ministry in the Winter quarter.

Certificate in Church Planting applicants

  • You must either be actively engaged in or intending to engage in church planting.
  • You will be required to have an interview with the Church Planting Program Director.

Centro Latino applicants

  • An essay based on the article Caminando entre el pueblo: Ministerio latino en los Estados Unidos by Juan Martínez

U.S. Permanent Residents and International Applicants

  • If you are a Permanent Resident of the United States, you must submit a copy of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) to the Office of Admissions. No Declaration of Financial Support is required.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, you must apply 3-6 months prior to beginning on-campus coursework (this will give you sufficient time to complete the admissions process and immigration requirements). You must verify your immigration status with the International Services Office. Those seeking a F-1 or J-1 visa from Fuller must submit a satisfactory Declaration of Financial Support prior to beginning residential coursework. Please click here for additional information.

Application Deadlines

Summer 2014

  • Deadline: May 16, 2014
  • Orientation: September 22-26, 2014*
  • 10-Week Classes Begin: June 23, 2014

*New student orientation for Pasadena campus students beginning studies in the Summer will be held at the same time as Fall Quarter orientation.

Fall 2014

  • Deadline: August 15, 2014
  • Orientation: September 22-26, 2014
  • 10-Week Classes Begin: September 29, 2014

Winter 2015

  • Deadline: November 7, 2014
  • Orientation: January 5, 2015
  • 10-Week Classes Begin: January 5, 2015

Spring 2015

  • Deadline: February 20, 2015
  • Orientation: March 27, 2015
  • 10-Week Classes Begin: March 30, 2015

Summer 2015

  • Deadline: May 15, 2015
  • Orientation: September 21-25, 2015*
  • 10-Week Classes Begin: June 22, 2015

*New student orientation for Pasadena campus students beginning studies in the Summer will be held at the same time as Fall Quarter orientation.

Fall 2015

  • Deadline: August 14, 2015
  • Orientation: September 21-25, 2015
  • 10-Week Classes Begin: October 21, 2015


Applicants are notified of admission decisions, in most cases, around four weeks following the completion of an application file. Some programs require that an enrollment deposit be paid within 30 days of notification of acceptance. The enrollment deposit will be applied toward the first quarter's tuition and is nonrefundable.

Tuition and Fees

Please click here for the current list of tuition and fees.

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135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182