International Students

Currently students from over forty countries are attending Southern Seminary. There are additional items that that are required of international students to begin seminary.

Admissions Process for International Students

  1. Review the International Admissions Guide. This is a document with very important information about the international admissions process. Please review this document thoroughly.
  2. Review Admissions Requirements. All applicants will be asked to provide a recommendation from the pastor of their home church. This recommendation will be provided via email within the application.
    • A TOEFL or IELTS score will be required for non-native English speaking applicants.
  3. Evidence of Financial Support:
    • International students are required to show financial support via our Statement of Financial Support. You will submit this completed form after you are admitted.
    • In addition, applicants must submit a F-1 Deposit in order to receive the I-20 from Southern Seminary in the amounts of $2,500 USD (for single students) or $3,500 USD (for families). Instructions for submitting your deposit will be sent after you are admitted.
  4. Note that Southern Seminary requires families to live together.
    • A student’s spouse and dependent children must have approved visas and travel with the student to the United States.
  5. Secure housing arrangements. Please note that Southern Seminary does not automatically provide housing for students. You must apply for either on-campus or off-campus housing and secure arrangements before you come to Louisville.
Outside of pavilion on sunny day

Tuition & Financial Aid


Southern Seminary does everything possible to keep the cost of our tuition affordable. However, studying in the United States and on our campus is a significant investment. As you begin the process of studying with us, please note the following:

  • SBTS does not provide full tuition scholarships but does offer limited financial aid for international students. Learn more.
  • On-campus employment can help to subsidize your expenses, but you should not expect part-time jobs to pay for all your tuition & living expenses at Southern Seminary.
  • View estimated costs for tuition & fees here (per semester rates).

Frequently Asked Questions

Front of Norton Hall

Tuition and fees are charged on a per-semester basis. You can view current tuition rates here.

Southern Seminary is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. Students with F-1 visas can study at the Louisville campus only.

The seminary is NOT authorized by the USCIS (Immigration Service) to accept international “visiting scholars” with J-1 Exchange Visitor visas, whether as students or researchers.

As US immigration regulations are often subject to change, any international student seeking to study without F-1 visa status must first contact the seminary’s Supervisor for Ministry Resources and Internationals before making application.

A TOEFL or IELTS score is required for any non-native English speaking applicant. See the “International Admissions Guide” for minimum scores.

Applicants, other than Doctoral applicants, who are graduates of a United States college or university may request a waiver of the TOEFL requirement. Transcripts are required to verify the degree.

International applicants are advised to submit their applications at least four months prior to the semester or term in which they wish to begin studies. If admission materials are not complete at least 45 days prior to the date when the applicant wishes to begin studies at Southern, the applicant will be notified of the withdrawal of their application.

International applicants who plan to study online will not need to complete any of the steps listed above. Instead, they simply need to apply for admissions & submit the standard application requirements.

Caring for International Students

Southern Seminary cares about international students. Sara Oh is the Advisor for International Student Services and is available for questions if you meet obstacles in your application. Our admissions office is also available for questions concerning the application.

Contact Admissions (admissions@sbts.edu)

Contact International Student Services (international@sbts.edu)

Current Student Resources

Meet Other Students

Student Organizations exist to establish community, communication and spiritual growth among groups who share a common affinity at Southern Seminary. Several student organizations are organized around common cultural backgrounds.

Meet Non-Christians

There are over 100 languages spoken in Louisville, but not enough people speaking the gospel. The Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization connects the classroom to the mission field. There are many opportunities to connect students to nonbelievers from every tribe, tongue, and nation.

Additional Information for Applicants

  • Arrival to Campus
    • Once accepted, applicants should plan to arrive on campus at least one week before new student orientation (but may not arrive more than 30 days before classes begin) in order to adjust to the community and receive assistance for special needs.
  • Health Insurance
    • Health insurance must be obtained before the student can enroll in courses. F-1 visa status students are eligible to earn a maximum of two master’s level degrees at SBTS.
  • Contact Information
    • For questions related to the admissions process: admissions@sbts.edu
    • For questions related to the I-20/Visa process or Health Insurance: international@sbts.edu
    • For questions related to on-campus housing: housing@sbts.edu

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Preview Day

Friday, April 12