Heather Watson, our Admissions Officer, answers your questions.

If I was thinking about becoming a minister in the Free Church of Scotland, how do I apply?

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.  The procedure for application for a candidate or minister

Can someone from another denomination study at ETS?

Yes, our student body consists of men and women from various denominations.  We offer Presbyterian Church Ministry and Independent Church Ministry courses in addition to our validated programmes to help students serve in different church fellowships.

I want to become a minister of another denomination - will I be licensed on completion of the BTh?

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 currently introducing an Independent Ministry Module that will enable 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.

Does ETS have an Open Day?

We will have an open day at the beginning of February and in the middle of May - keep an eye out nearer the time.  We would also be delighted to welcome you to the seminary for a visit which can be easily arranged for a mutually suitable time. This would give you the opportunity to see around the rooms of our beautiful Seminary, meet the staff and sit in on classes.

What is the deadline for applications?

As we are not part of UCAS, we do not have the same deadlines. Although we can accept applications through the summer we would recommend you submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment and it would also let us organise our class sizes.

How do I apply to ETS through UCAS?

As we are a Private Institution, we are not part of UCAS, so applicants are instead required to apply to us directly. You can find application forms for the various courses through our website www.ets.ac.uk. Alternatively, if you have any questions about any of our courses or would like to get in touch with me directly with regards to applications, please feel free to contact me directly.

Can I study the BTh or ISP with a Distance Learning option?

Yes.  You can find out more information by checking out Distance Learning at ETS - FAQ.  We also offer the Saturday Course online, and the Diploma in Christian Youth Work (available to UK residents only). You can find more details about these courses on our website: www.ets.ac.uk.

I want to learn more about the bible, but do not wish to undertake a degree programme . What course would you recommend?

The Certificate in Theology/Diploma in Christian Studies (known as the Saturday Course) is designed to stretch your Christian mind, and deepen your understanding of God’s word, as is the Access to Theology programme. These courses are for people of all ages and abilities.  Alternatively, you can tailor a more thorough course to suit your needs through the Individual Study Programme.

I don’t have many qualifications but I would like to study Theology and eventually get a BTh degree. What course would you recommend that would help me achieve this goal?

ETS has an excellent 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). For further information, go to the Access to Theology information page.

Are the courses at ETS eligible for SAAS funding?

The BTh degree programme (both full-time and part-time) is validated by the University of Glasgow and is designated for funding by SAA S. Everybody’s circumstances are different so you would need to contact SAA S directly for more information. If you are a ministerial candidate you may be entitled to a second degree funding. This means if you already have a first degree which used 4 years of funding previously, you should be entitled to 3 more year’s payment of Tuition fees (7 years in total).

Do you offer accommodation or do you know of any other students who want to share a flat?

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 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also try the following sites:

I notice that an interview is part of the admissions process.  Can I prepare for the interview? What sort of questions will I be asked?

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 questions are 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, your ‘testimony’ as a Christian (how you came to faith), what you have done since you became a Christian and what you hope to do as a Christian. This way, we can make sure that the course you wish to study will be suitable to you and your requirements. The interview is also designed to allow the prospective student the opportunity to ask questions of the ETS staff.

Do you have Partner Institutions abroad I can study with instead of coming to Edinburgh?

No, the ETS courses can only be done through ourselves.

I live outside the UK and want to do the Diploma in Christian Youth Work online. Is that possible?

Although the main part of the course can be done online there are also workshops and placements to attend. Unfortunately it is not possible to do this course as the distance prevents such attendance.

How do I get a Visa to study at ETS?

Whenever you have accepted an offer to study at ETS I will issue 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 www.ukvisas.gov.uk

How soon can I apply for a Visa?

You can apply for a Visa no earlier than 3 months before the start of the course.

On the Visa application it asks how many points I am claiming. Do you have any advice about the point system?

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 course 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.

Can I work with a Tier 4 Student Visa?

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

What can I expect to pay for living costs in the UK?

It will depend on your lifestyle, but average monthly costs could be: Rent - £350-£500; Food - £200; Gas/Electricity - £50; Internet/Mobile phones - £50; Laundry/Toiletries - £30. You should allow approx. £10,000 per year. This does not include Tuition fees.