Thank you for your interest in the doctoral program at Southern Seminary. The following information is designed to give you insight into the Ph.D. application process.

Below you will find the admission requirements. There is also more information about financial information and entrance exams

Application Form

The application form needs to be completed in its entirety and turned in before the deadlines: August 1 for Spring matriculation and January 15 for Fall matriculation.

Application Fee

An application fee of $35.00 is to included in the application form.

Church/Pastoral Recommendation

All applicants must receive official endorsement from the local church where they are a member. All applicants are expected to have maintained official church membership for a minimum of one year to receive the SBC discount.

Official Transcription

Transcriptions from all educational institutions are required. The applicants must request that their official transcripts be submitted directly from the school to the Admissions office.

Recommendation Forms (2)

Family members may not complete a recommendation form. Recommenders must have known the applicant for a minimum of one year. If for some reason recommendations do not meet our standards, the Admissions Office may request additional recommendations.

Spiritual Autobiography

The Spiritual Autobiography is an essay documenting your conversion, spiritual growth, call to ministry, life and ministry experiences, and reasons for choosing Southern Seminary.

TOEFL (International Applicants)

For applicants whose native language is not English, an official score report not more than three years old on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required prior to admission. Doctor of Philosophy applicants must score at least 95 on this test.

Academic Paper

Applicants are required to submit a writing sample. This requirement allows for proper analysis of an applicant’s writing and research abilities. Please submit an unmarked sample from your previous schooling. It should be a clean copy and may account for former professor’s editorial comments. The paper for the Doctoral programs should be 10-20 pages in length.

Graduate Record Examination

Applicants are required to complete the GRE and send their results to the Admissions Office. The GRE is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States. The GRE score report must be issued within the last 3 years. Although Southern Seminary does not publish a minimum GRE score it will be considered alongside a students GPA and academic paper.

Library and Employer Forms (Modular Format)

All modular applicants are required to fill out the Library and Employer Forms (PDF)

Entrance Exams

Entrance exams are tests designed to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehension of the subject area in which they are applying. Students will be notified soon after the application deadline as to whether they are invited to participate in the field essay and interview.


After the entrance exams, students will be interviewed by the respective departments to discuss research topics and areas of interest.