Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

FAQs

IPS has six graduate programs and offers six graduate certificates. To pursue a graduate certificate, applicants are required to have completed a master's degree in a related area of study.

Yes. All Loyola degree programs are accredited through North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

To apply to IPS, an applicant must have (at minimum) completed a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in any area of study.

IPS does not require any standardized test scores. However, international students may be required to take the TOEFL.

While there is no minimum GPA required for application to the IPS, applicants with a GPA below 3.0 in their most recent academic work may be admitted on probation, in light of additional strengths.  If you have concerns about your previous academic record, the IPS encourages you to apply and to complete the Academic Explanation essay as a qualitative supplement to your transcripts. This brief explanation should be 1 - 2 paragraphs long, detailing the factors contributing to your previous academic performance.

 

Each of the six master's degrees and six graduate certificate programs have different sets of criteria. Contact the IPS Enrollment Advisor for more information.

Students educated outside the United States must meet the same requirements as all IPS applicants. This means that they must have completed the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree. To determine equivalency, you must submit your transcripts for review. You may also be required to take the TOEFL.

The minimum TOEFL score required for admission candidates is 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Internet-based).  The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.

Yes. IPS welcomes interested persons for Sabbatical time, whether it is for spiritual nourishment or intellectual stimulation.

Yes. IPS offers three degree programs entirely online: the MA in Pastoral Studies, the MA in Spirituality: Contemporary Spirituality concentration, and the MA in Health Care Mission Leadership. If students are not interested in completing an entire program, they can enroll as a non-degree seeking student and take our online classes for continuing education, sabbatical opportunities, and/or personal renewal and development. Our online course offerings are updated each semester.

Yes.You may apply as a non-degree seeking student. This means you take courses while not pursuing a specific degree. Non-degree applicants have an abbreviated application process. They must submit an online application form, all official transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate work they have pursued, and a short, 1-2 page statement of purpose. Although non-degree seeking students may take an unlimited number of courses, no more than nine credit hours from those classes may be counted toward a degree program to which the student may be admitted later.

We encourage interested students to attend an open house, schedule an individual appointment with our Enrollment Advisor, or attend a class. To learn more about these options, please review our Visit Us page.

Please complete this form to receive information about IPS programs.

IPS has a rolling admission process and accepts new student each term: fall, spring, and summer. IPS strongly recommends submitting materials for admission at least one month prior to the start of a term to ensure time to process the application.

If you apply online, no application fee is required. Applicants who submit a paper application must submit a $50 application fee.

By applying online, you can save your information and log in later with a username and password. Once all sections are complete, click "Submit" and the application will be immediately sent to the processing office. You also may return to the application after submission to upload additional documents.

Yes, you must identify a program (or select the non-degree option) and a term of entry to apply to IPS.

Yes, but you must submit a separate application for each program you wish to apply to.

Yes. If you were known by a different name at another institution, note that name in the appropriate place on the application.

No! Please be mindful if you are pasting anything into the online application, as sometimes it will automatically insert unnecessary characters. Be sure to proofread!

Once we have received  all required application materials, we should reach a decision within 2 - 3 weeks.

You may submit your application materials all at once or piece by piece. When we receive documents, each piece is scanned into your electronic file so they are easy to track. Supporting materials may be sent to: 

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

Official university/college transcripts bearing the official seal of the institution and the signature of the registrar are required for all previous post-secondary education. Certified copies are acceptable; photocopies are not.

Yes! Official transcripts are required for international applicants, even if the transcripts are not written in English. International applications are also required to complete a transcript evaluation by one of two approved agencies: Educational Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) or Educational Perspectives (EP). If you have pursued any education in a theological or seminary setting, we recommend you use Educational Perspectives to evaluate your documents. Please request a general grade report.

You must list all institutions you have attended where you took courses for credit. If you audited a class, or took a class for no credit, it is not necessary to list that institution on your IPS application. If you neglect to list all institutions where you took courses for credit, that is considered academic fraud. Please be thorough and accurate when listing institutions.

The letters of recommendation may be professional or academic in nature. You should choose people who can speak genuinely about why you are a good candidate for IPS.

No specific guidelines need to be followed, but the letter should be one page in length, detail the reasons why the recommender thinks you would be a good fit for IPS, and explain why (based on experiences shared with you) the recommender believes you will be an asset to our highly-interactive IPS classrooms.

No, please do not submit more than two letters of recommendation. Only two letters will be read.

The statement should be approximately 5 - 6 double-spaced pages in length.

Information about tuition and fees can be found on the Bursar Website.

Loyola and IPS offer a number of opportunities for financial assistance. Get information on IPS financial assistance programs, and also visit the Office for Student Financial Assistance Website.

Although scholarships and matching grants are available, IPS does not offer graduate assistantships. However, Loyola's Office of Campus Ministry is always seeking applicants for a two-year graduate assistantships. For more information or to apply, please contact Director of Campus Ministry, Lisa Reiter at 773-274-3000 or at lreiter1@luc.edu.

Any student admitted to IPS can be considered for very limited scholarship awards. However, if an admitted student receives an offer, it will not cover the full tuition or cost of attending Loyola.

Each of the six master's degrees has a different curriculum; therefore, completion of the program varies. Generally, full-time students carry a course load of three to four courses per semester. These students can typically complete any of 36-credit hour degree programs in six semesters. Part-time (or half-time) students can take up to five years to complete the program. With 72-credit hours, the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is the most comprehensive and longest program. Full-time M.Div. students take three to four years to complete this degree.

Typically, IPS offers core courses at least once a year. Elective courses are made available annually or every other year. To review the courses being offered by semester, visit the IPS Degree Programs page.

All IPS degree programs require an integration project, either as a free-standing course or as part of a two-semester practicum.  While no degrees require a research-based thesis, students have the option of writing a thesis in lieu of the integration project.

IPS courses are offered year-round, fall, spring, and summer terms. To meet the needs of working adults, IPS offers classes in the late afternoons and evenings, online, in Chicago, at the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens in Vernon Hills, and even in Rome, Italy each summer.

Students accepted into IPS programs may request transfer of credits previously taken in an accredited graduate program with the following restrictions: Transfer Credit

Students accepted into IPS programs may receive advanced standing for previous studies with the following restrictions: Advanced Standing

Admitted students are encouraged to start their degree programs in the term they are admitted.  To defer, an admitted student should contact the Associate Director of the IPS stating the reason/s for the deferral and the term they wish to begin their studies.  Students with good reasons for deferring may do so for one year.  Under unusual circumstances, student deferral requests may be approved for a second year.  Any student wishing to defer more than two years will be required to reapply for consideration for admission.

IPS collaborates with the Office for International Programs (OIP) regarding visas and other specific concerns. Visit the OIP Website to learn about obtaining a visa, seeking employment while in the U.S., and more.

IPS graduates serve in many different fields. The arenas for employment are closely related to the degree program the student pursues. To learn more about employment opportunities typically available for our degree programs, contact IPS directly.

Loyola's Career Development Center is available to assist current IPS students and alumni with their careers.