Admissions Overview
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Admission to the Seminary

The primary emphasis of the Seminary academic program is on graduate theological and professional training leading to conferral of the Master of Divinity (M. Div.) degree in Orthodox Theology. It has always been the policy of St. Tikhon's Seminary, however, to also provide theological training to those who have not yet completed their college education. The advantages of taking Postsecondary courses at the Seminary prior to completing undergraduate studies are numerous and deserve emphasis: with an ambiguous societal morality and unbelief as widespread as they are in today's world, it is vitally important for the young Orthodox Christian to learn the Church's view of life first, in order to be better prepared to confront the challenge of competing philosophies and world views on the college campus, and thus bear a fuller and more effective Christian witness. Possessing the highest standard of truth, the student can extract the greatest benefit from later college level work. This open-door policy is maintained with no reduction in the quality of essential religious training. Numerous graduates of St. Tikhon's Seminary without prior bachelor degrees have successfully transferred into college programs of their choice.

Although the primary function of St. Tikhon's Seminary is to provide a theological education for those preparing for the Priesthood, the School understands that many individuals choose to participate in a formal theological program for fulfillment of other needs. Therefore, St. Tikhon's Seminary continues to support all honorable reasons for Seminary enrollment and class participation. St. Tikhon's Seminary will consider for admission all qualified applicants who desire to prepare for Priesthood in the Orthodox Church, as well as those who aspire to academic and spiritual growth and enrichment for the purpose of Church service in the fields of religious education, Church music, religious secretarial work, social service, missions, administration, and other related fields.

She Who is Quick to Hear from Mt Athos
She Who is Quick to Hear from Mt Athos
She Who is Quick to Hear from Mt Athos
Entrance Requirements

The applicant must give evidence that he is prepared to undertake successfully the programs of study offered by the Seminary. This evidence, provided by the credentials and other documentation required with the application, is submitted to the Board of Admissions for action. The Seminary reserves the right at any time to refuse to admit or cancel the registration of any applicant who in the judgment of the Seminary Administration and Faculty lacks the necessary spiritual, religious, or mental ability or maturity of character, or physical strength and endurance, to successfully pursue the demands of academic and spiritual life. To be considered a candidate for admission, the applicant must submit to the Office of Admissions the following documents and information with the Application Form:

    • recent photograph; send file as a jpg.
    • A certified copy of the Record of Baptism and/or Chrismation
    • Health Form
      • Fill in the form, sign and date. Please note that parts of this form must also be completed and signed by the examining physician.
    • Immunization Record Form
      • Fill in the form, sign and date. Please note that parts of this form must also be completed and signed by the examining physician.
    • Official academic transcripts of attained baccalaureate and/or graduate degrees. If the applicant is currently in the last semester of college, please send a current transcript at the time of application and a final transcript upon graduation indicating grades for the final semester and conferral of the academic degree. If the applicant has taken coursework at an institution of higher education but has not completed a degree program, the applicant should submit transcripts of the coursework completed at the postsecondary level.
    • International students: 
      • Affidavit of Support (USCIS Form I-134; download at
      • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score(s). Please enter the following institution code when completing your test application form: "8670."
      • International students needing to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), may also download the OPT Request Form.
      • International Student Transfer Form if transferring
    • A letter of recommendation from your Bishop, sent directly to the Seminary
    • A letter of recommendation from each of your parish priests from the past five years, sent directly to the Seminary. (Do not use the Reference Form.)
    • Two additional Reference Forms from individuals who can knowledgeably discuss your personal background, academic, and/or vocational qualifications, to be sent directly to the Seminary; these must be from persons other than relatives.
      • Instructions:  Complete the top portion of each form and give it to the people who will provide recommendations to the seminary (see below for address).
      • Important: It is the responsibility of the person writing the reference letter to send the form to the seminary. Please do not send the recommendation form and/or letters with your application.
    • A brief biographical essay (1-2 pp.) reflecting on your professional background and interests, as well as your reasons for application to the Seminary
    • A reflection (1.5-2 pp.) on one of the following essays. These are samples of materials one might read in seminary. Write a reflection on the chosen essay. Submit in Word with the following parameters: two pages, single-spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins. This is an opportunity for a formal writing sample. This reflection should represent entirely your own work and thoughts.   
    • Non-refundable $75 application fee. Make check payable to St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary. Mail to St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 130, South Canaan, PA 18459.

