Home Admissions How to Apply: International Students

Applying to ESR as an international student

We do not have International Scholarships available for Fall ’22 at this time. You can apply for regular application (no scholarship) or be put on a waiting list for the scholarship.

All applications should be submitted through our application portal and will be considered complete once all required documents have been received in the Office of Admissions. Requests for any kind of waiver or exception will delay your application considerably.

For questions about submitting an application or about a current application, please email [email protected].

Interested in applying to ESR?

Please do not submit an application until you have completed this interest form and have corresponded via email, phone or Zoom with Julie Dishman, director of recruitment and admissions. Your application should not be your first communication with ESR.

Applying as an international student:

I want to apply for an M.A. or M.Div/M.Min. degree →

Use this form if you are seeking a standard M.A. or M.Div/M.Min degree.




View more information for degree seeking international students here.

I want to apply for a certificate →


Use this form if you are applying for a certificate only.




View more information for certificate seeking students here.

I want to apply to take occasional courses →

Use this form if you are seeking occasional courses as a part-time, non-degree seeking student. This form is applicable to cross-registered students as well.

View more information for occasional students here.

Application deadlines for 2022-23 entry

We do not have International Scholarships available for Fall ’22 at this time. You can apply for regular application (no scholarship) or be put on a waiting list for the scholarship.

M.Div. and M.A. in Peace & Social Transformation
March 1, 2022M.A. in Peace & Social Transformation
March 1, 2022M.Di.v/M.Min.

M.Div. and M.A. in Peace & Social Transformation students will begin with our Spiritual Formation 101 course as a two-week, residential August ’22 intensive.
M.A., MA:TW, and Certificate programs
March 1, 2022M.A. in Religion
March 1, 2022M.A. in Theopoetics & Writing

M.A., MA:TW, and Certificate programs begin with the fall semester.
Audit/Occasional student
June 15, 2022August ’22 Intensive
July 1, 2022Fall ’22 Semester


Occasional students may begin with the fall or spring semester, or any Intensive course.

International application requirements

  • Application form: Degrees, Certificates, Occasional and Audit
  • Application fee of $35: payable online or in Slate app
  • ReferencesYou are expected to ask your references to fill out a recommendation as part of the application process, or you can share the Recommendation Form link with them.
  • Essays: Complete the essays within the application system.
  • Academic writing sample: If conditional, special, international or upon request, email writing samples to [email protected].
  • All official post-secondary transcripts: You are expected to order your transcripts from your post-secondary institution and have them sent to ESR electronically or via mail.
  • Results of TOEFL, Duolingo, or IELTS testing: If applicable, you should request the testing facility to send official scores directly to ESR at [email protected].

As you complete your application, you will enter your reference’s contact info. The application system will notify them that a letter is being requested by you.

The number of references required will vary dependent on the type of application you submit:

  • Applicants seeking a degree need three references. One of the three references must be from someone familiar with your academic work.
  • Residential degree-seeking applicants applying for International Cooper Scholarships and the Master of Arts in Peace and Social Transformation need two additional references (five total). These references should ideally come from your monthly and yearly meeting when you are a member of the Religious Society of Friends, and if not, should come from members of your faith communities.
  • Certificate applicants need two letters of reference.
  • Those who want to take an occasional course need to submit only one reference.

The academic writing sample is asked of those who apply in the conditional, special or international categories above. Please submit a piece of your own writing that highlights your ability to think critically and to correctly reference the ideas of other writers.

Official transcripts are needed for the admission file. Contact your undergraduate and graduate college(s) or universities by mail, website or phone to request that your transcript be sent directly from their registrar to the ESR Director of Admissions.

You will designate which scholarship you wish to apply for during the application process. No other application is needed.

Please write a 250-750 word essay on each of the following questions. Either upload a document following the instructions below or enter your responses in the text fields provided (if the latter, please write out your responses in a document before copying and pasting them into the text fields, in case of a technological glitch).
  • Describe how you have discerned a calling to ministry and to seminary, and what forms you think your ministry will take.
  • Tell us about your spiritual journey. What is your understanding of God and how God is at work in the world?
  • Tell us how you first heard about ESR, why you have chosen to apply, and how ESR can contribute to your ministerial formation.
  • How would you describe the church (broadly defined) and its ministry? How does this view relate to your faith tradition and your relationship with the religious and spiritual communities in your life?
  • Tell us about an instance when you were met with a barrier or a challenge to living in or creating a diverse learning environment.

