Back to School 2023: Finances

Beginning with the fall 2023 trimester, Winebrenner Theological Seminary has stepped away from the Title IV Federal Student Aid Program, specifically, the ability to offer federal unsubsidized student loans. Winebrenner Theological Seminary still has the ability to defer loans carried by a student. This decision aligns with a statement that was made in the Back to School 2022: Finances post in September, 2022, “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.”

While Winebrenner doesn’t use the traditional ‘cost per credit hour’ method to determine tuition, some reports to external governing bodies and organizations require this calculation; in case you are unfamiliar, Winebrenner charges a flat tuition fee of $300/month or $1,200/trimester regardless of the number of credit hours in which a student enrolls. In order to comply with reporting the ‘cost per credit hour,’ I recently embarked on a method to determine this for Winebrenner – simply, the total number of graduate and doctoral students for each of the last seven (7) trimesters (including the current trimester) was multiplied by the $1,200 charge with the total being divided by the total number of credit hours attempted (i.e. enrolled). The result, $205 per credit hour – truly an affordable graduate education.

Winebrenner understands that the pursuit of a theological education or clinical counseling degree without reliance on debt can be daunting for some; sometimes, it’s easier to rely on the loan for payment and then figure out the repayment later. Returning to the wisdom of Proverbs, 21:5 (NIV) states, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Just as budgeting is important in the day to day plans of Winebrenner, budgeting and planning are certainly important for any student in pursuit of God’s call on his/her life. At Winebrenner, we are honored and humbled to partner with any student in their pursuit and will work diligently to enable each student to make plans which lead to profit.

  • Tom Weaver, Director of Finance, Winebrenner Seminary