Application Requirements

Thank you for considering Cairn University! You’re only a few steps away from an education centered on Christ and His Word. To get started, please view the application requirements below then click Apply Now.

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All Cairn University students must have professed a faith in Jesus Christ as Savior as evidenced by providing a personal testimony that details this faith. By submitting an application, students acknowledge the University’s doctrinal position and standards of conduct as outlined in the Statement of Faith and Community Life Covenant.

Find the admissions requirements that apply to you from the list below.

General Requirements for First-Time Students:

  • Application: Complete the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee. 
  • Essay: Submit the personal testimony of trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior, and how that has impacted your life and made you excited to study at a place like Cairn University (500 word minimum). 
  • Test Scores: Cairn University is “test-optional.”
    • While “test scores” are not required for acceptance, students who believe their SAT/ACT/CLT scores represent a strong, positive component of their academic portfolio may still submit them as a core element of their application package.
    • Students can submit official academic transcript(s) and SAT, ACT, or CLT scores (accepted only for non-Education majors).
    • Use Cairn code #2661 for SAT and #3658 for ACT. 
    • Email scores to [email protected].
  • Transcripts: Request to send transcripts to Cairn using this form
Additional Requirements for Specific Programs: 
  • Music Programs: Student audition is required.  
  • Visual Arts programs: Graphic Design, Studio Art, Pre-Art Therapy, and Community Art require a portfolio.
Additional Requirements for First-Time Home Schooled Students: 
  • Submit a signed transcript of subjects studied, as well as grades and a cumulative grade point average. If the transcript does not include grades, include an explanation of the method of evaluation. 
  • Send an official copy of your transcript, with the graduation date. It is best to also include an independent evaluation of academic progress by a qualified educator.
  • Send proof of graduation at the completion of senior year unless GED scores and GED diploma are submitted. Home-school high school diplomas issued by the student’s parents are acceptable proof of high school completion.
Additional Requirements for GED Applicants:
  • An official transcript of completed secondary school work.
  • A copy of the GED diploma.
  • An official statement of the test scores: GED scores must be 2400 for a standard score total, with a minimum average of 480. GED students who have been out of school for at least 7 years DON’T require SAT or ACT scores.
Additional Requirements for Applications Eligible for Early Admission:  

Students with outstanding abilities and academic records may be eligible for admission during their senior year of high school. 

  • The application should be submitted at the end of your junior year of high school.  Acceptance is determined based on a strong three-year high school academic record, as well as junior year test scores.
  • A written statement of the reasons for pursuing early entrance.
  • A written recommendation from a high school guidance counselor or administrator, including an assessment of the applicant’s social and emotional maturity, as well as assurance that the high school diploma will be granted upon satisfactory completion of the student’s freshman year at Cairn.
  • A written statement of endorsement from the applicant’s parent(s) or guardian(s).

*refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee.  

General Admissions Requirements: 

  • Application: Complete the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee.
  • Essay: Submit the personal testimony of trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior, and how that has impacted your life and made you excited to study at a place like Cairn University (500 word minimum). 
  • Test Scores: Cairn University is “test-optional.”
    • While “test scores” are not required for acceptance, students who believe their SAT/ACT/CLT scores represent a strong, positive component of their academic portfolio may still submit them as a core element of their application package.
    • Students can submit official academic transcript(s) and SAT, ACT, or CLT scores (accepted only for non-Education majors).
    • Use Cairn code #2661 for SAT and #3658 for ACT. 
    • Email scores to [email protected].
  • Transcripts: Request to send transcripts to Cairn using this form
  • Transfer students are admitted to the University on a rolling basis.

Credit Transfer and Evaluation: 

  • Transcript: Submit the transcript of courses taken to be evaluated for transfer credit to the academic programs at Cairn.
    • A number of specified Bible and/or Doctrine courses are required to be completed at Cairn; all candidates for traditional undergraduate degree programs are required to complete a minimum of 60 Cairn credits.
    • Course descriptions and/or a course catalog from your previous school may be required.  Courses in progress cannot be evaluated until official documents are received.
    • A minimum 2.2 GPA in previous college work is required.  Specific majors may require a higher GPA.
    • Courses in progress cannot be evaluated until official documents are received.

*refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee.  

Students who have not attended classes at Cairn for one semester or more need to complete specific application procedures. Re-entrant students are admitted to the University on a rolling basis.

   Requirements for Re-entrant Students: 

  • Transcript(s) from each college/university attended since leaving Cairn.
    • Students can submit official academic transcript(s) and SAT, ACT, or CLT scores (accepted only for non-Education majors).
    • Use Cairn code #2661 for SAT and #3658 for ACT. 
    • Email scores to [email protected].
  • Complete the Application for Admission.

General Requirements for International Students:

  • Application: Complete the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee. 
  • Essay: Submit the personal testimony of trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior, and how that has impacted your life and made you excited to study at a place like Cairn University (500 word minimum). 
  • Test Scores: 
Additional Requirements for International Students Studying at the Langhorne Campus:
  • Visa: F-1 Student Visa applicants must submit the application for Form I-20.
    • Citizens of certain countries (such as Canada) are not required to have a U.S. visa in order to enter the U.S. 
  • Application Deadlines: 
    • May 1st for students entering in the fall semester (August)
    • September 1st for students entering in the spring semester (January)
Requirements for Cairn Online International Students: 
  • Complete the general requirements for international students listed above.
  • Cairn Online international students completing their studies online do not need a visa. 

Visit the International Admissions page for detailed information on international student admission to Cairn.

*refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee. 

OneLife is partnering with Cairn University to offer college credit for participation in their 9 month gap year program. International applicants must follow all application procedures for traditional first time students or transfer students (if you are transferring to Cairn from another University).

General Requirements: 
  • One Life Pre-qualification: Students must first complete OneLife’s pre-qualification process, from application through interview. Once a student qualifies for the OneLife program, they may proceed to Cairn University’s application process (below).
  • Application: Complete the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee. 
  • Transcripts: Request to send transcripts to Cairn using this form
Additional Requirements for Home Schooled Students: 
  • Submit a signed transcript of subjects studied, as well as grades and a cumulative grade point average. If the transcript does not include grades, an explanation of the method of evaluation must also be included. 
  • Send an official copy of your transcript, with graduation date, after graduation. Although not required, an independent evaluation of academic progress by a qualified educator may also be included with the transcript.
  • Send proof of graduation at the completion of senior year unless GED scores and GED diploma are submitted. Home-school high school diplomas issued by the student’s parents are acceptable proof of high school completion.
  • Submit a bibliography of high school literature and an essay written by the student.
Additional Requirements for GED Applicants:
  • An official transcript of completed secondary school work.
  • copy of the GED diploma. GED scores must be 2400 for a standard score total, with a minimum average of 480. GED students who have been out of school for at least 7 years DON’T require SAT or ACT scores.

*refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee.  

Cairn has created dual enrollment programs and offerings that allow current home-schooled and local high school students to satisfy both high school graduation and college credit requirements while taking classes on Cairn’s campus or online. Learn more about Dual Enrollment.

  • Application: Complete the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee. 
  • Essay: Submit the personal testimony of trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior, and how that has impacted your life and made you excited to study at a place like Cairn University (500 word minimum). 

*refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee.  

Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Students:
  • Complete the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee. 
  • Transcripts: Request to send transcripts to Cairn using this form
  • Submit a schedule and description of additional courses to be completed before entrance to Cairn.
    • If you have completed less than 15 college credits, you must also submit official secondary school transcripts and SAT, ACT, or CLT scores. Use Cairn code #2661 for SAT and #3658 for ACT. CLT scores only accepted for non-Education majors.
    • Email scores to [email protected].
Requirements for Continuing Education Students: 

*refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee.  

All Cairn University students must have professed a faith in Jesus Christ as Savior as evidenced by providing a personal testimony that details this faith. By submitting an application, students acknowledge the University’s doctrinal position and standards of conduct as outlined in the Statement of Faith and Community Life Covenant.

Application requirements are completed through your application portal. Begin the Application for Admission to access your individualized application portal.

