Graduate School Admissions

Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MBS program should be aware that this MBS program is primarily an advanced credentialing and training program for those involving themselves in ministries of the churches of Christ, and all MBS courses will therefore reflect a Christian, Biblically-oriented worldview.

A bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution is required to be considered for admission to the Graduate School. Students who hold a bachelor’s degree in an area other than biblical studies, bible, or religion, and who do not hold a previously completed master’s degree, may be admitted but will need to take a minimum of 12 hours (4 courses) in textual courses (from BIB 509, 510, 526, 527, 528, and 529) as electives to receive their degree.

Graduates of Schools of Preaching

Applicants who have a graduation diploma from a school of preaching associated with churches of Christ but who do not have a bachelor’s degree are welcome to enroll in SIBI’s program for degree fulfillment. The process typically involves the completion of a ministry portfolio and one three-hour course. For students who fulfill all other requirements, completion of this degree fulfillment program will academically qualify them both for the BBS bachelor’s degree from SIBI and satisfy the bachelor’s degree requirement for admission to the Graduate School.

Applicants Who Hold a Previously Completed Graduate Degree

Applicants who have previously completed a graduate degree (M.A., M.S., M.Ed., M.Div.) in any field may request transfer credit for up to 15 hours to be applied from previous coursework. Transferred credits may be applied toward 15 required elective hours. Transfer courses must be in a related field to biblical studies (theology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.), and will be evaluated for credit on a case-by-case
basis. Students will still need to complete at least 15 graduate hours with SIBI – the introductory course, foundation courses, four core courses, the capstone research course, and any other unfulfilled credit hours to equal a total of 36 total hours.

Non-Degree Seeking and Audit Students

Students who wish to take selected classes but who do not wish to enroll in a formal degree plan are welcome to do so. Tuition must be paid for the courses at the present rate. If a non-degree-seeking student wishes to enroll in the MBS, previously completed courses will be applied to his or her degree plan. Courses may be converted to credit status if (1) the coursework was completed successfully and (2) all tuition
and fees have been paid.

Audit students will be permitted to participate in short courses. An audit fee of $75 must be paid upon registration. Completed audit classes may not later be converted to credit if an audit student enrolls in the MBS. For degree completion, all audited courses must be taken again for credit.

Doctorate Degree Admission Requirements

Applicants to the DBS and THD programs should be aware that these programs are primarily advanced credentialing and training programs for those involving themselves in ministries of the churches of Christ, and all graduate courses will therefore reflect a Christian, Biblically-oriented worldview.

A Master’s degree from a recognized institution in Bible, Ministry, Theology, or a related field is required to be considered for admission to either doctoral program.

English Proficiency

English proficiency is required for admittance into all degree programs. For students who have difficulty with English or with writing, additional coursework may be required.

Admission Procedure

Admission to the SIBI Graduate School is not limited to certain times of the year. An application for admission may be filed at any time. Application information and forms are maintained and updated on the SIBI website ( A completed application with the appropriate recommendations and all requested transcripts is required for consideration of admission.

Non-degree-seeking and audit students are exempt from regular admissions procedures and may enroll directly in their chosen courses. Non-degree-seeking students should enroll by contacting Terry Fanning, Dean of Academics, at

Payment of Tuition and Fees

Tuition for SIBI Graduate Programs is paid on a per-course basis. Sunset reserves the right to increase tuition levels for future courses as needed. Before being enrolled in a course, the tuition for that specific course must be paid. Once a course has started, there are no refunds. If a student chooses to drop a course, $100 of the tuition paid will be credited toward a future course.

Students are responsible for purchasing and obtaining textbooks. Students are also responsible for the costs associated with short courses (travel, housing, and meals). At present there are no funds available through SIBI to assist with these costs, however, many congregations have expressed a willingness to help their staff members with the cost of obtaining a graduate degree. Representatives from SIBI’s Graduate School are available to speak with a congregation about this possibility.

No diplomas, grades, academic references, or transcripts will be provided without all financial obligations having been met.