Admission Requirements

What Kind of Student is LCU Looking for?

Lincoln Christian University welcomes all qualified applicants—regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability—who are personally committed to faith in Jesus Christ and whose standards and lifestyle are in line with the mission, goals and core values of LCU. These are the things we look for when we review applications for admission.

Christian Character
  • We’ll ask you to tell us about your faith journey in your admission essay.
  • Through your reference forms, we hope to see that you are a student whose values, abilities and actions fit well with LCU’s mission and purpose.
  • We may request an admissions interview with you. You’re welcome to ask us to include an interview as part of your admission process, if you wish.
Academic Capability
  • LCU recommends that freshman applicants complete a solid college preparatory curriculum—including four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies and two years of science—with a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) to help prepare you for the challenges of college.
  • You need to submit official transcripts from any college you have attended or from which you have earned credit. Students who have earned at least 24 college-level semester credits (36 quarter hours) do not have to submit their high school transcript. LCU prefers to see a cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or better.
  • Freshman applicants who are 22-years-old or younger must submit official ACT or SAT Reasoning Test results. The average composite ACT score at LCU is approximately 23. If you’ve taken more than one test, we will look at your best result.
  • If you have taken the GED, please provide your GED results. We recommend a minimum composite score of 580 with a minimum score of 400 on each GED subtest.
  • In some cases, you may be asked for samples (or a portfolio) of your academic work.

If you fall short of our recommendations in some area, please don’t let that stop you from applying for admission to Lincoln Christian! We review every file holistically. Furthermore, because of our Academic Resource Center—whose services are available to all students—LCU is able to admit a limited number of applicants who have academic challenges or may have a gap in some aspect of their academic preparation.

Home Schooled Students

You are welcome at Lincoln Christian! You will need to submit a transcript indicating all high school courses completed, as well as ACT or SAT Reasoning Test results. If you need more information on what should appear on your transcript, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

International Students Admissions Process

With alumni in more than 100 countries worldwide, Lincoln Christian University (LCU) has a long history of reaching out to students from other countries and sending its own students overseas.

Applying for admission as an international student is not a simple process but we are glad to help you with the necessary steps. We strongly encourage you to plan ahead in order to allow time to complete all the requirements.

Application and Application Fee

To start the admission procedure, submit LCU's International Student Undergraduate Application for Admission form [available here], with the $50 (US) application fee. Please note that LCU's online application for admission does not collect all of the information needed from international applicants so please do not apply online.

Tuition and fees may be paid by credit card or wire transfer. Click here for more information or to make a payment.


The International Student Undergraduate Application for Admission packet includes two reference forms. One must be completed by a leader in the church or ministry you are associated with. The other may be completed by any adult who knows you well. We ask that your references either return the form directly to LCU or that they give the form to you in a sealed envelope to forward on to LCU.

Academic Records

Lincoln Christian University needs to receive official academic transcripts of all of your secondary (high school) and postsecondary (university) course work. Schools in some countries call transcripts "mark sheets" or "grade reports." We are referring to a comprehensive listing of all courses and results you have completed, provided directly by the institution(s) you attended.

If your academic records are not written in English, we will also need to receive an official English translation of each one.

For university course work completed outside the USA, you will need to have your transcripts reviewed by an evaluation service. We will need to receive a “course-by-course evaluation” or a “detail report.” There are several such services that are acceptable, including:

  • AACRAO (
  • World Education Services (
  • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (
  • Josef Silny & Associates (
  • International Education Research Foundation (

Because of requirements set by the US Bureau of Immigration and Citizenship (BCIS) we need to document that you are competent in English. Therefore, LCU requires that international students score at least 550 on the TOEFL. This is equivalent to a 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT). This requirement may be waived for some international students whose primary language is English.

Generally speaking, we require TOEFL results from any international applicant who has not completed a significant amount of college-level work in the US or who is not from one of the following countries:

  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • England
  • Grenada
  • Irish Republic
  • Jamaica
  • Nevis
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • St. Kitts
  • St. Vincent
  • Trinidad
  • Tobago
  • Wales
Financial Documents

You will also need to provide evidence of your ability to meet your educational expenses at LCU. Complete the Statement of Financial Responsibility form and return it with the necessary documentation, such as official bank statements and tax returns.

