Paying the Bills During Seminary...

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Puritan Board Freshman
What is a Seminary? « Heidelblog

On R. Scott Clark's blog there is a post entitled “What is a Seminary?” with the following comment concerning improving "oability to educate students":

"5. Our students would come with sufficient financial support from their congregations so that they could concentrate on their studies."

In the ideal situation, do you think it best if a seminary student does not have to work either a full or part time job? Also, lets say that the seminary student's church cannot support him fully. Would it be wrong for the student to solicit his friends and family for additional financial funding in order to not have to work during seminary? (Sort of like investing their money into this man in hopes of making him an asset to Christ’s church).

Also, does anybody know how this has been viewed or practiced down through the centuries?

Are there any denominations that seek to not only pay for seminary but also the student's living expenses?


Puritanboard Brimstone
I had a friend in seminary who, prior to attending seminary, served as an officer in the Air Force for 6 years. With a combination of savings from that period of employment, and assistance from his relatively well-off parents, he was able to not have to find employment during his period of study. He was able to treat his school day like a 9 to 5 job... at 5pm he was done with whatever research or writing he was doing and he focused on his family. I was sinfully covetous of his situation.

But there is at least one "congregation" who'll pay your tuition... try the Army chaplain candidate program. ;) You can see other threads for more details...


Puritan Board Senior
Just try and get into the North American Reformed Seminary, ITS FREE!!! and it works in conjunction with your local church.


Ordinary Guy (TM)
Army paid for my bachelors too, and then I saved my pay (I never spent more than I a 2lt, I froze my budget even though my paygrade increased every year) for seminary and overseas prep.


Puritan Board Junior
Students enrolling at the Protestant Reformed Theological School and intending to enter the ministry of the Word in the Protestant Reformed Churches have tuition waived. The PRC also offers significant financial aid through their Student Aid Committee for students studying to enter the ministry in the PRC. I believe most students work during the summer months and expect to be full-time students during the academic year with no other full/part-time jobs.


Obi Wan Kenobi
There are as many ways to go through seminary as you can think of. One guy at ours sold his lucritive accounting firm, bought a nice house near the seminary and just kept a couple of large accounts open. He did quite well. Another family showed up with everything they owned in a pickup, and lived in a tent for the first few months. One brought a fifth wheel and lived in that. We made it through on savings and inheritance, plus help from family and other providential provisions. God was incredibly gracious. We only spent about half of what we had. I thought we'd go through it all. But we also proved that it's possible to live in the LA area on less than 25-30k/year. When you consider that rent went from 1k to 1400 in less than three years, that's not insubstantial. God certainly provided in ways we can't even figure out.

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
I work part-time. Thankfully, this is enough to pay the bills and have a little left over. I also receive a part-scholarship. I am grateful to God for this. I am learning- slowly- to budget. I haven't done this since undergrad days.
Hopefully, DV, next year I will be able to work even less, than I do now.
I have to say it's not easy combining work and study. It takes discipline, something I sadly lack! I also have to miss out on some extra-curricular, but worthy, activities planned by the seminary. Like I really want to go on a church planting trip, but I can't due to work. All part of the discipline and training process, I guess.


Puritan Board Graduate
When I was at Covenant Seminary, I only worked during the summer (with a few exceptions) I did various small construction - and destruction jobs. I even built a bathroom for Dr. Wallis once.
My wife never worked outside the home. We lived in the trailer park in Chesterfield (no longer there, I understand) and were very frugal.

I also worked 9-5 at the seminary and then went home to be with the family.
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