International Students

International students are always welcome and eligible to pursue a degree from UDTS, however, the seminary believes that it is most appropriate for students to obtain their basic theological education in the context of their own culture. For that reason, we recommend that students study in their own country.

We do not ordinarily recommend that international students pursue a degree that requires residential courses on the seminary campus. Exceptions to this rule may be made upon specific request from the sponsoring denominational authorities. Such a request should include an explanation of why the student cannot, or is not being urged to, obtain equivalent training in his or her home country.

Unfortunately, there are no university-provided scholarships for international students accepted into our residential Master of Arts in Mission Discipleship or our residential Master of Divinity degree programs. The student is responsible for tuition and the cost of books, room and board, medical insurance, travel and other living expenses. Students will need to show adequate proof of their ability to pay for these expenses.

The costs of living and education in the United States are quite high. To avoid situations of confusion or misunderstanding, we insist that international applicants demonstrate adequate financial support: from their own funds or from church or other sources in their home countries.

Students Providing Their Own Financial Resources

Some international students are supported in their education by funding from personal, church, or government sources. The seminary will require such students to provide documentation of financial support in the form of bank statements, letters from scholarship granting agencies, etc. before granting admission and issuing the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service I-20 form (which is required to obtain a student visa). The amount of funding documented in this way must be adequate to provide for tuition, fees, books, room, board, medical, and miscellaneous expenses, and travel to and from Dubuque. International students studying in the United States on an F-1 student visa are not ordinarily permitted to seek paid employment.

Church Endorsement

Ordinarily, international applicants will be considered for admission only if they can present evidence of full endorsement of their plan of study by the church (denomination) from which they come.

English Competence

The language of operation at UDTS is English. International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate adequate ability in written and spoken English. This ability is ordinarily demonstrated through a score of at least 220 (computer-based scoring), 550 (paper-based scoring), or 80 (Internet-based scoring; minimums of 19 reading, 19 writing, 21 listening, 21 speaking, on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants are expected to arrange to have their TOEFL scores sent directly to the seminary by the testing agency.


Academic transcripts or certificates must demonstrate the completion of at least a bachelor (undergraduate) degree, as well as whatever postgraduate studies have been completed. All transcripts or certificates should bear the official seal of the college, university or seminary and should be accompanied by a letter from the registrar, dean or other academic official indicating the level of work completed. Transcripts or certificates should be sent directly to the UDTS Seminary Admission Office by the college, university or seminary and must be accompanied by a translation in English.