More About Money

Finances can be a major barrier for many international students, whether we like it or not. The US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) requires us to show that each international student has sufficient funding to cover their expenses for the entire time they are studying at LCU. The BCIS will not grant a student visa until this has been done.

Lincoln Christian University is considered to be a very affordable private university and yet the cost of attendance can easily reach US$22,000 per year. While LCU does have a scholarship program, financial aid is limited. As a general rule, if you do not have at least $14,000 per year in sponsorship or personal financial resources, it probably will not be possible for you to attend LCU. On rare occasions, financial aid can reach as much as $13,000 a year (leaving a $9,000 gap) but these are very unusual.

The I-20 and I-901 Forms

If you are accepted for admission, you will be sent two Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services forms: the I-20 and a blank I-901. You will use the I-901 to mail a $100 processing fee to a collection point in St. Louis, Missouri. Instructions for payment will be included with the I-901 form. The SEVIS office will notify you that the fee has been received by sending you an I-797 form. This form is your receipt for the $100 processing fee. When you have received the I-797, you will take it and your I-20 to the US Embassy in your home country to apply for an F-1 student visa. When the US Embassy has granted the F-1 visa, you can make travel preparations for coming to Lincoln, Illinois to study.

Seminary Admissions Requirements
General Seminary Admission Requirements

The Seminary at Lincoln Christian University desires to enroll Christians who have a heart for God, a love for people, a desire to serve in some form of leadership ministry, an ability to do graduate work, and a commitment to the Seminary’s mission.

Students are admitted to the Seminary once they have demonstrated through the application process that they meet the characteristics described above. Students are also required to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 (where 4.0 = A) in their undergraduate program. Additional admission requirements for international students are described below.

Admission of International Students

The admission requirements for international students are essentially the same as for others, with these exceptions:

  • The requirement concerning “a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 (where 4.0 = A) in their undergraduate program” will be applied, as much as possible, using standards appropriate to the country of origin within the guidelines of the Seminary’s accrediting bodies. The same applies to official transcripts.
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to pass the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 530 (213 for the computer version) and to submit official evidence of that score, prior to any admission decision. (This requirement may be waived for students whose undergraduate degree was from an English-language college or university.)

International students should submit application materials at least six months in advance of any desired date of enrollment in order to allow for the processing of various forms required for international students and travel.

The The Seminary Admissions Office has a written set of guidelines describing the admission process for international students.

Admission of Military Veterans

As noted above, military veterans are required to submit, along with the usual admissions materials, a photocopy of their military discharge papers. In addition, disabled veterans or other eligible persons who qualify for educational benefits should obtain the necessary certification of eligibility for training from the nearest office of the Veterans Administration. Specific questions concerning unusual problems should be directed to an office of the Veterans Administration. More routine questions of a general nature may be directed to the Registrar’s Office at the Seminary.

Additional Requirements for the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Program

In keeping with ATS standards, you must have a Master of Divinity or its equivalent. Equivalency is defined by the breadth and depth characteristic of M.Div. studies. Equivalency can be granted to those who have completed 72 hours of seminary studies. To see if you qualify, contact Seminary Admissions for a preliminary evaluation.

  • A 3.0 grade average in your master’s courses is expected, though rare exceptions may be made if there are compensating factors.
  • Basic skill in Greek-based and Hebrew-based Bible study tools is needed. This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways; contact Seminary Admissions for a preliminary evaluation.
  • You will be interviewed by the director to clarify program expectations and to assess the suitability of our program for your needs.
  • Students in the preaching, spiritual formation, and leadership tracks must be currently serving in a ministry context that provides opportunity for integration of class content.
  • Students in the pastor care track must demonstrate proficiency in pastoral counseling, as measured by appropriate course work/licensure, and will be interviewed by the coordinator of that specialization.
  • An admissions committee comprised of the Seminary Deans and D.Min. Director will approve students and participate in any elements of the admissions process deemed necessary by the group.