Financial Aid

Counting the Cost

Pursuing a graduate degree incurs a cost: a cost of money and energy, resources and support, faith and trust—and costs of the unknown, yet with a certainty that God is preparing you in order to send you. Here at Bethany we care deeply about supporting you holistically as you take this step.

Our financial aid is generous, mostly because our constituents are generous. Because 95 percent of our operational budget comes from our alumni/ae and friends, students’ tuition pays for only 5 percent of that budget. Therefore, we are not a tuition-driven institution; rather, we are driven by the hope of a more peaceful church and world through the power and example of Jesus—and you. The financial aid program outlined below comes from principles that are consistent with our deeply held faith values, including

  • asking all students to contribute to the cost of their education, but at a reasonable and affordable level;
  • providing the greatest amount of aid to those with the greatest need, and asking those with more resources to contribute more toward their education;
  • recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in a manner that rewards self-motivated achievement rather than competition between students;
  • affirming and rewarding a commitment to serve the church through ministries in many arenas within and beyond the congregation;
  • making aid available to all qualifying degree and certificate students, irrespective of course load, course location, or course format;
  • understanding that educational opportunities at Bethany are enhanced by multiple partnerships, including the connection and support of our alumni/ae and friends through whose financial generosity this experience is possible. Therefore, all alumni/ae are invited to participate in the Alumni/ae Partnership Covenant by including regular gifts to the Seminary in their stewardship plan.

Financial Aid Overview

Financial aid is available for all degree-seeking (MA and MDiv) and certificate students. Financial aid is not available for occasional students.

All degree and certificate students will pay a base tuition amount per session, $1,100  for the 2016-17 academic year. This will be paid regardless of how many classes are being taken. Students may apply for financial aid, which may cover remaining tuition costs after the base amount has been paid. This amount will be reviewed annually and is subject to change. Occasional students will pay full tuition, $1,440 per class in 2016-17.  All financial aid is awarded by the Financial Aid Committee.

Academic Excellence Scholarship

After the base amount has been paid, students who demonstrate academic excellence are eligible to receive a scholarship in the amount of either 40 or 50 percent of the remaining tuition cost for incoming students, and 50 percent of the remaining tuition cost for returning students. Eligibility requirements for this scholarship are as follows.

  • Entering Students: Students will be evaluated for the Academic Excellence Scholarship at the time of admission.  The Financial Aid Committee will review the cumulative GPA, academic reference, written essay, and faculty interviews. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
    Deadlines: To be eligible for this scholarship, students must submit all application materials for admission for the fall session by July 15, for the spring session and January intensives by December 1, and by March 15 if beginning with a May intensive.
  • Current Students: Students will be evaluated for the Academic Excellence Scholarship at the completion of the academic year. A committee comprising the academic dean and faculty will assess student performance, with particular focus on the narrative evaluations from all courses. An award in the amount of 50 percent tuition will be granted depending on the level of the student’s academic performance. Award letters will be sent by June 1. Students must be in good financial standing to receive aid.

For a quick reference, watch the video.

Church Service Covenant Grant

After the base amount has been paid, students who feel called to serve the church in some capacity are eligible for a 50 percent tuition scholarship. Examples of vocations that fulfill the Church Service Covenant Grant requirements include

  • congregational pastor (full-time or bivocational);
  • administrator in a church agency such as a seminary or a denominational or judicatory office;
  • teacher of theology and religion in an institution of higher education;
  • formalized missionary or evangelistic work internationally or in marginalized domestic communities;
  • specialized ministry, such as chaplaincy in a variety of settings, campus ministry, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, or camp administration.

Entering Students: During the application process, the student will be asked to write an essay expressing her/his vocational goal to serve the church in one or more of the areas listed above. In addition, a letter of recommendation from an individual who is familiar with the student’s vocational goals must accompany the application.
Deadlines: To be eligible for this scholarship, entering students must submit all application materials for admission for the fall session by July 15, for the spring session and January intensives by December 1 and by March 15 if beginning with a May intensive.

Current Students: To receive this scholarship in subsequent years, students must demonstrate appropriate academic progress by crediting courses at a pace to complete their program in the allotted time frame and in the appropriate sequence, including a ministry formation placement consistent with their calling to church service, or the approval of their MA thesis project. They must also submit an updated essay articulating their vocational calling, focusing on the impact of their Bethany education on their goals. Students must be in good academic and financial standing to receive aid.
Deadline: To be eligible for this scholarship, current students must submit all materials by May 15 for the following academic year.

For a quick reference, watch the video.

Need-Based Grant

After the base amount has been paid, students who demonstrate financial need are eligible to receive the need-based grant. The grant covers the balance of tuition costs, not to exceed need. To apply for this grant, students must complete the following:

Deadlines: The need-based grant application deadlines for entering students are July 15 (fall session) and December 1 (spring session); and for current students, June 15 (all sessions).

For a quick reference,  watch the video.

Federal Work-Study Program

Bethany participates in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program designed for students who demonstrate financial need. This program provides a limited number of paid positions both on and off campus that vary in responsibility and compensation. Students who demonstrate financial need may apply for but are not guaranteed these positions. To apply for the Federal Work-Study program, students must complete the following:

Deadlines: The deadlines to submit the FAFSA and Bethany financial aid application for entering students are July 15 (fall session) and December 1 (spring session); and for current students, June 15 (all sessions).

For a quick reference, watch the video.

Federal Stafford Loan Program

Bethany participates in the Federal Stafford Loan program. Through this program students who demonstrate financial need are able to secure low interest loans. To apply for this loan, students must complete the following:

Deadlines: The deadlines to submit the FAFSA and Bethany financial aid application for entering students are July 15 (fall session) and December 1 (spring session); for current students, June 15 (all sessions).

Students who have not previously borrowed federal loan funds must complete entrance counseling to be eligible for these funds. Prior to graduation, withdrawal, or falling below half time status, students must complete exit counseling.

For a quick reference on loans, watch the video.

Not sure about the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans? Watch this video.

Aid for International Church of the Brethren Students

Members of the global Church of the Brethren who are legal residents of another country and expect to return to their home country to serve the Church of the Brethren will receive a full-tuition scholarship. Students will not be required to contribute to the cost of their tuition. For more details please contact Amy Ritchie, interim executive director of student services, at (800) 287-8822 ext. 1806 or at ritcham@bethanyseminary.edu.

International Ecumenical Student Aid

Legal residents of another country who are not members of the global Church of the Brethren will be asked to contribute to the cost of their education by paying the $1,100 base amount. Students who qualify may receive additional aid provided by Bethany to cover the remaining tuition charges. This aid may include the Academic Excellence Scholarship, Church Service Covenant Grant, or need-based grant to those who demonstrate financial need. For additional details regarding the financial aid process, see the Apply page and/or e-mail Amy Ritchie, interim executive director of student services, at ritcham@bethanyseminary.edu.

Aid for Church of the Brethren Students from US Territories

Legal residents of a US territory who are members of the Church of the Brethren and are MDiv, MA, or certificate-seeking students will receive a full-tuition scholarship. Students will not be required to contribute to the cost of their tuition. Occasional students from US territories will pay full tuition.

Financial Aid Materials