  • Application: Submit the Application for Admission along with the $25* non-refundable fee.
  • Transcripts: Submit official academic transcript(s) for all conferred degrees. Request transcripts to be sent to Cairn through the application portal.
  • GPA: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, university, or seminary, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.50* or higher. The ThM program and Education and Business programs require a 3.0 GPA. Applicants with a lower GPA may contact the admissions staff about alternative means of demonstrating academic ability.
  • Additional Program Requirements: Please refer to the specific program below for additional requirements. 

*Refer to the promotions on the right panel or contact the Admissions staff to waive the fee.  

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250-500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)
  • Cultural Awareness: Describe how interacting with diverse cultures will impact you as a Christian counselor. Explain what it means to communicate respectfully as a counselor when encountering varying beliefs, behaviors and backgrounds that differ from your own. (500 words)
Academic Writing Sample:
  • Submit an academic writing sample of no less than 700 words. For those applicants who have been out of school for more than 5 years, an optional position paper on a topic related to Christian counseling will be assigned.
References:
  • Submit an Academic Reference and a Pastoral Reference.
Interview:
  • Attend a Group Interview. 

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250–500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)
Transcripts: 
  • Submit official academic transcript(s) for all conferred degrees. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, university, or seminary, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with a lower GPA may contact their admissions counselor about alternative means of demonstrating academic ability. 
References: 
  • Submit two Academic/Professional References.

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250–500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)
References & Assessments:
  • Submit two Academic/Professional References.
    Submit an Administrative Assessment Form and Self Assessment Form.

If pursuing Principal Certification concurrently with the MSELA, please submit the following additional documents:

  • Your resume.
  • A copy of valid state or ASCI teaching certificate.
  • Documentation of 5 years of professional experience in education, including school name(s); name and contact information for supervisor(s); length of employment; and nature of duties.
  • A chief school administrator’s verification of five years of teaching experience. 

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250–500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)

Essay:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (700 words)

Essays

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250-500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250-500 words)
  • Academic Essay: Choose an author, theologian, well-known ministry leader, or Christian philosopher and discuss how his/her views have shaped your thinking on a biblical text or theme that has significant meaning for you. What are its implications for pastoral ministry? (1000-1200 words)
References
  • Submit an Academic/Professional Reference 
  • Submit a Pastoral Reference.

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250-500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250-500 words)
  • Thesis Proposal: Introduce and discuss a thesis topic. (250-500 words)
References, Interview and Other Requirements: 
  • Submit a Pastoral Reference.
  • Interview with program faculty. 
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew and Greek exegesis.
  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (700 words)
  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (700 words)

A post-baccalaureate student has already earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and is returning to college to complete additional undergraduate coursework. Students interested in studying TESOL (ESL) or receiving Act 48 credit at Cairn University must formally apply to the University and fulfill the admission criteria identified below.  Questions related to these programs can be directed to your Graduate Admissions Counselor.

Essays

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250-500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250-500 words)

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250–500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)
References:
  • Submit two Academic/Professional References.
Certification:
  • Submit a copy of your teaching certification/certificate issued by the state, government, or ACSI. Other types of teaching certificates may be submitted but are subject to University evaluation.

Essays:

  • Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250–500 words)
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)
References:
  • Submit two Academic/Professional References.
Certification:
  • Submit a copy of your teaching certification/certificate issued by the state, government, or ACSI. Other types of teaching certificates may be submitted but are subject to University evaluation.

Essays:

  1. Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250–500 words)
  2. Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250–500 words)
References:
  • Submit two Academic/Professional References.

Essays:

  1. Personal Testimony: Describe your conversion to Christ, spiritual growth, and church involvement. (250-500 words)
  2. Statement of Purpose: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this field at this time. Please explain your current employment situation and your long-term goals. (250-500 words)
Audition:

Cairn University admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, veteran status or known disability to all rights, privileges, programs and athletic activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, veteran status or known disability in the administration of its educational policies, admissions practices, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school administered programs.

As a prospective student, Cairn University’s annual security report is available to you upon request. This report is required by federal law and contains policy statements and crime statistics for the school. The policy statements address the school’s policies, procedures and programs concerning safety and security, for example, policies for responding to emergency situations and sexual offenses. Three years’ worth of statistics are included for certain types of crimes that were reported to have occurred on campus, in or on off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the school and on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus. This report is available online at cairn.edu/safety. You may also request a paper copy from the Office of Safety & Security or Student Life.