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Applying to ESR

Application for Fall 2022-23 is now closed. Application for Spring 2023 will open September 15.

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?

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 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 for 2022-23 entry

To begin your studies duringApply 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.)August Intensive
M.A. in Peace & Social Transformation (MAPST)August Intensive
Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.)Fall Session
Master of Arts in Theopoetics & Writing (MATW)Fall Session
Certificate programsFall Session
Occasional studentsAny session or intensive

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.
  • ReferencesBetween one and five references are required depending on the program. You are expected to ask your references 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.
  • 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.

The number of references required will vary dependding 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 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. If not, they should come from members of your faith communities.
  • Residential degree-seeking candidates applying for the Leadership and Service Program need to provide one additional letter of recommendation (four total) from either a Quaker College Leadership Program or The Bonner Program along with certification of completion.
  • 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 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