All international applicants must take one of the following three language exams prior to admission and score a minimum of:

  • TOEFL: 550 on the paper-based version of TOEFL, 213 minimum on the computer-based version of the TOEFL, or 82 on the Internet-based test.
  • IELTS: 7 on the Academic Version.
  • Duolingo Language Test: 105 or greater


Appealing Admissions Decisions

Any applicant denied admission may appeal by filing a written request for review to the director of recruitment and admissions within ten days of being informed of the decision. Included with the request should be supporting information not previously available, particularly information of an academic nature. The Admissions Committee will consider the appeal and report its decision to the applicant in writing within 30 days from the receipt of the request.


Additional information

International degree-seeking applicants: Master of Divinity and Master of Arts

International degree-seeking applicants planning to study residentially at ESR should fill out the standard application, the ESR financial aid form, and the international student statement of financial position form. They will also need to submit a writing sample (e-mail to [email protected]) and language assessment test scores (official scores must be sent to ESR by the testing facility).

International degree-seeking applicants planning to enroll in ESR’s distance program, ESR Access, need not complete the Financial Position form but should plan to travel to ESR for intensives to cover the residency requirement for the degree. ESR does not have scholarship funds available for International distance students.

If a degree-seeking residential international applicant is admitted and agrees to enroll at Earlham School of Religion, a $1,125* U.S. enrollment deposit is required. Payment of this deposit signifies agreement to the conditions of admission and financial aid (where applicable) for the entire period of study at ESR. The School of Religion sets aside $1,000 of the deposit to be used by the admitted student to return home upon completion of study at ESR. A balance of $1,000 is required in the student’s ESR account at all times. If the funds are unused at the time of the completion of studies, they are refunded directly to the student. Rising costs of travel may increase the student’s travel cost after graduation to a level above the $1,000 U.S. of their refunded ESR deposit. Admitted degree-seeking ESR Access students may pay their enrollment deposit online (email [email protected] for payment link).

*Many international students need scholarship assistance in order to attend ESR residentially. Up to two International Cooper Scholarships provide tuition, housing in an ESR house, fees, and a small living stipend. Many times there is a waiting list of admitted students for these scholarships. ESR gives priority to members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The International Cooper Scholarship provides approximately $35,000 U.S.* per year of study (including tuition, fees, housing, and stipend). This amount provides the very minimum that a student will need and the stipend is intended for the student only (stipend may not be sent to family members). A source of personal funds is helpful in case of illness, the need for cold-weather clothing, or other such personal necessities. ESR provides housing with international scholarships, when possible, in a college-owned, co-educational-living house. Skills such as cooking, cleaning and community living are advantageous. ESR is unable to supply funds or housing to support spouses or family members.

Admitted students who have been awarded an International Cooper Scholarship retain the financial responsibility to pay their confirmation fee of $1,125 U.S.* mentioned above, the embassy visa fee and travel costs of transportation, food and lodging while traveling to and from ESR. International admitted students who are not awarded a Cooper Scholarship must document financial sponsorship or the ability to pay the cost of one year’s study. Another type of Cooper scholarship offered to International residential students by ESR covers tuition alone.

International non-degree-seeking applicants: Certificate and Occasional

International applicants should fill out the Certificate or Occasional Student Application. Degree and Certificate students may qualify for an F-1 visa, but Occasional Students are ineligible. While financial aid is not available for the Occasional Student program, limited need-based aid of up to 25 percent is available for the Certificate program. Applicants seeking financial assistance should complete both the ESR financial aid form and the international student statement of financial position.

Need more help?

Applying can be complex and raise a lot of questions. Our experienced admissions team is here to help walk you through the application process, whether you have a quick question or special circumstances.

© 2021 Earlham School of Religion. All Rights Reserved.