International students

Thank you for your interest in learning more about our seminary community. For those who are called toward a deeper commitment to participating in God’s mission on earth, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is a wonderful place for academic and spiritual growth.

On this page, you’ll find the steps we’ll take together as you move from the application process to provisional admission, to unconditional admission, and finally, to joining us on campus in Elkhart, Indiana.

The Admissions Team and Registrar will point you back to this page as we converse so that you know where you are in the process. The timeline listed alongside these steps is optimal; if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Admissions.

I. Application process (Semester One)

Step 1. Determine if you are eligible to study at AMBS and begin to consider sources of funding (savings, supporters, etc.) 

We will evaluate applicants from outside of the U.S. and Canada using several factors, including:

  • Are you (the student) currently involved in a church ministry in your own country?
  • Can you (the student) provide evidence of adequate knowledge of the English language?
  • Do you (the student) have adequate qualifications to pursue graduate-level studies, including a bachelor’s degree?
  • Do you (the student) have adequate funds to live and study in the United States? (Scholarship funds are limited and students must be able to provide some of their own support while studying at AMBS.)

Estimated annual expenses (not including financial aid)

(For Canadian/international students only; not including spouse and/or children)

In subsequent years, fees are likely to change; some will increase, some may be reduced.

Total costs each year will be comparable.

 First year
Tuition and fees (based on 26 credit hours)$15,496
Books and supplies$ 1,092
Living expenses$ 9,600
Other fees and deposits$ 1,550

Qualified international students can receive AMBS need-based financial aid to cover up to 50 percent of tuition. International students may also apply for scholarships (see a list of scholarships; read eligibility requirements to see whether you qualify). Total funds available are limited, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

For international student applicants hoping to study on campus in Indiana

As you prepare, it is very important to gather a team of friends, family members, churches and organizations who will support you prayerfully and financially while you are at AMBS. Although we are blessed with generous donors and are able to offer need-based financial aid to most students, each student should expect to raise a portion of their funding independently of AMBS.

Each international student will have to contribute approximately $8,000–$14,000 toward expenses related to attending AMBS each year. This is the amount that is NOT covered by need-based financial aid, scholarships (which cover tuition only; please read the eligibility requirements carefully) and on-campus employment. (Canadian and international students receive preferential hiring for on-campus employment.)

For those who bring a spouse or family members, there are even more additional expenses.

Therefore, we strongly encourage you to invite your network of friends and supporters to help raise funds for your educational expenses. These educational expenses are separate from additional expenses for airfare and visa costs. Every student at AMBS has to raise funds for these educational and additional expenses each year. 

Step 2. Send your application materials to the Admissions Team. 

Once you’ve submitted all your application material, we’ll compile them and confirm with you when your application is complete.

Forms and fees for the international applicant:

Application: Please complete the online application for International or Canadian students.

Essay: See application for prompt.

References: Provide three people — a pastor, teacher or academic advisor, and another person (such as a church leader, co-worker or employer) — with a reference request form and ask them to return the completed form to us, or to you, in a sealed envelope. (If you completed your most recent education more than 10 years ago, you may choose to supply an employer reference in lieu of an academic reference.) References from family members are not accepted.

Fees (in U.S. dollars)

  • Application fee: $50 nonrefundable; required with the application (for Canadian and international applicants)
  • SEVIS fee: $350 nonrefundable; payable to AMBS for an F-1 student status visa; can be sent later (only for applicants from outside the U.S. or Canada)
  • Repatriation fee: $800 refundable when a student returns to their home country
  • Housing fee: $200 refundable upon leaving campus housing

Transcripts: Request an official transcript from each academic institution you have attended after high school. Transcripts are official when the originals are sent directly from the institution in a sealed envelope. Faxed or emailed transcripts cannot be accepted. Applicants may be asked to submit their education credentials to World Education Services (WES) for verification.

Passport scans: Scan the first page of the passport for the applicant and any family members who will accompany the applicant when coming to AMBS.

English-language score reports: Students coming from non-English-speaking countries are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum score for admittance to AMBS is 90 on the internet-based TOEFL test or 7.0 on the IELTS.

Step 3. When your file is complete, the Admissions Committee will review it and decide whether to admit you.

If the committee decides to admit you, you’ll then need to demonstrate your ability to cover the cost of attendance through support, savings, scholarships, etc. (see the following steps).

II. Admission

Step 4. If you’re admitted, you’ll need to fill out more forms

The Admissions Team will share information about health insurance requirements with you at this point. You will also need to fill out the following forms:

Step 5. Your financial aid award amount is determined and communicated to you. 

The Financial Aid Director will send you your cost of attendance figure so that you have a fundraising target. The figure is displayed in a worksheet that comes with the Certification of Funds form.

Step 6. At this point, you raise funds and demonstrate your intention to study at AMBS

Complete the Certification of Funds worksheet and the Enrollment intent form, and gather supporting documentation: official bank statements and letters of support from funding sources. This documentation, along with at least 50 percent of any pledged funds from each sponsor, needs to be submitted to the Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid at AMBS by June 1 at the very latest. Sponsors may choose to send funds via wire transfer or by check. Canadian students may also use the Pay Student Bill Online form. If AMBS receives 100 percent of all pledged funds, you do not need to supply any of the supporting documentation, and this may also assist you in obtaining a student visa. If a student visa is not granted for any reason, any funds received by AMBS will be returned to the sponsor(s). (by June 1)

Step 7.

Once all funds are documented properly and meet or exceed the cost of attendance, AMBS’s director of enrollment and financial aid will send you and the AMBS registrar an official Cost of Attendance letter showing that you have sufficient funding and its source. (approximately June/July)

III. Visa application

Step 8. 

The AMBS Registrar will now fill out visa paperwork for you based on everything that has been received, and mail needed documents to you after verifying your mailing address. International students (from outside the U.S. or Canada) will be billed for a $350 SEVIS fee at this point. (approximately June)

Step 9. 

Once you receive these documents in the mail, you should schedule an interview to request a visa at a local consulate or embassy. (approximately June/July)

Step 10.

When the visa is granted, you should secure transportation and share your travel plans with AMBS. You should also make sure housing is finalized. (approximately June/July)

Step 11.

As soon as possible after arrival on campus, you should check in with the Registrar so that you can be registered with SEVIS. The registrar will make copies of your visa and stamped I-20, print an I-94 document from the federal database, and tell you how to remain in good standing with SEVIS. (approximately August)

Ready to join our learning community?