General Admission Requirements
for Graduate Studies at Master’s Level
Persons seeking admission to Oblate School of Theology should have satisfactorily completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. An initial interview with the Program Director will be required to evaluate the student’s background and to assess readiness to begin graduate and post-graduate work at Oblate. If a student requests admission to a degree program, official transcripts of all previous post-high school academic study and all required admissions documents should be provided the Registrar before formal admission can be completed. After the above requirements are fulfilled the Admissions Committee will meet to review the application. The Director of Admissions will notify the applicant of acceptance into the degree program. The applicant’s file becomes the property of the School.
Students who wish to take graduate credit without the intention of pursuing a graduate degree must submit transcripts verifying a bachelor’s degree. Credits acquired can be applied to a master’s degree if the student later decides to pursue the degree. These non-degree students may take up to four (4) courses for credit that can later be applied to a degree program. At that time the formal admissions requirements must be met. (See section on Admission Requirements for Pre-Theology Program.)
- Applicants for admission to Oblate School of Theology are required to hold a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from a college or university regionally accredited in the United States or Canada. For students from other countries the following would be accepted as equivalent: a post-secondary baccalaureate degree awarded for academic studies, a degree higher than the post-secondary baccalaureate degree awarded for academic study, or for MDiv applicants educated in seminaries outside the United States or Canada, completion of all philosophical studies necessary for admission to theological education in their home country. Official transcripts, from each undergraduate and graduate school attended, must be submitted with the application packet in signed, sealed envelopes.
A limited number of mature applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree
may, unless applying for the Master of Arts degree, be admitted to the school on the basis of extensive noncredit theological studies and experiences in ministry. Such studies and experiences must be demonstrated to have led to knowledge and skills equivalent to those of persons with baccalaureate degrees.
- Once a master’s degree is received from an institution, only half of those credits can be accepted toward another master’s degree with the maximum number of credits transferred limited by the specific Oblate School of Theology degree program.
- Eighteen credit hours of undergraduate philosophy/religious studies, including
PL 4323 History and Method of Christian Thought or the approved equivalent, is
required before beginning graduate theology.
Admission for priestly ordination in the Roman Catholic Church is governed by
the requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation as well as those of Oblate School of Theology. MDiv applicants for priesthood ordination in the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. see section for Admission Requirements under the Master of Divinity Degree.
- Scores from entrance tests are used to advise students in course selections for their degree program. Native English language applicants are required to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and provide an official copy of the score. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores received within the last 5 years will be accepted in lieu of the MAT score. Applicants with an earned Master’s degree may request an exemption from the MAT.
Non U.S. citizens whose native language is not English are exempt from the MAT; the foreign-born student must present a score of at least 71 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to begin full-time studies. TOEFL scores older than two years are not accepted. Non-U.S. citizens, whose native language is not English, but who have completed their 4 years of undergraduate studies at a U.S. institution, should complete the MAT.
The Oblate School of Theology code numbers are: 2226 for the MAT, 2469 for the GRE, and 6527 for the TOEFL. Note that these OST code numbers are normally not available in the information booklet or at the test centers.
- Non-native English speakers must develop the capacity to do theological studies
and to minister in English. It is recommended that students whose native language is not English undertake intensive English language studies before admission to Oblate School of Theology. They must present the official results of
the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before admission to the School. (See section above.)
To be an effective leader of ministry in the United States, a sufficient level of English must be achieved. This level includes being able to celebrate the liturgy, preach, and converse in a pastoral setting in English. Because the pastoral leader must relate with and be a part of the U.S. Church and society, the pastoral leader must be able to communicate well in oral and written English.
The further development of English language proficiency for seminarians will be monitored during the seminarian evaluations. Suitable proficiency must be demonstrated before admission to Candidacy.
It is the policy of Oblate School of Theology that students whose native language
is not English are permitted to do at least some of their course requirements (papers and examinations) in Spanish (or in another language), in accord with the capabilities of the instructor, especially in the initial year of study at Oblate. Nearly all full-time faculty members read and/or write Spanish.
- A completed application form with signature and date is required.
- A Statement of Personal Goals and Objectives should include the applicant’s intent for pursuing graduate theology.
- A brief biography giving the genesis of commitment to theological studies should be completed.
- Three recommendations, on forms provided by the School, attesting to the candidate’s religious, moral and intellectual qualifications for ministry: (1) one from someone in authority within the applicant’s denominational structures verifying his/her good standing; (2) one from someone who is qualified to attest to the applicant’s academic ability; (3) one from any person of the applicant’s choosing. For those students who have been accepted into formal collaborative formation programs, only one recommendation attesting to the applicant’s academic ability is required. That recommendation must be from the Director of the Formation Program. The applicant gives the recommendation form to the recommender, who sends it directly to the school.
- The Texas Education Code now requires that all new and transfer students under the age of 30 wishing to attend an institution of higher education must present proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis at least ten days prior to the first day of class in order to attend classes. Consult the “Admissions forms” page for further details and the immunization form.
- An interview with the director of the degree program for which the applicant is applying is another requirement.
- Non-U.S. citizen applicants must submit a copy of any and all documents issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for entry into the United States of America as a non-immigrant student, religious worker or permanent resident. These documents include: a copy of the applicant’s current passport, U.S. visa, and I-94. These copies must be received before the applicant begin studies.
- The Academic Dean will determine the eligibility of special students.
The Admissions Committee reserves to itself the right to admit or deny entrance to any applicant. Admission to graduate study does not imply admission to candidacy for a graduate degree. Application forms and instructions may be obtained from the Office of Admissions or on the application forms page.