Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies


We accept applications on a rolling basis, and we invite you to apply now to any of our terms (fall, spring, or summer).

After we have received all required application materials, please allow a minimum of two weeks for an admission decision. Early applications are strongly encouraged. Please review the general information and requirements detailed below prior to submitting your application.

You must submit:

  1. A Completed Application Form

    You may submit your application form online

  2. Official Transcripts

    Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To be eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree or a bachelor’s degree in progress. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts; we have them on record.

  3. Two Letters of Recommendation

    Two (2) letters of recommendation are required for admission, ordinarily: (1) an academic or professional recommendation; and (2) one ministerial recommendation. If you supply your recommender’s email address as part of your completed online application form, then your recommendation letters may be submitted online. Your recommenders may also choose to mail them to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    Suite 1200
    820 N. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611 

    We ask that you submit only two letters, no more, no less. Recommenders may be academic or professional in nature.

  4. IPS Statement of Purpose

    Please submit a 1,500-word essay describing your personal, educational, professional, and ministerial background and how these have prepared you for the specific MA or Certificate program for which you have applied. In your essay, also address the following:

    • Prior undergraduate or graduate study in theology or philosophy, if any;
    • The ways in which your professional life and any volunteer service have emphasized spirituality, community and social justice;
    • A theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your proposed vocation and course of study;
    • Your vision of ministry, your strengths relative to this vocation, significant influences on your faith life (including ministerial mentors or role models), and the professional context in which you see yourself working upon completion of your program; and
    • Why you are choosing to pursue this degree at Loyola's IPS.

If you wish to be considered for an IPS Scholarship, please submit the IPS_Scholarship_Requirements_in addition to your Statement of Purpose. IPS Scholarship decisions will occur concurrently with the Admission process.

Additional application requirements:

For Dual Degree MDiv-MSW and MSW-MASJ Applicants

Applicants may be required to submit additional materials:

  • Language Test Requirement
    An official TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo score report is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. Copies and faxes are not accepted as official documents; we must receive test scores directly from the testing service. The minimum acceptable total score on the Internet-Based Test (IBT) of the TOEFL exam is 79. The minimum acceptable total score on the IELTS exam is 6.5. The minimum acceptable score on the PTE exam is 53. The minimum acceptable total score for Duolingo is 105. 
  • This requirement is waived for those who have completed a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree program and those who are citizens of or have completed a bachelor's degree at a recognized institution at which the language of instruction is English in these countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • Transcript Evaluation
    Applicants who completed post-secondary education abroad are required to submit all non-U.S. transcripts to an evaluation service for an evaluation of academic credentials. The evaluation report must show that your non-U.S. education is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree to be considered for admission. 

    Loyola traditionally accepts evaluations from two companies: Educational Perspectives and Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE). We recommend that applicants who attended seminaries or similar religious institutions use Educational Perspectives. Applicants who attended non-religious institutions may use either company. At this time, Loyola has extended the acceptable evaluation sites and now permits transcript evaluations from any NACES affiliate, including WES. To be considered for admission, reports must be sent from the evaluation company to gradapp@luc.edu

    The evaluation is waived for applicants who have completed a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution. Please see details for our recommended providers below:

    1. Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE)

        Please request a General Evaluation with Grade Average.

    2. Educational Perspectives

        Please request a General Evaluation. You may apply online or print and submit this  form directly to Educational Perspectives: EP Application

For more information, please visit the International Admission Website.

IPS is an appropriate setting for individuals who wish to study but may not wish to purse a master's degree in ministry. Some people may already have one or more master's degrees in other fields; others may wish to "test the waters" and experience graduate study in ministry before committing to a degree program. Non-degree students have all the privileges of degree-seeking students, participate fully in the courses and other programs, receive grades for their work, and have access to the libraries and other University facilities. Non-degree students who apply and are admitted to a degree program in IPS may apply nine credit hours (three courses) taken as a non-degree student toward their degree.

Non-degree applicants must submit:

  • A Completed Application
    We prefer that you submit your application online. You may download and application form and mail a completed form to:

    Graduate & Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611 
  • Official Transcripts
    Applicants must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. To eligible for admission, your transcript must show an earned bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree in progress. Certified copies of transcripts are acceptable; faxed copies of transcripts are not considered official. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts; we have them on record. 

  • IPS Statement of Purpose
    Non-degree applicants need only submit a brief statement describing the reasons for taking courses at the IPS and how graduate studies at IPS will help further your vocational, professional, and/or ministerial goals.  A full statement of purpose and letters of recommendation will be required for non-degree students who apply to IPS degree programs.

Current Students

  • Change Program/Certificate: Please contact your Academic Advisor and the IPS Coordinator of Student Services. This is an internal update and does not require any Admissions-related steps.
  • Add Program/Certificate: Please start a new application and select the start term for when you plan to begin this course of study. This can be a future term. Then, contact your Academic Advisor to discuss you intentions and learn if waivers are permitted for Letters of Recommendation. Your Statement of Purpose should be approximately one paragraph describing your next educational step. Your transcripts are already on file; please still add your schools in the "Academic History" section, and add Loyola University Chicago. Your previous transcripts will be transferred to your new application, and your IPS transcripts will be added free of charge to you. You will learn of an admission decision to your additional program/certificate two-four weeks after your application portfolio is complete.

Previous Students or IPS Alumni

  • To reactivate your student status, we ask that you start a new application. Please follow the steps as outlined on the application form. If you have attended schools other than IPS since your last educational experience with us, you will need to request those transcripts; all other transcripts will be on file with us. If you have questions or concerns about which transcript(s) we have and which we need, please contact gradapp@luc.edu. You will learn of an admission decision to your next program/certificate two-four weeks after your application portfolio is complete.

For questions about the status of your application, please contact Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management. The majority of your application materials may be submitted through the online application. Additional supporting materials, such as official transcripts, should be sent to:

Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management
Loyola University Chicago
820 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: 312.915.8950