I need prayer and help in choosing a seminary

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Puritan Board Freshman

I'm about to finish my bachelor's degree and, Lord willing, I'm going to be attending seminary in the fall. My interest is currently scattered across the board between RTS (either Jackson or Charlotte), PRTS, WSCal, WTS Philly, and Erskine (online). Unfortunately, though my church has confirmed and supports me in pursuit of ordination, they don't have the means to support me financially. In fact, they had to cut seminary funding for one of our staff members this year because of budget issues. Also, given the current airfare, I don't have the money to visit each of these institutions in person prior to attending. I've only been to RTS Jackson and they're relocating, so my wife and I will be in for an adventure wherever I go.

Each of these institutions, except for Erskine, have professors who I'd love to study under, so I'm not sure how to go about deciding all things being equal. My favorite so far is WSCal due to their faculty, seminary housing, local congregations, and the strong friendships we have in the San Diego area. Maybe I'm naive, but I'm not worried about the two-kingdoms issue. I'm waiting to hear back on financial aid. The only downside is having to live in California.

If I go to WTS in-person, I'll receive a 90% tuition discount as part of the Pastoral Fellows program. However, I have to decide within the next few days. My wife and I aren't sure about living in Philadelphia. The immediate area isn't particularly affordable, school districts are hit or miss (my wife's a teacher), and I've never stepped foot in the state. If you're a WTS guy, give me your pitch. Lol.

I'm waiting to hear back from both RTS campuses on financial aid, but they're more geared towards church funding and ministry partnerships. Generally (and this is how they described it to me), you won't get much financial support if you're at a small congregation who can't participate in the church partnership program and you aren't involved in campus ministries like RUF, Young Life, etc.

I'm still working on my application for PRTS, but the affordability of the tuition, faculty, strong emphasis on piety, and commitment to the reformed puritan heritage... all very appealing. Grand Rapids looks great too.

Any prayer, advice, guidance, and/or suggestions would be helpful.
Credential reciprocity is not easy in PA.

For your wife:

I don’t have anything to add in the way of advice, other than love and appreciate your wife for being supportive of your training.

I am daily thankful and amazed at the support my wife shows me, even when I don’t balance my studies and other responsibilities well.
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I am praying for you and your family right now.
I have heard good things about RTS-Orlando, particularly that you can get your degree remote, and only have to go on campus a few weeks. Not sure if that’s the experience you’re looking for, but that’s always an option.
I’ve heard good things about the Charlotte location as well. A dear friend of mine from the OPC is getting his doctorate there.

Blessings to you and your family.
I'm a PRTS alum and would HIGHLY recommend. Not only is their tuition cheaper than many other schools but we found them to be generous with scholarships and they have lots of "soft" support built in such as 1) a food pantry where you can get free groceries (very helpful to supplement what you do have to get at the store), 2) generous discount with a local doctor's office in Grand Rapids called Christian Healthcare ministries, 3) several garages full of furniture which students can use as they're setting up house/apartment, 4) a thrift store where students can get clothes for free, 5) student housing on-campus as well as contacts with several local houses with more affordable rent, etc...

They definitely work to make it workable for you!
If you are in Grand Rapids, you also have access to Baker Books used book section, Reformation Heritage book store, and a wide selection of good reformed and Presbyterian churches. You will have to deal with snow though.
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