Home : Admissions : How to apply

Applying to ESR

Application for Spring 2024 is now open. Application for Fall 2024 will open in September 2023

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.

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

Are you an international applicant?

International applications for Fall 2024 will begin October 15, 2023

ESR accepts International applications for August/Fall entry only, except for Access (online) Occasional courses. International applications for Fall 2023 will begin October 15. Please complete the Interest Form and the director of recruitment & admissions will reply so that you can discuss the availability of International scholarships.

Applying as a domestic 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 (for U.S. & international students).

I want to apply for a certificate

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

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 and students seeking to audit a course as well.

Application deadlines

To begin your studies duringSubmit completed application by
Fall sessions – Degree and CertificatesMay 15
Spring sessions – Degree and CertificatesNov. 1
August Intensives – Occasional Students & Auditors  
January Intensives – Occasional Students & Auditors
May Intensives – Occasional Students & Auditors
July 1  
Nov. 1
March 1


Master of Divinity (M.Div.)Spring Session or August Intensive
M.A. in Peace & Social Transformation (MAPST)August Intensive
Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.)Spring or Fall Session
Master of Arts in Theopoetics & Writing (MATW)Spring or Fall Session
Certificate programsDepends on Certificate
Occasional studentsAny session or intensive except January

Application requirements

  • Application form: Degrees, Certificates, Occasional, and Audit
  • Application fee of $40: payable online or in Slate app
  • Background check: Degree-seeking and certificate students only. You are expected to order and pay for the background check at the time application is made.
  • Recommendation: One Recommendation is required for application. You are expected to ask your reference to fill out a recommendation as part of the application process in the Application Portal or you can share the Recommendation Form link with them.
  • Essays: Complete the essays within the application system.
  • Resume: Upload your resume within the application system or email it directly to ESR at [email protected]
  • Academic writing sample: If conditional, special, international or upon request, email writing samples to [email protected]
  • All official postsecondary 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: Send official scores directly to ESR at [email protected].

As you complete your application, you will enter your recommenders contact info and our application system will notify them that a letter is being requested by you.

  • If you are a recent graduate, the reference should ideally be from someone familiar with your academic work.
  • Residential degree-seeking applicants applying for Cooper Scholarships and the Master of Arts in Peace and Social Transformation, the referenc should ideally come from your monthly and yearly meeting when you are a member of the Religious Society of Friends. If not, it should come from a member of your faith communities.
  • Residential degree-seeking candidates applying for the Leadership and Service Program, the letter of recommendation should from either your service project supervisor, a Quaker College Leadership Program, or The Bonner Program along with certification of completion.
  • Admissions may request an additional recommendation depending on the applicant’s experience and education

The academic writing sample is requested 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.

For ESR Access students, limited need-based aid of up to 50 percent is available. You will also need to complete the FAFSA.

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.

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.

Next steps