Is Seminary Too Expensive?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Martin, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Is Seminary Too Expensive?

    Here is a price list for several major schools...

    Liberty Theological Seminary...$185.00 per hour

    Regent Divinity School...$445.00 per hour

    Dallas Theological Seminary...$355.00 per hour (9-11 hours)

    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School...$630.00 per hour (1-9 hours)

    Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary...$158.00 per hour (S.Bap) $315.00 per hour (nonSBap)

    Southern Baptist Theological Seminary...$158.00 per hour (S.Bap) $316.00 per hour (nonSbap).

    Luther Rice...$172.00 per hour

    Southern Evangelical...$245.00 per hour

    These are tuition costs only.

    Other costs to consider...

    books, rent, gas, technology fees, student fees, graduation fees, etc.
     
    #1 Martin, Jul 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2006
  2. El_Guero

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    When all things are considered, yes.
     
  3. rbell

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    Seminary's costs...not too terribly bad.
    Books--an immoral rip-off. Absolute robbery.
    Housing (in the early 1990's)--probably not even legal (a dump); and the prices that were charged were insane. My housing was unsafe, unsanitary, and substandard. But, I could afford no better. I tolerated it for 10 months (from wedding date to graduation), and was done with it. But it did put a strain on our young marriage.

    So, I guess I see a mixed bag from my experience.
     
  4. El_Guero

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  5. StefanM

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    From a SBC perspective...our seminaries are a STEAL when you consider the grand scheme of things.

    Consider:

    My undergraduate program (which I will finish in one semester!) is about $300 per credit hour. It's a small school without an abundance of new facilities.

    The other Southern Baptist college (larger, better facilities; more programs) in my state costs about $500 per credit hour.

    The local state university charges about $180 per credit hour.

    ----------
    This means that the SBC six are comparable in price to a relatively inexpensive state university's undergraduate tuition. That's not too bad.

    Now for places like Trinity? YIKES! I hope you are rich!
     
  6. mcdirector

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    Martin,

    Brandon is at SWBTS and he has received a nice (really nice) grant each year from NC Baptists after his first year there.
     
  7. TaterTot

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    Sure, its expensive. But my first year and half of seminary were free (presidential scholarship) and the rest of my time there was half price (spouse rate). There are tons of grants and scholarships available. We have been able to pay for 3 Masters degree and one doctorate (still going) without borrowing a cent. Its worth every penny and sacrifice.
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

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    Yes seminary is expensive, but it is worth it. Also, the SBC seminaries are extremely reasonable compared to other top seminaries around the world.

    I was recently talking to someone who was asking about my DMin work at Southern and when he found out what I was paying for the degree he thought they were giving it away compared similiar degrees at other schools.

    And as others have pointed out, if you cannot afford it there is a lot of help out there.
     
  9. greek geek

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    "Is Seminary too expensive?"

    That question needs to be qualified. Too expensive for what/in what condition?

    Looking at it from a strictly financial viewpoint then it can be.
    When you're following God's leading to go to seminary...then no. For what God requires God provides. (He may not provide how you want Him to, but if God wants you there...money won't stop Him.)

    It all depends on your viewpoint. I go to DTS (one of the highest on your list) and I only have a part time job and have been a full time student most of my time there...yet I have always had the needed money for paying tuition, and buying books...and other such stuff. And I have done it without a loan, but with a few scholarships of average amount.

    So is seminary too expensive...I say no.
     
  10. Rhetorician

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    Reverse Perspective

    To all who have an ear:

    Let me post something as a bona fide and life-long Southern Baptist.

    It has become a thing in SBC academic life that:

    1. People who want to teach in the "SBC realm" get their MDiv or "union cards" from one of the "Big 6;"

    2. Then, they proceed to go to a "big name 'U'" to get their cognate PhD; such as a PhD in Communications/Rhetoric for preaching or PhD in Hebrew/Hebrew cognates at one of the Hebrew universities.

    Then they come back (if they are good enough and/or are politically connected and/or they "have a friend" and/or they are at the "right place at the right time" and/or if they have written widely etc.) to teach @ an SBC institution or seminary. That makes the "Big 6" look good to the accrediting agencies b/c they have "university PhDs." And they can still say they are "Southern Baptists" (both the school and the prof) because they have their "union cards."

    That brings me "full-circle" literally. I had a prof at a Church(es) of Christ grad school who had been to The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. He had gotten his PhD there for several reasons, not the least of which was b/c it was 1/3 to 1/2 the price of what it would have cost at a secular university or a private grad school like DTS, Trininty IU, Gordon-Conwell, Vanderbilt, Emory, etc.

    Question (finally!):

    Should we as Southern Baptists underwrite the PhD and/or even professional master's degrees like the MDiv for other denomination's people?

    If you look at our catalogs, you will see that other denoms only have to pay twice the tuition rate SBC ministers pay. And even then, when the price is doubled; it is still thousands of $ less than a private seminary or prestegious private university.

    Should our tithe dollars be used to subsidize other denoms? I don't think so?!!!

