Category: Future Students

Cost of Attending Central Seminary

Can I Afford Seminary?

We all know that pursuing higher education can be expensive. Prospective students today are savvy and weigh the cost of education against the financial benefit they expect to receive. Prospective students considering seminary as preparation for ministry, however, look at the cost in a slightly different way. They know that ministry generally won’t lead to their being wealthy, but they have a strong sense of calling and believe they need to live into that calling.

How Central Seminary Keeps Costs Reasonable

Seminaries price the cost of their education in many ways. Prospective students should consider all costs when selecting a school. All seminaries charge tuition and fees, and   most students are expected to purchase textbooks. All students will continue to have their usual living expenses.

A few other costs that should be considered. Students who choose to attend a seminary that offers only in-person classes may incur moving costs if they do not live near the seminary. Students who attend full-time may have to cut down on their work hours if their seminary of choice only offers daytime classes.

At Central, we work hard to keep the cost of attending as low as possible. Here are some ways we do that:

  • Virtual Learning. Central is primarily an online seminary. We have only two programs that require some on-campus time: our Doctor of Ministry in Creative Leadership and our Master of Counseling (for some students). Our F-1 Visa students also have some in-person requirements.  Because we are primarily an online seminary, you won’t have the cost of relocating to Kansas City. In addition, most of our classes are offered in the evening. Most of our students continue in their current jobs and do not incur additional living expenses.
  • Commitment to Cost Control. Central also works hard to keep tuition as low as possible. Central’s tuition is often a fraction of the cost of tuition at other ATS-accredited theological seminaries. But don’t think that lower tuition means a lower quality education! Our education quality is top-notch and has been for more than 120 years. We are able to keep a low tuition rate through the generosity of donors and a low overhead.
  • Simplified Billing. Central is committed to keeping our tuition and fees simple and understandable as well. We want you to be able to easily calculate what you’ll pay each term. For most students, it is as easy as multiplying our low tuition rate by the number of credit hours, adding the registration fee, and subtracting scholarships or other financial aid

All degree-seeking students at Central have the opportunity to apply for scholarships, and almost every student who seeks some financial aid from Central receives a scholarship. In addition, some students receive  support from their  church, denomination, employers, or  other agencies. Our low tuition and the opportunity for scholarships makes  your educational expenses very affordable.

Helping Our Students Avoid Student Loan Debt

Most of our students are on a pay-as-you-go model, meaning that they enroll in classes for a term and after their scholarship is applied, they split the cost of that term over a few payments. For most Central students, seminary costs about the same each month as a car payment. The students who manage their payments leave Central with a degree and no seminary debt!

If students do need to have a loan in order to pay for seminary, they can secure a private loan.  Central does not participate in the federal student loan program. Our decision to not make federal loans available for our students was an ethical one. Far too many seminary students who enroll in federal loan programs graduate with huge debt that far exceeds the cost of their tuition. We chose not to participate because we do not want our students to finish school and then drown in debt. Keeping tuition low and providing scholarships on top of that helps to keep education at Central financially accessible.

The seminary does participate in the Veterans Affairs educational benefits programs. After admission, veterans should provide a copy of their certificate of eligibility to the Enrollment Management Department to start the process.

We Are Here to Answer Your Tuition Questions

We know that finances may play a major part in your decision to enroll as a student. At Central, we get it, and we encourage prospective students to discuss finances with their Student Success Advisor in advance of applying or enrolling. Ready to learn more? You can complete a form here and a Central staff member will reach out shortly, or you can reach out to a staff member directly on this page. We look forward to hearing from you soon!