International Office Staff

Carisa AshDirector of International Student Services; Director of Services for Students with Disabilities; Adjunct Professor in Educational Ministries and Leadership 214-887-5368 Schedule Appointment
Keighty PattonAssistant to the Director of International Student Services 214-887-5369
Lisa YoderEditor

International Student Application Process

From Application to Beginning the Semester

Due May 15, the DTS application is available at

Keep in mind the following guidelines when applying for your degree program:

  • International students have unique requirements for admission to DTS. These requirements are available at
  • Plan to start classes in Dallas during a fall semester. (International students may not start classes during the summer, since they must attend a government regulations orientation before beginning courses.)
    • Studying in Dallas most easily enables you to maintain status during your studies.
    • Course planning assumes a fall start date, which again will best help students maintain their visa status.
  • We cannot issue an I-20 for an F-1 Visa (student visa) holder to complete the MBTS or the CGS in the US. However, these degrees can be completed 100% online from your home country.
    • In order to maintain status as an F-1 visa holder, you will be required to take at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester in Dallas (9 of those credited hours must be taken in person, on-campus).
  • F-2 Visa holders may study part time in the MACS, MBTS, or CGS.
    • F-2 Visa holders may complete up to 11 hours per semester.
    • Those considering full time study in the future, should change to F-1 status as soon as possible. This is particularly true for those in the Chinese Studies program. It becomes difficult to build a 12 hour a semester schedule, when part of the degree is already completed.
  • Some other visa statuses allow for incidental study (see current government regulations for your visa type).
    • Since your primary purpose in coming to the United States is to work under your current visa, you will only be allowed to study incidentally. At DTS, you will not be allowed to take more than 9 credited hours per semester.
    • R-1 visa holders may complete any degree. Other visa holders are limited to CGS, MBTS, and MACS degrees.
    • Such students must provide proof that they are maintaining their current visa status and that their employer approves of them studying.
  • DMin students (and master’s students coming to Dallas during the summer or other short sessions) must prove funding, receive an I-20 and obtain an F-1 visa for each trip to the US.

Once your application has been approved by the Admissions Department, applicants are then preliminarily accepted into the program. Then the International Student Services Department will contact you regarding how to provide proof of funding and assist with the immigration paperwork in order to complete the approval/acceptance process.

Due by June 1, proving funding can be a challenge at times. In order to assist you in this process, here are the acceptable forms of proof of funding:

  1. Personal bank statement of the student
    • Must be a current statement on official bank letterhead with the name of the student listed.
    • We can accept 100% of the student’s current bank statement.
  2. Bank statement of spouse of student
    • Must be a current statement on official bank letterhead with the name of the spouse.
    • We can accept 100% of the spouse’s bank statement if a marriage certificate is provided. (If the marriage certificate is not in English, you must provide an English Certified copy of the marriage certificate.)
  3. Donations made to the student’s account
    • Supporters can make a donation directly to the student’s DTS account.
    • Supporters will need to contact the Student Accounts Department to process the donation. (Supporters can email them at
    • Once a donation has been made, please contact the International Office so that we are aware of the donation.
  4. Pledge Forms
    • Supporters can submit a pledge form on behalf of a student (Pledge Form).
    • Per regulations, we are not allowed to accept a pledge for an amount that is more than 25% of a donor’s total assets. Therefore, if a pledge is more than a certain amount, a supporter will need to provide a 6 month bank history.
      • Pledge for $199 or less monthly support – No bank history required
      • Pledge for $200 or more monthly support – Requires 6 month bank history
      • Pledge for $999 one-time support – No bank history required
      • Pledge for $1000 one-time support – Requires 6 month bank history
  5. Total Amount
    • We will collect all of the various documents submitted and add them up until the student reaches the total required amount as proof of funding.

In order for DTS to be able to issue certain immigration documents, per government regulations, all international students are required to show proof of an estimated 12 months of expenses (including tuition, fees, living expenses, etc.).

