Scholarships & Tuition

Central Is The Affordable Option

Low Tuition

We work hard to keep our tuition rates low. Compare our rates to other accredited seminaries, and remember, this is before scholarships or other financial assistance.

Scholarships Available

All degree-seeking students are eligible to apply for institutional scholarships.

Payment Plans

Individualized payment plans are available for all students.

Eliminate Student Loans

Low tuition, scholarships and payment plans minimizes or eliminates the need for student loans for many of our students.

Explore Your Tuition and Financial Aid Options

At Central Seminary, we do everything we can to make our programs affordable. Creating great value is a partnership between our donors who care deeply about supporting present and future leaders, the school, and the student meeting their portion of the costs.

Central’s accredited programs are a terrific value when compared to other schools. Most theological schools will charge well over $500 per credit hour for a Master’s program, but Central has kept its tuition costs as close to $400 per credit for Master’s degree students as possible. In addition to a great price, Central provides fantastic scholarships to lower your costs even further.  Almost every student that seeks some financial aid through the school receives a scholarship, and more support from your church, work, or other agency makes your educational expenses very affordable. Consider the examples below:

Example: Ben is a full-time counseling student with 6 credits

  • Tuition and Term Fees: $2680
  • Seminary Dean’s Scholarship: $500
  • Church/Denominational Support: $500
  • Total per Term Cost: $1680
  • Payment Plan: $420 (four payments)

Example: Tracy is a full-time MDiv student with 6 credits

  • Tuition and Term Fees: $2680
  • Seminary President’s Scholarship: $1000
  • Church/Denominational Support: $500
  • Total per Term Cost: $1180
  • Payment Plan: $295 (four payments)

Example: Miguel is a part-time MATS student with 3 credits

  • Tuition and Term Fees: $1465
  • Church/Denominational Support: $250
  • Total per Term Cost: $1215
  • Payment Plan: $304 (four payments)

Many schools will ask you to pay the whole amount or a significant portion of the tuition bill upfront. Central provides opportunities for students to pay the cost in smaller amounts throughout your program. Students are only charged for registered classes, instead of the whole cost of a program. Also, students can take advantage of setting up personalized payment plans.

We invite you to compare the cost, benefits, and overall experience we offer at Central Seminary to other theological seminaries. Take some time to review the information below about our tuition rates and financial aid options.

Our student body is made up of a diverse, global community of learners from all walks of life and cultures. Many students rely on some form of financial aid or scholarship program to help pay for their education, while many others find it affordable to pay as they go. To find the right solution for your situation, simply use the contact form on this page to connect with our advisors. They will help guide you in the right direction, so you can focus on your education and ministry vocation.

Types of Financial Aid Options for Students

Students at Central Seminary have multiple options to pay for their education. Before you commit to private student loans, make sure to review any scholarship opportunities that you may qualify to receive. It is common for students to use a variety of financial aid options to fund their seminary program. Our staff is committed to doing everything we can to help you understand what is available for you, and how to easily navigate the application process.

Scholarships and Grants

Students can apply for scholarships and grants offered through Central Seminary and outside organizations. At Central Seminary, you can apply for three types: denominational, endowed, and need-based scholarships. Denominational scholarships are available to seminarians who are members of the Central Region of the American Baptist Churches or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Endowed scholarships are funded by individuals and faith organizations who support our spiritual mission. Need-based scholarships are reserved for students who are experiencing extremely difficult financial circumstances.

Outside organizations also offer scholarships and grants for seminary students. Be sure to check with your church to see if they have resources available for you to review. Your local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star is another organization that supports individuals seeking to become ministry leaders. Many non-faith companies and organizations offer tuition assistance for their employees, including seminary degree programs. If your employer offers this benefit, speak with them about the approval process for the program at Central Seminary that interests you.

Online resources to check for additional scholarships include:

Private Student Loans

Some students rely on private student loans for some or all of their tuition costs. When you talk to us about financing your education, we can help direct you towards options that offer competitive interest rates and low fees. When you apply for private loans, make sure you understand what the repayment terms will be after the 6-month deferment period, as well as the anticipated income after completing the program.

