On January 25, the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Board of Regents renewed the Seminary’s commitment to a full-tuition partnership for all residential students preparing to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). As a Seminary of the LCMS, Concordia Seminary is committed to the mission of providing ministers of Word and Sacrament for the churches of the LCMS through a partnership with the church.
“We simply will not let finances be the reason that the church does not receive a pastor,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, the Seminary’s vice president for seminary relations. “We want to make certain that financial concerns do not present a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to Seminary enrollment for any student.”
The full-tuition partnership is designed to meet each student’s tuition costs through three essential financial aid sources:
- gifts (including endowed scholarships and grants) from donors to Concordia Seminary;
- gifts from the student’s home congregation; and,
- gifts from the student’s home district.
The policy is contingent upon students submitting the necessary financial aid forms and meeting all applicable deadlines.
“The real blessing of this program is that it will undoubtedly result in many students receiving more than the cost of their tuition in terms of financial assistance,” commented Thomas. “Since Concordia Seminary utilizes only three sources in meeting tuition costs, secondary sources of financial assistance are available to the student for his discretionary use. Most students will use these funds to address other Seminary-related expenses such as books, housing, etc.”
Any funds over the suggested amounts of $2,000 from a student’s home congregation and $2,000 from a student’s home district also are considered secondary source funds and can be used by the student at his discretion for other expenses.
In simple terms, if a student received:
$2,500 from his home congregation;
$2,000 from his LCMS district;
$500 from his wife’s home congregation; and,
$500 from a foundation,
he would have an extra $1,500 for his discretionary use. Only $2,000 from the student’s home congregation and $2,000 from the student’s home LCMS district would be used to cover the cost of his tuition. Gifts from donors to Concordia Seminary would be used to cover the remaining $10,400 tuition cost. The $500 received from his wife’s congregation, the extra $500 from his home congregation and the $500 from the foundation will not reduce the amount of Seminary funds received by this student. They would be considered secondary source funds which can be used by the student at his discretion.
Concordia Seminary also realizes that some congregations find it difficult to contribute $2,000 to assist their student, and some districts do not contribute $2,000 to assist their students. “Concordia Seminary is eager to work in partnership with these congregations, districts and students involved,” commented Thomas. “We pledge to work with each student who receives less than the suggested amounts from his home congregation and/or home district to find additional sources of financial assistance. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to cover his unmet tuition expenses, and we will work with him to accomplish this.”
In addition, Concordia Seminary will operate with a “flat tuition” structure for all full-time students preparing to serve as pastors, missionaries or chaplains. This “flat tuition” amount will not vary with the number of hours taken, as long as the student maintains enough credit hours (9 quarter hours) to be considered a full-time student. The flat-tuition amount for the 2003-2004 academic year is $14,400 for the September-May academic period. The “flat tuition” facilitates easier computation and planning for the student, his home congregation and district, as well as Concordia Seminary.
Other resources for the student include the excellent Food Bank and the Re-Sell-It Shop located on the Seminary campus. “These resources certainly assist students in stretching their budgets much further,” stated Thomas.
For more information about the Full-tuition Partnership, contact the Financial Aid Office at 314-505-7202 or the Admissions Office at 1-800-822-9545. Both offices also may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Those who desire to support the formation of tomorrow’s pastors at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis with financial gifts are urged to call the Seminary’s Development Office at 1-800-822-5287 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.