The amount a student is required to prove is based on the number of dependents coming to the US with the student. Please see website for the estimated amounts required to prove:

Once the total amount of funding has been proven, then the student will be fully accepted into the degree program!

Once the student has proven the required funding, the student will need to provide our office with the following documents:

  • Student Data Form for Issuance of I-20/DS-2019 Immigration Form. (A link to this form will be sent to the student once funding has been proven)
  • A letter describing your expected sources of funds for the remaining years of your degree program.
  • A scanned copy of passport for you and each member of your family, as applicable.
  • If you are married, a copy of your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not in English, please provide a Certified English copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Be prepared for you and your dependents to be tested for Tuberculosis during the week of orientation. More information will be provided. Your cost for the required test will be approximately $25-$60 USD per family member.
  • If you will be coming alone, without your spouse and/or children, please provide a letter describing how your family will be provided for during your absence.
  • Please be aware that all international students are responsible to pay for the postage costs to mail their I-20/DS-2019. Sign up at, selecting Dallas Theological Seminary as your school.

Once the student has proven funding and submitted the required documents, the International Office will be able to create the required immigration documents and mail them to the student.

When these documents arrive, the student can schedule an appointment at the local US Embassy to apply for a Student Visa. Visa must be obtained by July 1.

After the visa has been approved, the student will be able to make the necessary arrangements for moving to DTS.

Housing Arrangements
  • We highly encourage all international students to apply for on-campus housing. (You can contact the Housing Office at
  • If an international student’s visa has been approved by May 15, they can be added to the “International Priority Waiting List” within housing for the Fall Semester.
  • If the student’s visa has not been approved by May 15, then they will be added to the normal waitlist within housing.
Travel Arrangements
  • Purchase your airfare.

The incoming students will be in contact with the International Student Services throughout this process; however, if there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at

The Monday before classes begin, there will be an international orientation

  • This orientation is separate from the New Student Orientation hosted by Student Life.
  • At the International Orientation, we will do our best to help answer questions and give you some specific guidelines for international students. 
  • We will also try to assist the students as they navigate living in a new culture.

Per government regulations, all international students and their family members are required to be tested for tuberculosis. The International Student Services will provide additional details upon full acceptance.

In order to maintain status as an F-1 Visa Holder, the student must register for at least 12 credited hours per Fall/Spring Semester (9 of those credited hours must be taken in person, on campus).

All international students are required to register for RS100 during their first semester at DTS.

Important Dates

January 30: Incoming students must be preliminarily accepted (APXF) to apply for the scholarship.

January 31: International student scholarship deadline.

May 15: Visa must be obtained for DTS housing.

May 15: International application deadline.

June 15: Funding must be proven. 

July 1: Must receive F-1 visa in order to start US in the fall.

July 1: Transfer applications due.

July 15: Last day for transfer student to prove funding.

August 1: All transfer paperwork must be filed from the other school.

For Student Issuance of I-20 or DS-2019 Immigration Papers

After you have been accepted, preliminarily, by the DTS Admissions Department, you will receive an email from the International Student Office within 48 hours. The email will include four items to complete in order to be fully accepted. Submit these items to the International Students Office:

  1. Student Data Identification Form
  2. Financial Documentation – of necessary funds for first 12 months of study
  3. Current Immigration Status – if you are currently in the US or are applying from overseas
  4. Financial plan for degree program

Start Dates

F-1 and J-1 visa students are required to attend international student orientation before starting courses in Dallas. Orientations are held the week before classes start in the fall and spring semesters. As a resultant, F-1 and J-1 visa students may only start in person courses during the fall or spring semesters. It is strongly encouraged that students plan a fall start date based on the rotation of courses on campus and so they finish their degree and can attend commencement in a spring semester.


Due to government policies, internships are consider either Curricular Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1). Select other visa holders may study incidentally, but have no provision for completing an internship. Thus, students must file for an F-1 visa to study in a degree that requires an internship.

Helpful Information

Helpful information for international students can be found at:

Contact Information

International Office