Special Students

Ministers in active service, missionaries on furlough, persons in training for mission service, persons preparing for United Methodist certification or ordination as a deacon in The United Methodist Church (UMC) through completion of Basic Graduate Theological Studies (BGTS), and other qualified persons who desire to enroll in a nondegree program may be admitted as special students.

Students may be admitted to Candler as special students rather than as degree candidates for various reasons, including the opportunity to strengthen the academic background necessary for admission to a degree program. Students who later begin a degree program at Candler are required to complete degree requirements effective the semester they enter as degree-seeking.

Classification as a special student applies only to the academic year for which admission is approved. Once admitted, the initial admission may be deferred one academic year. For continuation beyond one academic year, special students are required to submit an application for readmission form and a written statement. Special students are required to be readmitted at the start of each academic year, regardless of when they were admitted originally.

Institutional and federal scholarships and loans are not available to special students. External scholarships or private loans may be available; it is the responsibility of the student to secure funding from possible sources.


Admission as a special student requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a grade point average of 2.50 or better out of 4.0. All applications, regardless of the GPA of the applicant, will be fully reviewed by the admissions committee.

Application Deadline

Offers of admission are made on a rolling admissions basis between November and August of each year. When an application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Typically, a decision will be reached within three weeks. Applications for admission must be submitted by May 1 for the summer term, August 1 for the fall semester, and December 1 for the spring semester.

Application Procedures

The application for admission may be downloaded at application.candler.emory. edu/apply. For further information, contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, telephone 404.727.6326, fax 404.727.2915, email: candleradmissions@emory.edu.

To be considered for admission as a special student, an applicant must supply the admissions office the following:

  1. Application for admission.

  2. $50 nonrefundable application fee paid online or by mail (check or money order made payable to Emory University).

  3. Résumé.

  4. Reasons for applying to Candler, courses you hope to take, and the ways in which study as a special, nondegree student will enhance your professional and/or personal life.

  5. Official transcript (conferring at least a bachelor’s degree). Official transcripts should be sent directly from the institutions delivered in a sealed and signed envelope. If currently enrolled at an institution, the applicant should send an official transcript of your work to date and ask that a transcript be sent promptly following the completion of the term and/ or conferral of a degree.

  6. The admissions committee welcomes, but does not require, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). GRE scores, while not required, may be considered in applications if applicants submit them. The institution code for Candler is 5198.

  7. Persons whose first language is not English must furnish, with the application, recent evidence of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 95 (Internet-based total) with a minimum score of 21 or higher in each of the four sub-areas, 250 (computer-based total), or 600 (paperbased total).The TOEFL results should be submitted directly from TOEFL to Candler (Institutional Code: 5455, Department 01). Applicants whose first language is not English are strongly encouraged to complete an intensive English course, at an institution in your home country, for at least six months prior to enrollment.

  8. A criminal background check is required of all students prior to enrollment at the expense of the student (approximately $18) through a vendor designated by the school. Candler School of Theology will provide information regarding the process of securing the required background check in early spring to admitted students. Reports from criminal background checks are due August 15 for fall enrollees, December 1 for spring enrollees, and May 1 for summer enrollees. Students will not be allowed to register for classes— including Contextual Education—until the results of this report have been received and reviewed. Any student for whom the criminal background check has not been received by August 15, December 1, or May 1 will forfeit the opportunity to participate in any program of Contextual Education for one year. Results of the criminal background check can impact placement in Contextual Education sites and may be released to a site supervisor (see page 92).

  9. SAP-G training is required of all degree and nondegree students. SAP-G is an online learning platform designed to educate students on preventing and responding to interpersonal violence, including sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence, and stalking, in the Emory community. The training is offered at the expense of the school. Students will not be allowed to register for classes until notification of the completion of part I is received. Notification must be received by August 15 for fall enrollees, December 15 for spring enrollees, and May 1 for summer enrollees. Part II of the training is completed six weeks after part I. Notification of completion of part II is required by October 15 for fall enrollees, March 15 for spring enrollees, and July 15 for summer enrollees.

  10. All incoming Emory students must meet the CDC and American College Health Association immunization guidelines prior to registration for classes. For additional information, please see page 101. To access the Entrance Health Survey and Consent for Treatment Forms, visit http://studenthealth.emory.edu. In addition to supplying the above documents, international students (persons who are not US citizens or permanent residents) must comply with the following:

Upon admission, and before the visa process can begin, international students must complete the Emory University Financial Certificate, which indicates adequate financial resources to cover tuition, fees, travel, and living expenses for the first year of study in the United States. (An I-20 will not be prepared until this certificate has been approved; it must be approved by the university before July 1 for the fall semester, November 1 for the spring semester, and March 1 for the summer term.)

International students will be billed automatically for health insurance through Emory University unless insurance compliance information indicating proof of comparable United States–based coverage, is submitted by July 1. Information regarding insurance for international students can be found online at http://emory.edu/ISSS/students/index.htm.

Admission Deposit

A nonrefundable admission deposit of $100 is required of all students enrolling at Candler School of Theology. This deposit is required within three weeks of notification of admission to the degree program, in order to secure the student’s place in the program. The deposit will be posted as a credit to the student’s Emory University account; students who pay the deposit but fail to enroll will forfeit the deposit.