How to Apply

Dear Prospective Student,

We invite you to select Payne for your place of study.  Our vision for the future includes extension programs, distance learning and weekend studies.  It is our plan to continue our innovative tradition and train leaders in a learning environment that values each student’s gifts, talents, and call. For more than a century and a half, Payne has established a significant record of accomplishment, nationally and internationally, for preparing African American Church leaders to serve the Black church, community, and the church universal.

Payne has an outstanding faculty that helps prepare talented students and offers them an Afrocentric and vibrant learning experience that is grounded in the sensibilities and realities of the African American struggle. Payne is accredited by The Association for Theological Schools, (ATS) U.S. and Canada. Our Master of Divinity Program breakdown is as follows:

To apply for our Master of Divinity Program follow this process

In order to be admitted to the program leading to the degree of Master of Divinity, the student must file with the Registrar the following forms and information:

  • A completed Application for Admission form.
  • A $50.00 Application Fee.
  • An official transcript of all college and graduate work undertaken.


Have an official copy of undergraduate transcript sent from your undergraduate institution to Payne Theological Seminary. Please address the transcript to the Online Program Office, P.O. Box 474, 1230 Wilberforce Clifton Road, Wilberforce, OH 45384.

  • Three letters of recommendation– one from the applicant's pastor or denominational official and two from other persons, preferably college professors, who are familiar with the student's academic ability.  For students who have been out of school for more than five years, one of the letters should be from a supervisor at their place of employment or the equivalent.
  • A two to three page typed writing sample on the subject, “What is the value of a theological education to me?”  Included in the essay should be the motives for entering the Christian Ministry and those persons, influences, and religious experiences that led to choosing a church-related vocation.
  • A health record and a physician's recent statement concerning the student's medical condition.  Health record forms may be obtained from the Registrar.

The applicant is responsible for having the above documents sent to the Seminary.  Final action upon the application for admission will not be made until all of these documents have been submitted.

Grades are not the only consideration in evaluating the student's application for admission.  Prospects for a productive life of service in the Christian ministry, as evidenced in the references and writing sample are also considered.

You may submit your application, essay, and $50 application fee online. For the recommendation forms, please click this link to the printable forms.

If you have any questions or simply want to talk about becoming a Payne student, please feel free to call at (937) 376-2946 ext. 202.