Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary made news last week, when they announced that beginning in 2015, they won’t be charging tuition anymore:
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) will not charge tuition for students in its master’s degree programs in divinity, marriage and family therapy and religion beginning in 2015. Tuition is currently a little over $10,200.
“As a result of this bold decision, Louisville Seminary is poised to make not only a difference in the future of this school and in theological education, but also a difference for the future of the church,” said Pamela G. Kidd, chair of the Board of Trustees, following the trustees’ unanimous and enthusiastic vote.
The trustees also committed to raising about $17 million toward the program. The seminary’s current endowment is about $70 million. By 2021 the seminary intends to offer an additional stipend to every student to cover living expenses.
Total master’s degree enrollment will be capped at 130 ― down from about 150 currently ― to make the tuition-free program affordable and more selective. “Capping the size of entering classes will make full funding of each student an achievable goal within a relatively short time frame,” said Patrick Cecil, LPTS’s vice-president and CFO in a statement released by the seminary announcing the historic program.
Interesting, don’t you think? I imagine that LPTS will suddenly become a very competitive place to get in to in 2015, which will inevitably raise the competency of of the student body. How they’ll make it work financially is another question. But at least if they go down, they’ll be going down in flames.
My only question is this: How many LPTS students are already going for free? I know from my experience at Princeton that most of the students who were on the PC(USA) ordination track didn’t pay for their education. If most of their current students are already going for free, then I don’t know what the news is.
HT: Patrick Marshall