GRE Application Requirements

Thank you for your interest in continuing your ministerial and academic journey with the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education.

This page documents the application requirements for all GRE programs. Please refer to application deadlines for all program application deadlines.

If you have any questions regarding application requirements, please contact us at [email protected] or call 718-817-4800.

Degree and Advanced Certificate Applicant Requirements

  • All who are applying to the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education as either a matriculated or non-matriculated (visiting) student are required to submit an online application.

    Additionally, please note that all documents submitted become part of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education University files and will not be returned or duplicated for any purpose.

  • Applicants to all GRE programs are required to submit a personal statement. All applicants except those to D.Min program and the advanced certificate in supervision program should compose their personal statements by responding to the prompt below: 

    Please state your occupational and vocational goals as specifically as possible. Then, state briefly how you hope to relate your experience at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education to your goals.

    The personal statement should be 2 to 3 pages in length, doubled-spaced,  presented in a professional font not to exceed 12 pt, and should be submitted in the appropriate section of the online application.


  • All applicants are required to submit a current resume or CV through the online application.

  • All master’s and advanced certificate program* applicants are required to submit two (2) letters of recommendation; Ph.D. and D.Min. applicants are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation. 

    Of the letters submitted, at least one academic letter of recommendation is preferred. If you have any questions about who you should ask to be your recommender, please email [email protected] or call 718-817-4800.

    *Applicants to the advanced certificate in spiritual direction, or master’s degree in spiritual direction:  

    • All applicants must submit one letter of recommendation from a current or former spiritual director who has spiritually directed them for at least one year. 

    *Applicants to the advanced certificate in supervision:

    Letters must be submitted through the online application. Please do not give the option of mailing to recommenders. Mailing a recommendation should only be done in extreme circumstances when the recommender is unable to upload the letter. These may be directed to the GRE admissions office at the following address:

    Fordham University
    Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education
    C/O Office of Admissions
    441 East Fordham Road, Keating Hall Room 303
    Bronx, NY 10458

    Please Note:

    Visiting/non-matriculated students are not required to submit letters of recommendation, but will be required should they apply to matriculate into a program at a later time.

  • All applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.**

    Official transcripts of all coursework taken at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, including international transcripts, must be submitted to the GRE office.

    Official transcripts can be submitted by using one of the following methods:

    1. Mail

      Send an official, sealed envelope to GRE at this address:

      Fordham University
      Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education
      C/O Office of Admissions
      441 East Fordham Road, Keating Hall Room 303
      Bronx, NY 10458

    2. National Student Clearinghouse
      Use the National Student Clearinghouse transcript ordering service to request for transcripts to be transmitted directly to GRE. Clearinghouse instructions.
    3. Official Email
      Source institution(s) can email official transcripts directly to GRE at [email protected].

    If a degree has been completed, the transcript must include the degree awarded and date conferred.

    **Note: those who have not obtained a B.A./B.S. degree, but who are close to (within one semester of) completing one may also apply. If admitted, applicants will not be able to register as new students until they submit their final, official transcript with their degree’s conferral date.

  • Applicants for the following programs are required to complete an interview with either the dean, a GRE faculty member, or the director of admissions:

    • Doctor of ministry

    • Master’s in pastoral mental health counseling

    • Advanced certificate in spiritual direction

    • Advanced certificate in supervision

    Interviews will be scheduled only after the application has been submitted and all materials have been reviewed.

D.Min Applicant Additional Requirements

  • D.Min Personal Statement

    In lieu of the traditional personal statement, D.Min. applicants must complete a statement answering five areas of interest as posed by the D.Min. admissions committee:

    1. What is the context of your ministry? How has the practice of ministry informed your understanding of theology? What questions has it raised that you would like to explore? Describe your operative theology as it stands today and describe how it has changed over time.
    2. Define ministry and its relationship to the church. Compare and contrast how you have experienced your identity or role as a minister with the way that your church or faith community defines ministerial identity. Where do you see the potential for new developments in ministry to respond to emerging trends in the culture within your church or community and/or among faith communities?
    3. While you are not bound by what you propose here, describe the project or the dissertation you intend to produce at the end of the program. Describe the research methods you intend to use as well as theological sources. How does this topic engage cultural concerns, the social role of ministry, or the integration of spirituality with ministry? Explain how your project or dissertation will make a meaningful contribution to the practice of ministry.
    4. Describe some of the sources you would use in your dissertation or project. Briefly, outline what you have been reading over the last three years that has had an impact on how you understand ministry. Include theological sources as well as relevant sources drawn from the social sciences including psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, leadership studies, etc. What are some weak areas in your knowledge of the practice of ministry that you hope to strengthen in this program?
    5. Having read through our course catalog, outline your ideal plan of study over 4 or 5 semesters. You can use the projected course offerings listed on the website to help with this process. Explain how your plan represents a coherent course of study, how it will support your project or dissertation, and how it will improve your ministerial skills.

    Before responding, it is recommended that all D.Min. applicants read through the course descriptions. The more concrete D.Min. applicants are in addressing these questions, the better.

    Writing Sample

    D.Min. applicants must also submit a writing sample of 10-30 pages.

Prospective Students without a Bachelor's Degree

The Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) is pleased to partner with the School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) to assist prospective students who do not yet have a bachelor's degree, to complete one in preparation for their graduate studies. For information on bachelor's degree completion, please contact the  PCS Admissions Office.

International Applicants

In addition to the above, all international applicants are required to submit an International Transcript Evaluation and either a TOEFL or IELTS exam score. For more information about these requirements, please visit the international applicants page.

Non-Matriculated/Visiting Students

To view and apply to take a course at the GRE as a non-matriculated/visiting student, please visit the non-matriculated students page.

Track your Application

All applicants can verify whether the GRE has received supplemental application materials (e.g. transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) by visiting their application status page.

To access this page, applicants must have already submitted their application.

To log in to the application status page, applicants will need to enter the same log-in information that they did to access their application.

Communication about Your Application

In addition to updates in regards to application deadlines, courses, etc., GRE will send emails notifying all applicants of the following:

  • Outstanding materials needed
  • Confirmation of a submitted application (which will include a timeline outlining when an applicant can expect to see a decision)
  • Final admissions decision

Application Review Process

An application is considered complete and ready for review after it has been submitted and all supplemental materials have been received. Once an application is complete it is forwarded to the GRE admissions committee.

All decisions are made by the GRE admissions committee and not the general admissions office staff.