“How do I listen to God’s call on my life when I am thinking about finances?” Questions like these are often on students’ minds, before and during their time in seminary. Big picture questions can be overwhelmed with the more pressing questions of “how”.
Calvin Seminary’s mission to serve the church by equipping and forming ministry leaders has created thoughtful and comprehensive educational opportunities. This mission also compels us to provide resources to help students graduate as much freedom to pursue their calling as possible. This is only possible by keeping costs low but also by supporting students through generous scholarships and created resources.
Below are some ways Calvin Seminary encourages students to ease their own financial burden:
1. Calvin Seminary Scholarships and Financial Aid
Calvin Seminary's financial aid office awarded almost $1.5 million in scholarship loans last year. Calvin Seminary students benefit from a network of support - families and individuals who care deeply about the mission of Calvin Seminary and who want to support the next generation of ministry leaders.
Our scholarship awarding model is beneficial to students in ways other seminaries under-serve their student body: our scholarship tend to be renewable, for instance, allowing students and potential students to anticipate their financial responsibility. We also offer scholarships to students in programs where scholarship funds can be scarce. Distance and online students, for example, are eligible for almost all of the same scholarships residential students are considered for.
There are also loans available through the financial aid office at Calvin Seminary. While a majority of students do not need to take on new debt while at student at Calvin Seminary.
2. Other funding sources
Students are often surprised by their own community’s funding options for theological education. Your local church (or regional ecclesiastical church group) and/or your denomination may have funds available for students pursuing ministry studies. In addition, many ministry mind non-profits may also provide access to funding.
Currently in a ministry or service focused job that offers continued education money? You may be able to use that to pursue a certificate, maybe even a degree from Calvin Seminary. Even if it isn’t listed in the budget, conversations with your employer, council, session, or board could lead to funding you didn’t know existed.
3. Financial Literacy Education and Training
Calvin Seminary offers financial literacy courses, specifically geared towards future and current ministry leaders.
- Understanding Your Worth course: Calvin Seminary annually offers this student-led financial-literacy program. Budgeting, debt-reduction, and financial planning are covered in this weekly curriculum.
- Shepherding Hearts For Generosity course: This online course is designed to provide ministry leaders with tools that will help them to more effectively engage in conversations about money and stewardship in their ministry settings. The course explores biblical and theological perspectives toward money and possessions while also providing practical tools related to financial management. Ministry leaders can find out more information and sign up for this course here.
4. Support through the Financial Shalom Project
In a partnership with the Christian Reformed Church in North America's Financial Shalom Project, Calvin Seminary students will have access to a menu of various financial resources.
More information coming soon.