Application FAQs

Below you should find all the information you need to know about applying to study at ETS.

If you are unable to find the information you need, please get in touch.

General Application Information

The best thing you can do is to be speak to the minister of your church or one of the other leaders who will help you to think through the call to the preaching ministry, and what is involved in the application process.

It is really important that you are recommended by your local leaders and other ministers within your area, and get the training which is recommended by the Board of Ministry of the Free Church. It might seem like a long path, but these are the people who have the wisdom to give the best advice and you will have their support and prayers as you study with us at ETS and train for the ministry.

If you want to know more about how to apply to the Free Church of Scotland as a candidate or ordained minister, you will find more information on the Free Church of Scotland website

Yes, our student body consists of men and women from various denominations.  

In addition to our validated programmes, we offer Presbyterian Church Ministry and Independent Church Ministry courses in addition to our validated programmes to help students serve in different church fellowships.

To enter a Pastoral Ministry you would need to go through whatever route your own church requires. As an academic institution, we do not license ministers; for example, for students intending to go into ministry in the Free Church, it is the Free Church of Scotland that would do this it on completion of their studies. If you belong to another denomination, you should approach them to see what they require.

We are please to offer a Certificate in Independent Ministry which enables the FIEC churches to use ETS as one of their preferred training centres, but it would still be up to those churches to license their own ministers.

Because of the size of our seminary, prospective students find that it is much better to visit the seminary and join the student body for a day, sampling classes and life at the seminary.  This gives potential students the opportunity to meet the staff and sit in on classes and see around the rooms of our beautiful Seminary.

If you would like to arrange a visit, simply get in touch – we would be delighted to hear from you.

As we are not part of UCAS, we do not have the same deadlines.

The new academic year starts at the beginning of September and although we can accept applications through the summer we would recommend you submit your application as soon as possible (by the end of June) to avoid disappointment. This also allows us more time to organise our class sizes.

As we are a Private Institution, we are not part of UCAS, so applicants are instead required to apply to the Seminary directly. 

You can find application forms for the various courses through our website here

Alternatively, if you have any questions about any of our courses or applications, and would like to contact us directly, you can get in touch with us here or by using the contact details in the footer section at the bottom of this page.

The following undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are validated by the University of Glasgow and are eligible for funding by SAAS:

Everybody’s circumstances are different so you would need to contact SAAS directly for more information. 

If you are a ministerial candidate, you may be entitled to second degree funding. This means that if you already have a first degree which used 4 years of funding previously, you could be entitled to 3 more years’ payment of Tuition Fees (7 years in total).

The Saturday Courses (Certificate in Theology and Diploma in Christian Studies) are designed to stretch your Christian mind, and deepen your understanding of God’s word, as is the Access to Theology programme. These courses are designed for all ages and abilities.  

Alternatively, you can tailor a more thorough course to suit your needs through the Individual Study Programme.

One of our goals at ETS is to ensure equality of opportunity to access higher education at degree level to groups of people who rarely form part of the degree graduation statistics of institutes of higher education.  In particular, the following groups are in mind:

  • Life-long learners
  • Those lacking initial academic qualifications
  • Those who are facing disability challenges
  • Those who have to balance family or work commitments and part-time study
  • Those who are financially unable to sustain full-time study

Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

ETS has an excellent online Access to Theology course which is a 48-hour course of studies designed to offer students an overview of the component parts of a programme in theological education. This is an ideal course for students looking for a broad but thorough introduction to theological study, as well as for those who wish to pursue further studies in theology but lack entrance qualifications. (This would obviously depend on how well you do in your assessments). 

ETS is a non-residential Institution and it is up to the individual students to organise their own lodgings. As ETS secretary, I can help out where possible and will inform the students if anyone contacts me with any available accommodation and can let you know as soon as something is available.

Sometimes there are Free Church Flats available – to enquire about this, you would need to contact Sharon Fraser in the Free Church Offices directly – [email protected]

You can also try the following sites:

The interview is not a high-powered one and is not designed to test your theological ability. We really enjoy the opportunity to meet prospective students, and the interview is simply a way for us to get to know you better. The questions we ask provide an opportunity for you to tell us about your background, how you came to faith, any relevant details about your path in life that has brought you to apply to study at a theological college, what you have done since you became a Christian and what you hope to do as a result of your studies. This way, we can make sure that the programme you wish to embark on will be suitable for you and your requirements. The interview is also designed to allow the prospective student the opportunity to ask questions of ETS staff.

If you are a member in your church, the pastor/minister or one of the leaders may be able to provide an assessment of your ability to cope with the academic nature of the programme for which you are applying.  Just inform the Admissions Secretary who will ask the referee to include this in the reference.

International Students

No, the ETS courses can only be done through this institution.

Whenever you have accepted an offer to study at ETS you will be issued with a CAS number (Confirmation of Acceptance to Study). You will need this number to apply directly to the UK Visa and Immigration for a Tier 4 Student Visa. For more information, visit

You can apply for a Visa no earlier than 3 months before the start of the course. For more information, visit

Students applying for entry clearance will be required to score 40 points to be awarded a Student Visa. These 40 points are granted as follows: 10 points if you can show you have enough finances to cover your programme fees for the first 12 months and your monthly living expenses (maintenance) for up to 9 months, 30 points for Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). The CAS number is generated when a licensed immigration sponsor enters your data into the relevant Home Office electronic system. The CAS confirms you hold an unconditional offer and meet all our academic entry requirements.

You would need to confirm this with UK Visas and Immigration, but generally you may be allowed to work 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holidays.

It will depend on your lifestyle, but average monthly costs could be: Rent – £450-£600; Food – £250; Gas/Electricity – £50; Internet/Mobile phones – £50; Laundry/Toiletries – £30. You should allow approx. £12,000 per year. This does not include Tuition fees.

Heather Watson

Secretary & Admissions Officer

Distance Learning FAQs

Considering Distance Learning? Click the link to find out more.

Studying Theology FAQs

Find out everything you need to know about studying theology at ETS.

English Language Requirements

Read more about language requirements necessary to study at ETS

Visa Requirements

Find out the current requirements for living in Scotland and studying at ETS

Ready to Apply?

When you are ready to apply, please visit the link below to find course application forms.

Need to get in touch?

You can get in touch with us directly using the details provided at the bottom of the page or via the contact form.