Applying to IWS
New students may begin during either the January or June session. To be considered for the January session, all application materials must be submitted no later than November 15. To be considered for the June session, all application materials must be submitted no later than April 15.
However, submitting an application by the deadline is not a guarantee that spaces are still available in the incoming class; spaces fill up quickly and it is not uncommon for new students to be placed on a wait list. In light of this, the Admissions Department encourages all applicants to submit their materials well in advance of the November 15/April 15 deadline.
Students requesting admittance must have:
- a bachelor’s degree (any field of study is acceptable, minimum 120 credit hours or its equivalent)
- a master’s degree* (any field of study is acceptable, minimum 26 credit hours or its equivalent)
- a ministry in the local church or a Christian organization (need not be a paid position)
* for entrance into the D.W.S. program only
How to Apply
An application to either degree program contains the following:
Your personal statement of 300 words or less should explain your current ministry context as well as how you believe you would profit from being a part of this academic program. This document may be mailed or emailed to the Admissions Department, or you may upload your statement directly to your online application.
Applicants must request two letters of recommendation. The first letter of recommendation should come from your senior pastor or direct supervisor. (If you are the senior pastor of a church, you may request a letter from a fellow pastor who has worked closely with you in ministry settings.) The second letter of recommendation should come from a colleague, a ministry partner, or an IWS graduate. An ideal letter will include how long the writer has known you, how they view your role in Christian ministry, and how they feel you will approach graduate-level studies.
The letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Admissions office by their authors, not through the applicant. These letters may be mailed or emailed to the Admissions Department, or you may send electronic links directly to your letter writers via the online application.
Official, sealed transcripts from all previously-completed degrees (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate, as applicable) should be sent directly to the IWS office. The Director of Admissions may also request transcripts of academic work that did not lead to a completed degree.
Application to an IWS degree program will not be considered complete without the submission of the Application Fee of $50. The fee may be paid directly on the application page by credit card, or by check or money order by contacting the Admissions Office. The Application Fee is not refundable.
All applicants who indicate that English is not their first language are required to earn a passing score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Additionally, the Director of Admissions may request a passing TOEFL score from any applicant who displays difficulty with spoken or written English, regardless of the applicant’s first language or citizenship.
A passing score is 80 (internet-based test) or 550 (paper-based test). If you have earned a passing TOEFL score within the past 2 years you may be able to submit this score to IWS; please contact the Admissions office for further information.
Applicants may find information about registering for the TOEFL here. TOEFL test centers and upcoming dates are compiled here. Please be sure to mark IWS as your score recipient. You may search for IWS under the name “IWS” or “Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies,” or under DI Code 5988.
Notice of Non-Discrimination Policy
The Institute for Worship Studies admits male or female students of any race, color, denomination, age, disability, or national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges and activities accorded or made available. IWS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, denomination, sex, age, disability, or national and ethnic origin in its administrative policies, educational policies, admission policies and other educational programs.
What happens next?
After an applicant has submitted their application and all the required materials, the Director of Admissions and the Admissions Committee will review the applicant’s file and render a final decision. This process takes about 2 weeks. New students will be notified of their acceptance by email first, then official documents will be sent in the mail later.
Once a new student is accepted, they will be given the opportunity to submit a $500 deposit towards their tuition. This non-refundable deposit is the only way to guarantee a space in the incoming class.
New students may defer their enrollment for a limited period of time. If a new student has not matriculated within 2 semesters, they will be required to reapply to IWS (effective for all applications for the January 2016 session and later).