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LPTS goes tuition-free for master’s degree students


Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) is hoping to make student indebtedness for theological education a thing of the past.

On Nov. 2, the seminary’s trustees announced a 10-year strategic plan that will, among other goals, provide full scholarships for all master’s degree students.

The “Covenant Scholarship Plan” will maximize enrollment at 130 students in order to provide a full-tuition scholarship for every student by 2015 and, by 2021, a stipend to cover living expenses for all students.

According to Seminary Dean-Elect Susan R. Garrett, “the Covenant Scholarship Plan will enable us to maintain high academic standards, while also favoring candidates with demonstrated gifts and graces for ministerial service.”

Capping the size of incoming classes will allow full funding to be realized more quickly. Current enrollment is approximately 150 full-time students.

This strategic plan will also support growth of the Black Church Studies program, creation of an endowed fund to expand the seminary’s information technology services and renovation of student housing. A corresponding 10-year fundraising campaign will also be implemented.

In covenantal exchange for financial aid, students will be required to engage in service throughout their time at LPTS through field education or practicum placement in a church or community non-profit.

Eliminating the need for field site stipends may expand the variety of settings in which students can receive practical formation. Without the burden of additional educational debt, LPTS hopes its graduates will be free to serve wherever God calls them.

The seminary’s master’s degrees include Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Master of Arts (Religion).