The Book of Proverbs yields a wealth of wisdom. One verse, in particular, guides much of my belief surrounding Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s efforts to affordably offer an accessible and quality graduate education – Proverbs 22:7 (NIV) states, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Winebrenner’s offering of a seminary education at just $300 per month is a way to enable each student access to an education where there is the potential to eliminate reliance on education debt. The challenge at Winebrenner is balancing the commitment to offer an affordable education with the obligation to our employees to provide a work place that meets their financial needs. Without the commitment of Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s faculty, staff and Board of Trustees and the generosity of so many givers, Winebrenner would not be able to offer a graduate education at this, deeply discounted, level.
Winebrenner Theological Seminary is a member of The Association of Theological Schools. One of the benefits of this membership is statistical reporting based upon twelve (12) peer institutions (the list is approved by our Board of Trustees and represents schools that are similar in size and other metrics but not necessarily theology). Winebrenner’s $300 per month is administered by charging each student (both at the Masters and Doctor of Ministry levels) $1,200 as a trimester commences. This $1,200 fee is charged regardless of the number of credit hours pursued, so, a student taking one, 3-hour course pays the equivalent of $400 per hour while a student taking two, 3-hour courses pays the equivalent of $200 per hour. In other words, the more hours a student pursues, the lower the cost per hour. Each of Winebrenner’s peer institutions charges tuition by the credit hour with the lowest of these charges being $230 and the highest being $720 (an average of $407). As you can see, Winebrenner’s equivalent charge of $200 for six hours of courses is a 50% savings over the average of the twelve peer institutions.
At Winebrenner we consider the low, fixed price for graduate course work to be a built-in scholarship as is evidenced by the comparison to our peer institutions and a commitment to make graduate education affordable.
- Tom Weaver, Director of Finance, Winebrenner Seminary