Will you be able to financially manage going to seminary?
In considering the financial aspect of attending seminary, take a careful look at your motivation. There will be some frustrations and sacrifices as you pursue your theological education. If you and your family are ready to accept them and are convinced that this is the most important thing you can do, then you are in a solid position to begin looking at the question of dollars.
Potential financial benefits, losses and resources are:
* While increased earning potential is considered a typical benefit of a graduate education, it is less likely to occur in the ministry field. For seminarians, this potential benefit will vary relative to the employment context from which the student enters seminary, and may in fact result in a loss of income for some second career students leaving more lucrative employment.
As you evaluate your financial options, follow the steps below. In addition, visit our Links page to access some of the many resources available online for planning how to finance a theological education. Please consult a trusted financial advisor regarding your particular situation.
Step 1: Assess your financial resources vs. projected educational expenses
Complete the step-by-step Determining Your Financial Need worksheet to assess your projected expenses and resources. Consult the LTS Fee Schedule and our Seminary Student Cost Calculator to project your seminary charges.
Consider how you can reduce your expenses by living simply while in school and pacing your education manageably. If possible, pay off any credit card debt before you enroll. If you are planning to reduce or cease your employment while in seminary, consult this site as you determine whether you can afford to do so.
If these projections show that your costs may exceed your resources, you will need to seek supplementary options as explained below.
Step 2: Apply for an LTS Scholarship
Partial-tuition need-based scholarships and full-tuition Presidential Scholarships are available.
Step-by-step instructions for applying for LTS Scholarships and federal Stafford loans are provided both on the application form and in the LTS Financial Aid Handbook.
Step 3: Explore your immediate resources
Step 4: Identify additional resources
Be sure to exhaust options for financing your education with other sources that will not need to be repaid, such as outside scholarships, grants, contributions and employment.
Step 5: Evaluate your need to borrow a federal Stafford loan
If all of the above measures do not resolve your financial need, a federal Stafford loan may be a useful resource. Consult our guidance sheet, Keeping Your Education Debt Manageable. Stafford loans for LTS students are certified through the LTS Office of Financial Aid; see our Federal Stafford Loan pages for further information.