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Admission Requirements
General Notes

Since the Seminary is a traditional theological college, the primary requirement for admission is the applicant's sincere desire to serve the Orthodox Church. Only with this motivation will the applicant appreciate the opportunities for learning and growth offered by the Seminary.

Click here to contact us with questions about programs and admissions or email us at: admissions@hts.edu

Paper correspondence can be mailed to:

Office of Admissions
Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary
P.O. Box 36
Jordanville, N. Y. 13361
Telephone: (315) 858-0945

All applicants  must be members of a canonical jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church.

All applicants to on-campus degree programs must be members of the Orthodox Church for a minimum of two years prior to enrollment, preferably in one parish. 

Required Documents

The following must be submitted to the Office of Admissions for all programs:

  1. Completed application form: Please select the appropriate online application form. All downloadable forms are available through the online application form.
  2. Birth certificate (photocopy) OR copy of passport.
  3. Baptismal certificate or extract from parish registry (photocopy). For those baptized under unusual circumstances, or for whom a baptismal certificate cannot be found, please contact the admissions office.
  4. Official transcripts:
    1. For the M.Div. program: from all colleges & universities attended,
    2. For the B.Th. & C.P.S. programs: from all secondary schools and institutions of higher learning attended.
    3. For the C.T.S. program: one transcript from the highest level/most recent institution.
  5. Recommendation of spiritual father (to be sent directly to the Seminary by the spiritual father).
  6. Autobiography (in a narrative style). 500-1000 words is acceptable.  Please include spiritual education and development, and why you want to study.
  7. Application fee (non-refundable).  For all students: $40. Payment can be made in US dollars or by credit card, bank card, or e-check, through HTOS' payment gateway (provided by Authorize.net and Stripe), by phone (315-858-0945), or by check or money order. For other arrangements, please contact admissions@hts.edu.

For the Master of Divinity, Bachelor of Theology and Certificate in Pastoral Studies programs, the following are also required:

  1. Recommendation or blessing of diocesan bishop, including members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. (Also required for the Certificate in Theological Studies IF the candidate is seeking ordination).
  2. Completed certificate of medical examination.   Immunization records may be submitted as a separate document.  New York State requires the following minimum vaccination records OR proof of immunity: MMR—2  doses of measles vaccine, 1 dose of Mumps vaccine, and 1 dose of Rubella vaccine.  Allowable exemptions include a religious exemption and verified allergy to the vaccine(s).  More information is available on the application form.
  3. Non-native English speakers are required to pass the TOEFL exam with the following minimum scores for Bachelor-level programs: Reading-20, Listening-20, Speaking-18, Writing-18, with an overall minimum score of 76.  For the graduate program, the minimum score is 96.  The scores must be submitted through ETS.
  4. Proof of health insurance.  International and domestic students can obtain affordable health insurance.  Domestic students are now subject to new US health insurance legislation, and should verify existing coverage in New York State.  International students can obtain coverage independently, but may also obtain insurance through the new "marketplace."  The following links are to companies that sell health insurance to foreign students. HTOS does not endorse these companies in any way, and is not responsible for any contract between a student and an insurance company.  These links are provided for the convenience of our international students applicants only.  This is not an exhaustive list, and students are encouraged to compare quotes.
Application Due Dates

A completed online application form for the Bachelor’s program and Certificate In Pastoral Studies with all required documents must be submitted by June 1; otherwise the application may be deferred until the following academic year.  If any difficulty arises in obtaining the necessary documents, please do not hesitate to contact the admissions office.

Online applications for the Certificate of Theological Studies program must be submitted by August 1 and December 1 for the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Applications may be sent in early, but students may enter the program only at the beginning of the fall or spring semesters.  

The decision of the Admissions Committee will be communicated to the applicant by email and regular mail.

Entrance Examinations

At the beginning of the academic year all incoming (new) students must take an entrance examination. The entrance examination will assess the applicant's knowledge of specific subjects taught in the first and second years of Seminary. Exemption from certain courses will be determined entirely by the results of entrance exams and documents supplied by students. Students who have taken courses at other accredited institutions that correspond to courses offered at Holy Trinity Seminary must supply all relevant official transcripts to the Office of Admissions with their applications in order to transfer applicable credits. After completion of entrance exams students may be exempted from attending certain classes, at the discretion of the administration.

Foreign Student Visas

Applicants who reside outside the US will be sent all documents necessary to obtain a student visa.  In order to gain entry to the United States, you will need

  • I-20 form and I-901 Fee receipt
  • F-1 visa, 
  • A receipt from Populi showing that you have paid the full year's tuition,
  • IF LIVING IN A DORMITORY:  either a receipt from Populi showing that the full year's room and board is paid OR a bank statement showing adequate funds. 
  • IF LIVING OFF-CAMPUS (FOR FAMILIES): you will need a bank statement with equal or more funds than is shown on the I-20 form for estimated living expenses.

Without all of these documents, you may be denied entry into the United States. Tuition is due by August 1, preceding the academic year. 

Note:  If a scholarship is awarded to an incoming student, the total amount due will be reduced by the amount of the scholarship, and this will be reflected in the Populi invoice. 

Transfer of Credits

Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary can accept up to 60 credits toward a Bachelor of Theology degree at the discretion of the administration.   If a student wishes to have credits transferred, an official transcript including course descriptions must be submitted to the Office of Admissions.  Course syllabi may be also requested by the Office of Admissions in order to evaluate course content.  In assessing the transfer of credits, the unique mission of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary centered on the Orthodox Christian theological tradition will be considered normative in establishing equivalency. Only credits compatible with seminary courses will be considered for transfer, and counted towards a degree.

Language of Instruction

All subjects are conducted in English. It is not necessary to acquire a basic knowledge of Russian prior to entering the Seminary’s regular academic program, although it is very helpful. Russian Language studies assume no prior knowledge.  Native speakers of Russian will be evaluated and placed accordingly.  ESL instruction is available.

Married Students

The Seminary cannot provide housing for married students. Students with families must obtain housing independently. An estimate of expenses for married students living off-campus is available on request.

Employment for Foreign Students

Those students who arrive on student visas must keep in mind that they are not permitted to hold outside employment (off-campus) while in the US except under special circumstances. Therefore they must be able to provide the necessary funds to cover all expenses, including medical care. It is required that students obtain medical coverage before arriving at the Seminary. The Monastery and Seminary are not responsible for students' personal expenses.

Work-Study Program

Participation in monastery obediences provide students with work experience which, in some cases, involves the learning of new skills which may be useful in future careers. Possibilities may include: iconography, icon mounting, publishing, library science, archival methods, bee-keeping, carpentry, book-binding, translating, assistant teaching, choir directing, and journalism.  HTOS does not offer an option to pay for all expenses through an obedience at the monastery.


F-1 students have the option to apply for the Optional Practical Training program offered through SEVIS, which allows a full-time student to obtain salaried or hourly employment for up to one year in the student's field of study.  The student must maintain full-time status as a student (on-campus only) during the time of employment OR he may work for up to one year after graduation.  The seminary has no obligation to hire any student. 
Seminarians arriving in the US on a student visa must return to their native country after completion of their studies. This also applies to those who withdraw from the Seminary before graduating.
Applicants already in the United States on a visitor's visa must either return to their country of origin to obtain a student visa or themselves arrange their change of status.


Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary
PO Box 36; Jordanville, NY 13361
1407 Robinson Road, Jordanville, NY 13361

315-858-0945 (Phone)
315-409-1422 (Fax)