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FAQs

Can I be ordained through Winebrenner Theological Seminary?
No. Winebrenner does not offer ordination. We simply prepare people for ordination serving with the Churches of God, General Conference and other denominations. It is very important that individuals seek out the appropriate commissions within their church affiliation to understand the process and requirements for ordination in their particular denomination, body, or fellowship.

Does Winebrenner offer an online program or distance learning options?
Yes. The Master of Arts in Practical Theology is a hybrid delivery program with both online and intensive format courses.

Is Winebrenner Theological Seminary Accredited?
Winebrenner is a fully accredited institution. It is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Winebrenner is chartered by the State of Ohio and has received a Certificate of Authorization from the Ohio Board of Regents. Additionally, Winebrenner is approved as an Educational Enterprise in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Winebrenner is recognized by the Veterans Administration and is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.

Can I go to school part-time?
Many students work on their degree part-time. There are time limitations on usable credits which students should discuss with the registrar to ensure successful completion of the degree. Students do have to maintain half-time status per trimester in order to qualify for Winebrenner financial aid. International students must follow the requirements of their SEVIS authorization.

Is Winebrenner affiliated with any particular denomination?
Winebrenner Theological Seminary was founded by the Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC). Winebrenner derives its name from the founder of the denomination, John Winebrenner, who established the group in 1825 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Winebrenner serves as the only seminary of the CGGC. Approximately 35% of Winebrenner students hail from the CGGC with 65% representing 20-25 different denominational backgrounds.

Does my undergraduate degree need to be in Bible, Pre-Seminary or Religious Studies, or Christian Ministries?
No! Certainly such degrees can be advantageous, but they are not required. At Winebrenner, you will find a diverse group of students and educational backgrounds. It’s common to sit next to one student with a Bible degree from a small Christian liberal arts college and another who majored in accounting at a large state university.

What if I don’t have a bachelor’s degree, can I still attend Winebrenner?
In special circumstances, some students may be allowed to begin working towards a graduate degree without previously holding a bachelor’s degree. Please contact our Admissions Office and we will be happy to talk through your specific goals.

I don’t feel called to “pastor” a church, but I’m still interested in learning more about the Bible and my faith. Do I have to become a pastor if I attend seminary?
There are lots of people who pursue theological education without becoming a pastor or seeking ordination. You’ll find students who are planning to teach at the university level, Christian school principals, clinical counselors, lawyers, managers, businesspeople, and lay leaders who are simply seeking to enhance their own knowledge and deepen their own faith. While a lot of people do attend seminary to prepare for ordained ministry, it’s not a requirement and you certainly won’t be alone if that’s not in your plans.

Can I receive credit for life experience?
Winebrenner is not able to offer credit for life experience. In limited circumstances life experience may be factored in to admission eligibility for students who do not have an earned undergraduate degree. Contact the admission department for more information regarding this option.

Does Winebrenner offer financial aid?
Yes! As a result of the generosity of the seminary’s friends and donors, Winebrenner is able to offer grant-in-aid each trimester. Students seeking Winebrenner Financial Aid must carry at least half-time credit hours per trimester and be in good academic standing. These grants are based upon financial need and students are required to apply each year before the financial aid deadline.

What about employment opportunities while I study?
There are ample opportunities for employment while attending Winebrenner. Winebrenner is located in Findlay, Ohio, a longtime leader in economic development in the state of Ohio. Findlay typically boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and offers a wide range of opportunities from manufacturing and industry to financial services and technology.

Winebrenner also offers a long history of cooperation with churches throughout Hancock County and Northwest Ohio. Many of our students find part-time or full-time positions in local churches in the area.

The unique delivery system at Winebrenner is also employment-friendly as students are able to complete their classroom commitment in just one day or two nights a week in most programs, as well as via distance-education formats.

How can I get my M.Div. in just three years?
Winebrenner is set up on a trimester schedule that are 12 weeks long and have a month-long break between them. In order for this to be achieved, the student must be full-time every trimester.

Each full-time term is made up of three courses worth 3-credit-hours apiece.  Classes are typically scheduled face-to-face on Tuesdays with sessions running 9:30a-12:30p, 1:30-4:30p, and 6:00-9:00p, in week long-intensives, super hybrid intensives (a weekend course with an additional six weeks online), or fully online delivery. Occasionally, due to course conflicts a course may be offered on a Monday or Thursday evening.

Professional Licensure and Online Courses
If you are considering an online academic program that leads to a professional license, it is highly recommended you contact the appropriate licensing agency where you plan to receive instruction before beginning your academic program. SARA does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements.  Academic programs and individual graduates must meet standards set by that state’s licensure requirements in order for a graduate to be eligible for a license.