Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions FAQ

We've assembled a few Frequently Asked Questions to supplement what we cover in our Admissions section. If you have additional questions, don't hesitate to send us an email or call us at 404.727.6326.

If you have questions specifically about financial aid, please read the Financial Aid FAQs.

What are Candler's core values?

Candler has six core values.

Candler is embedded in the Christian tradition.

Candler stands for the highest standard of intellectual and theological integrity.

Candler celebrates the value of diversity.

Candler has an ecumenical vision of the church.

Candler is committed to social justice.

Candler is a community of formative practices.

Read more about Candler's commitments, including our Mission Statement.

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I have submitted my application for admission and now my "to do" list shows several items as "initiated." What does that mean?

Initiated items are items you may have started but have not been received and processed by our office. If you know we've received the item, please give us 24-48 hours to process it. You may need to fax or email a copy of this item to be sure we receive it in a timely manner while the original is making its way through the mail.

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May I request letters of recommendation or transcripts before I submit my application?

Yes. We will open an Admissions file for you once we receive any piece of your application. We recommend having letters of recommendation and transcripts sent in well before any deadlines to make sure their tardiness does not hold up your application and scholarship review. Download the recommendation form.

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What does the Admissions Committee look at when reading an application?

The Admissions Committee looks at several areas when evaluating an application, including academic ability, writing skills, theological literacy, church/community affirmation andvocational intent. The committee looks for those who have potential to serve the church and the world in religious leadership and who will succeed in graduate theological studies at Candler.

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I wasn't a religion major in my undergraduate studies. Can I still apply to Candler?

Yes. Most Candler students were not religion majors in their undergraduate work, though we do recommend a strong liberal arts education as a foundation. Students applying to Candler should have a working knowledge of past and present culture from undergraduate studies in the humanities and the natural and social sciences. 

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Is the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree only for students who wish to be ordained?

No! While many Master of Divinity (MDiv) graduates seek ordination in various denominations, others pursue doctoral studies or work in non-profit agencies, businesses, educational institutions and other community ministries.

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Do I need to take the GRE to be admitted to Candler?

Only applicants to the ThD program are required to submit GRE scores. If you are applying to another degree program and have taken the GRE, you may submit your scores to us and we will include them with your application materials. They are not required, however. The Candler code is 5198.

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Are there opportunities for study and travel abroad?

Yes. International study opportunities abound and have most recently included studies in Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and Zimbabwe. There are also off-campus domestic study opportunities in Washington, D.C., and Appalachia (Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina). Recent international travel seminars have included trips to India, Brazil, Australia, Germany and the Middle East (Syria, Israel, Jordan, Greece).

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Can I cross-register in courses outside Candler?

Yes. Students can cross-register (with the permission of the registrar, professor and advisor) in other departments of Emory University, at schools of the Atlanta Theological Association, and at other Atlanta colleges and universities. There are a maximum number of hours students can take outside of Candler, depending on your degree program.

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Can I transfer credits to Candler?

Yes, most degrees allow for transfer credits. Academic work from (1) a school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, (2) less than five years old, and (3) for which another degree has not been granted, will be reviewed and considered for transfer credit. A minimum grade of a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) is required for transfer credit. Additional stipulations apply for transfer credits. Please consult the Candler Catalog for further information or contact the Candler Registrar at or 404.727.0792.

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Can I take a class if I am not enrolled in a degree program?

Yes. You have two options: take classes for credit or not for credit. For students who are interested in credit, but are not enrolled in a degree program, Candler has a Special Student status. See our catalog for details. For those not interested in credit, Candler's Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL) administers an auditing program. An application is required to audit a class, and fees range from $200-$300 per course. See the Office of Lifelong Learning page or call 404.727.4587 for more details.

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Can I take classes at Candler part-time?

Yes. Though most Candler students are full time, Candler students can both enroll as part-time students or can drop to part-time status (either permanently or temporarily) during the course of their studies. For students entering as part-time students, there is generally no financial aid available. To be eligible for student loans, students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours. For further information on part-time status, please call the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 404.727.6326.

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