Perhaps you’ve heard some variation of the phrase “God equips those he calls.” Since the mission of Winebrenner is to equip leaders for service in God’s kingdom, we should pay special attention to those who fit within either category – the called or the equipped!
When seminary is part of a person’s call, every person called by God should have the necessary funding to pursue that call. This commitment was affirmed during a recent discussion regarding various financial policies at Winebrenner, including the use of Federal Financial Aid (Title IV) funds often utilized to finance a student’s education. At its October 28, 2022, meeting, the Winebrenner Board of Trustees voted to discontinue participation in the Federal Financial Aid (Title IV) loan system, effective with the Fall 2023 term. All students who currently receive Federal loans will continue to be eligible through the completion of the Summer 2023 term.
This decision emerged after an analysis of the data related to students who are currently participating in the Title IV program as well as a review of historical data. While the percentage of students participating in the Title IV program has been steadily decreasing, considerable time was spent working through various ways in which this decision will affect those most dependent upon federal financial aid to fund their educational journey.
In February of 2021, the Winebrenner Board of Trustees approved the change to a monthly tuition charge of $300/month. This tuition continues to allow Winebrenner to offer affordable, accessible, and high-quality graduate-level tuition. Our commitment is that no student should be unable to pursue God’s call due to lack of funding and we are committed to assisting each student in finding the funding to continue their education, especially those who have relied upon these federal funds to finance tuition.
We will be sharing more about the ways in which Winebrenner will work with students to responsibly finance their education. We do not want to burden anyone with debt that leads to future decisions based on money rather than mission.
Here are three immediate suggestions we are providing students when we notify them of this decision:
- Make a plan by taking a good look at your finances. Consider your current budget and how this will work for you.
- Talk with your local community of faith. In the Scriptures, people who engaged in theological education did so with the support and encouragement of a faith community. Please do not hesitate to invite us into these conversations as well.
- Look for benefits or scholarships. Here is a link to scholarships on the Winebrenner website: Scholarships
Winebrenner believes that we are to be good stewards of all that God provides. It is our firm belief that this decision will provide opportunities for us to work together to steward our collective resources well.
Brent C. Sleasman, President, & Amy Kinney, Director of Enrollment Management