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 2022-23 academic year is $29,947. 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 2022-23 academic year consists of the following terms:

  • Fall – August 22 – December 12, 2022
  • Ordinary – August 29 – November 21, 2022
  • Lent – January 9 – April 3, 2023
  • Spring – January 23 – May 12, 2023
  • Easter – May 8 – July 31, 202

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 Stephen Guinn.  For more information about SallieMae Graduate Loans, including borrower responsibility, click here.

Veteran Financial Assistance

At Central Seminary, we value the service of our students who are veterans. If you are a veteran, we can process your tuition benefits through the VA online system once you’ve submitted your certificate of eligibility (COE) to the Registrar’s office. This makes it seamless for veterans who have been approved for tuition assistance through the VA to enroll at Central Seminary.

Seminary Program Tuition Information

Here is a quick breakdown of the 2023-2024 tuition and fee costs associated with Central Seminary degree programs.


  • $395 per credit (all programs, excluding Doctoral programs, unless otherwise noted on program page)
  • $515 per credit (Doctoral)


  • $250 per term (all programs unless otherwise noted on program page)

Books (estimate)

  • $100 per class (Diploma and Master’s)
  • $150 per class (Doctoral)


2024-2025 Tuition and Fee Costs

On March 15, 2024, the Executive Committee of Central Seminary’s Board of Directors approved tuition rate increases for the 2024-2025 academic year (courses starting in August 2024 or later). The increases are less than 3%.


  • $405 per credit (all programs, excluding Doctoral programs, unless otherwise noted on program page)
  • $530 per credit (Doctoral)
  • $200 per credit hour for Professional Certificate in Chaplaincy
  • 1,000 for the Professional Certificate in Peace and Justice Ministry, full program


  • $250 per term (all programs unless otherwise noted on program page)

Books (estimate)

  • $100 per class (Diploma and Master’s)
  • $150 per class (Doctoral)

Make Your Seminary Education Possible

Are you ready to learn more about the best financial aid options for you? Take a quick moment to fill out our contact form. From there, an advisor will reach out to learn more about your current situation, educational interest, and the ministry goals that inspires your vocation. We hope to be part of your journey as you seek spiritual growth through serving others.

Scholarships & Tuition FAQs

Please see below for answers to our most common scholarship and tuition questions.

How can I afford seminary?

Central knows that pursuing education can be expensive so we do everything we can to make our programs affordable. 100% of degree seeking students are eligible for scholarships and we offer individualized payment plans for students to pay their balance over time. We invite you to compare the cost, benefits, and overall experience we offer at Central Seminary to other ATS-accredited theological seminaries, and we think you will see the incredible value that Central is.

Does Central offer scholarships?

Yes! 100% of degree-seeking students are eligible for scholarships. Talk to your admissions counselor about all scholarship opportunities.

How does Central keep tuition low?

In many cases, Central’s tuition is a fraction of the cost of tuition at other ATS-accredited theological seminaries. This commitment to affordability is made possible in part by the many generous donors that support the seminary and our students. Their contributions help pay for operating costs and scholarships which helps bring the cost of tuition down. To learn more about our donors go here.

Who are Central’s donors?

Central’s donors are just like you. They are individuals who care about theological education, ministry, the church and all God’s people and creation. They may be alumni, friends, partners, denominations, churches, businesses and foundations.

Does Central offer payment plans?

Yes! Central offers individualized payment plans for all students that request one.

Why does Central not offer access to federal financial aid?

Central intentionally keeps its tuition costs low to help students avoid the burden of educational loans. Instead of debt that makes it harder for graduates to stay in ministry, our priority is on finding the right balance of personal funds, scholarships, and payment plans to meet a student’s financial obligations to the school.

Can I use the GI Bill® for theological education?

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 Student Success office to start the process.

How do I apply for scholarships?

New students can start the seminary scholarship application with their admission application.  Returning students need to apply for scholarships every summer. The seminary scholarship form is available online through Populi, our student information system.

Where can I find outside/external scholarships?

Scholarships from outside organizations are a big help for students. There are many options for seminary students. The first place to start is your church, denomination, or place of work. After that, you can explore organizations related to religion and education, such as Eastern Star.

Step into your calling— We can make it simple.