    What think ye??!!

    I look forward to your responses!

    I would also like to hear from those who ARE NOT SBC people! Your opinions are important to me also!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
    #10 Rhetorician, Jul 3, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2006
  11. TaterTot

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    Should our tithe dollars be used to subsidize other denoms? I don't think so?!!!

    What think ye??!!
    NO way!!! But I dont mind them being used within the denomination.
     
  12. greek geek

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    To start with I am an SBC, even though their politics make me sick most of the time.

    If you're main question (the 2nd one) stands as originally written, then you and many others will answer it only one way, 'no.'

    The problem is with the little word 'our'. Any money I give through my church I expect to be treated as God's money not "baptist money." If you treat it like "baptist money" then the only answer you get will be "no" because the other denominational people are not baptist and therefore don't qualify for "baptist money."

    However, if you look at the money as being God's - then what does it matter? Honestly, what does it matter? As long as they are Christians coming to learn, to be equipped, so they can go out and be better ministers of God's gospel....then does it really matter what their denominational affiliation is?

    Honestly, the last thing us baptist need are more fences closing us off from christians of other denominations.
     
  13. Rhetorician

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    Too expensive!

    To all who have an ear:

    Is seminary too expensive? (these are answers I have heard before in different contexts including the BB).

    First:

    "If you think education is expensive--then try ignorance!" This seems especially true if you take into account ministry training--IMHO!

    Second:

    One of my profs at Harding University Grad School of Religion said something that I will always remember that relates to my first saying above.

    "Tuition paid for formal eduation is cheaper than having to pay in real life experiences!"

    Justfoodforthough!

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  14. rbell

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    agreed...tuitioin is VERY reasonable. I just had complaints about the housing, and the books.

    I was at SWBTS in the early/mid 1990's. Is that dump they called "carroll park" still there? They probably renovated it (should've bulldozed it) by now.

    I remember patching holes in my exterior walls (no insulation) with cardboard (couldn't use wood; we might "be responsible for damages.") When we went to our first church out of seminary...we thought we were living in a mansion! Clear water! No rats! A functioning air conditioning!
     
  15. NateT

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    I don't think it is much more expensive than pursuing any other post-bachelor degree.

    As for the housing, I've never been a fan of school housing, there just isn't motivation to keep it up. There are typically going to be better alternatives for the price in the free market since if they don't keep it up, they don't get it rented out.

    As for books, in today's internet culture, if you're paying full price for books, then it isn't the bookstore's fault. In over 50 hours so far into my mdiv, I've only paid full price for probably 5 or 6 books. Half.com, ebay, amazon and others have good deals.

    The thing to remember is, that most seminarys (like Trinity and others) should be considered private schools, while schools like the SBC big 6 should be considered public. That is because the big 6 have a huge denomination pumping in money to help subsidize the hourly rate, whereas trinity does not have that benefit.
     
  16. El_Guero

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    Is that so now . . . then maybe you could tell the professors that . . .

    1. Are you sure all of those SBC professors are SBC? Politically connected I can take at face value - that revelation might not be what I want any way.

    2. Why should we encourage our seminaries to increase the price of a seminary education above what it costs because someone belongs to a different denomination?

    3. And just why does it cost so much? How is it that conservative Curch of Christ are offering education/training tuition free for their ministry candidates?

    And four - unfortunately the cost and price problems will not be easily fixed when we have a 30% - 60% rate of students dropping out of the ministry. Yes, I do realize that believing the coursework should be more realistic and affordable for the average candidate just WILL NOT happen any time soon. IMHO

    Wayne



     
  17. El_Guero

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    ENOUGH!

    The SBC do not have a denomination pumping HUGE money. That misnomer has brough a number of people into the denomination 'looking for the fools gold in thar hills'. IMHO

    Go to the ATS website - SBC seminaries are not the least expensive and we are not the most expensive.

    The data is not well presented for anything other than an 'academic exercise in comparison'. But, it does show that we are not in the 'top-tiers', and I have heard repeatedly that our recent (2 decade) push for difficult academics has come because we want our graduates to 'be able compete with graduates from other seminaries' especially when it comes to getting into Harvard, Yale, and other grad schools. Personally, I do not want our people to compete with liberal schools of academia, but my vote does not count.
     
  18. El_Guero

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    Yes a seminary education is worth the expense. Yes it is worth every penny, nickle, dime, dollar, and even each and every ten thousand dollars. But, I know many students that have quit their education because for them (SBCers) the price was more than they could afford.

    It is only by the grace of God (very painful grace at times) that I was able to afford the cost of a seminary education.

    Wayne

     
  19. rbell

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    Nate,

    As to housing...agreed; however, places like SWBTS have a large campus in a relatively depressed area. So I think housing would be a problem either way.

    As to books...I agree with you. I just wish that these other options were in place in 1994. :laugh:
     
  20. StefanM

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    I've looked through many schools. Which ones are cheaper than the SBC 6? (I'm going by the SBC rate of tuition).
     

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