    Submission of Materials: Submit all materials via e-mail to Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received by the Admissions Committee.

    Deadline to apply: June 1, 2024

    If you have any additional questions, please call us at 570-561-1818, or e-mail us at

Transfer Credit Policy

 Transfer of Credit.  St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomes transfer students from accredited North American colleges, universities, and seminaries. Transfer credit is also awarded for courses completed at colleges, universities, and semi­na­ries outside of the United States that are accredited or approved by the Ministry of Education (or other appropriate ecclesial or governmental agency) of the country in which they are located.

Transferability restrictions. In general, the Seminary awards credit in transfer for most graduate courses completed at such schools, subject to the following restrictions:

  • Transfer credit from previously completed programs is subject to restriction; students should consult with the Dean and/or the Registrar;
  • Substantially similar or parallel courses in doctrine and theology are accepted in transfer only from accredited Orthodox theological seminaries and schools of theology;
  • A limited number of Scripture courses (i.e., Old Testament, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, and Acts) that are substantially similar to courses offered at St. Tikhon’s Seminary may be accepted from non-Orthodox schools, subject to departmental approval; and
  • Previous courses in which the student received a grade lower than B- will not be considered for transfer credit.

Determination of transfer credit equivalencies. Initial determinations of transfer credit equivalencies are made by the Office of Registrar through a comparison of course descriptions and/or course titles. Students who wish to transfer graduate credit must submit appropriate evidence of transferability (course sylla­bus, college/university/seminary catalog). If a determination is made that substantial similarity exists between a course taken at another institution and a St. Tikhon’s course, transfer credit may be awarded for the St. Tikhon’s course. If substantial similarity does not exist, but the course is in an academic discipline taught at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, elective credit may be awarded in that dis­cipline.

If the content of a course includes subject matter offered in more than one core area, or if the course description does not provide sufficient information to assign the credit to a speci­fic prefix, general elective credit may be awarded. In some such cases, the course may be designated as applicable to a portion of the Seminary undergraduate general education require­ment. Elective credits awarded for upper-division undergraduate courses taken at four-year colleges and universities will be counted for the purpose of calculating baccalaureate equivalency requirements for acceptance into the Master of Divinity program.

Transfer equivalencies are based on current policies and generally reflect course numbers from the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Bulletin at the time the evaluation is conducted. St. Tikhon’s Seminary courses and course numbers are subject to change; thus, transfer equivalencies are subject to change as well.

Currently enrolled Seminary students who plan to take courses at other institutions are encouraged to confirm transferability of such courses prior to enrolling.

(For further credit transfer information, please see the current Academic Bulletin, p. 33-36).

Mid-year admissions

Many of the courses at the Seminary form part of a two-semester sequence (the prior semester constituting a prerequisite for the latter) which begins in the Fall Semester. In addition, an orientation program for new students is conducted only in the Fall Semester. For these reasons, admissions are not normally permitted in the Spring Semester. In very rare cases, however, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Seminary Board of Admissions.


A student formerly enrolled at St. Tikhon's Seminary who wishes to re-enroll must submit, in writing, a formal request for readmission to the Rector and the Seminary Board of Admissions.

The personal and academic information supplied by the applicant forms an essential part of the admissions process. Failure to make written disclosure of all information solicited on the Application Form or misrepresentation of the information supplied constitutes a prima facie basis for denial of admission. If such omissions or misrepresentations come to light after initial admission and are reasonably believed to cast doubt upon the candidates suitability for seminary study, the applicant will be subject to dismissal from the Seminary.

It also is important that all applicants know that various canonical impediments to ordination exist. Applicants should thus recognize that fulfillment of Seminary academic requirements does not constitute an automatic basis for ordination into the Holy Orders of the Orthodox Church, since, according to canonical rule, this right is reserved only for the appropriate Diocesan Bishop.

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Contact the Seminary

Physical Address:
178 St. Tikhon's Road
Waymart, PA 18472

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 130
South Canaan, PA 18459

Phone: 570-561-1818

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