Tuition, Fees, and Financial Assistance

Central Seminary is committed to providing an accessible and affordable education.  We are intentional about keeping our costs low for students.  Despite our efforts, many students could not continue their enrollment in seminary without financial aid.  The gift of financial assistance can make the difference in achieving educational goals.

It is important to plan ahead!

The seminary does allow students to make payments toward their tuition bill.

Tuition & Fees

The current costs for students are:

$365* per credit hour (Diploma and Master’s level)
$480* per credit hour (Doctoral level)

$250* per trimester (Diploma and Master’s level)
$300* per trimester (Doctoral level)

Books (est.)
$100 per class (Diploma and Master’s)
$150 per class (Doctoral)

*Based on 2020-2021 costs.  Tuition and fees are subject to change.

A full-time Master’s student can expect to need at least $2,640/trimester (6 credit hours) to cover tuition, fees, books, and miscellaneous costs in a trimester.

To meet these costs, the main types of aid for which students can apply are:

  1. Scholarships or grants through the seminary
  2. Scholarships or grants from outside organizations
  3. Tuition Assistance for Veterans

Scholarships or Grants through the Seminary

Each year, students can apply for financial assistance through the seminary.  Typically, the application is made in the spring time with financial aid decisions being shared with students soon after the academic year.  Only students that have completed the seminary scholarship form will be eligible to receive financial aid from the school.

The seminary offers financial assistance in the form of denominational scholarships, endowed scholarships and need-based grants.

Denominational scholarships are available to students who are members of a church in the Central Region of the American Baptist Churches or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  Students who are members of these denominations will need to inform the school of their denominational affiliation to ensure they receive the necessary paperwork.

Endowed scholarships are funds provided by donors specifically for student aid.  Typically, an endowed scholarship has specific criteria that each recipient must meet.  Completing the seminary scholarship form will match students with endowed scholarships.

Need-based scholarships are available for a limited number of students that demonstrate extreme financial stress.  The seminary scholarship form asks each student to outline their income and expenses, and provide a copy of their latest filed tax form.


Scholarships or Grants from Outside Organizations

There are many organizations that provide aid to seminarians.  Students should always check with their church and denomination about available resources.  Students will also want to consider any organizations in which they and other family members participate as well as tuition assistance through work places.  One good place to check is with your local Order of the Eastern Star chapter, as they provide scholarships specifically for persons seeking religious leadership education.

Kansas Eastern Star Chapter Scholarship, click here
Missouri Eastern Star Chapter Scholarship, click here
Church Mutual Scholarship, click here

Private Student Loans

A private student loan is a non-governmental loan made from a private lender to an individual for the purpose of paying educational expenses such as tuition, room and board and other school-related costs. Traditionally, private student loans are used to cover unmet needs or the “gap” (costs not covered by scholarships or financial aid offered by your school and/or other agencies). The interest rate is determined by your credit history and your co-signer’s credit history should you apply with a co-borrower. Interest begins at disbursement, while in school and during the six-month separation or grace period. When students enter repayment, unpaid interest will be added to the student’s current principal.

Students are encouraged to evaluate all anticipated monthly loan payments and their expected future earnings before considering a private student loan. Students must be a U. S. citizen or a permanent resident or a non-U.S. citizen borrower with a credit worthy co-signer (who must be a U. S. citizen or permanent resident)

Cost of attendance (COA) at Central Baptist Theological Seminary includes tuition, books, fees, room and board and miscellaneous expenses that students deal with during their degree program. The COA for students attending CBTS during the 2020-2021 academic year is $28,887. This is based on full-time enrollment. Students attending less than full-time will have the COA adjusted by the Financial Aid Administrator after the application is submitted and course registration is reviewed.

The total loan amount the private lender approves may differ from the amount for which the student is eligible (COA minus all other student aid). In this case, the amount that is certified will not be the amount the lender approves.


The 2020-2021 academic year consists of the following terms:

Fall – August 24 – December 14, 2020
Ordinary – August 31 – November 23, 2020
Lent – January 11 – April 5, 2021
Spring – January 25 – May 14, 2021
Easter – May 3 – July 26, 2021

Typically, funds will be available to the student during the first two weeks of the term and will arrive at Central Seminary in two equal disbursements for students enrolled in two semester programs and three equal disbursements for students enrolled in trimester programs.

Students who apply for the private loan at will find most of their questions answered during the application process. Other questions may be sent to Randy Allen, Financial Aid Administrator.  For more information about SallieMae Graduate Loans, including borrower responsibility, click here.

Deferments for Federal Student Loans

Central Baptist Theological Seminary does not participate in Federal Student Loan programs and does not process 1098-T forms. Students who are seeking to apply qualified tuition and related expenses for tax credits should keep all billing and payment records from Central Baptist Theological Seminary and consult a tax advisor.  Prospective students needing financial assistance beyond scholarships and grants should discuss their financial needs with the Student Success Office.

Students inquiring about deferment options on previous federal student loans should contact their current loan servicer.  Though in-school deferments are not available during studies at Central, students should explore other options with their loan servicing company, including:

– deferments for economic hardship or unemployment
– forbearance
– income-based repayment (for low monthly payments)
(If  you do not know your loan servicing company, click here. You will need to log in with your FSA ID.)

Veteran Benefits

The seminary has served the educational needs of many veterans over the years.  For veterans, the seminary has an account with the VA-ONCE database to submit enrollment certifications.

Each veteran and active military service member will need to submit to the school a copy of their written documentation approving the receipt of tuition benefits.

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