Debt-Free at Last!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Monday, May 13, 2024, is a historic day in the life of United Theological Seminary. On this day, United became debt-free at last.

For decades, United has had building mortgages or endowment debts which had to be paid through its annual budget. In 2021, by the grace of God and the generosity of donors and friends, United paid off the $4 million mortgage on its facilities. Today, by the grace of God and the generosity of donors and friends, United paid off the $3.3 million debt to our endowment.

I spoke with Dr. Ed Zeiders, president emeritus of United, about United’s financial history. Asked when United was last debt-free, he said, “Probably in1871 when the Seminary was founded!”

Being debt-free means that we can give more scholarships to our students and more students can graduate debt-free.  After United paid off the mortgage in 2021, we were able to give more scholarships to our students. As a result, the percentage of graduates who left United without incurring any new debt in seminary nearly doubled from about 25% in 2021-2022 to 41% in 2022-23.*

Our goal is to award more scholarships each year so more students can graduate debt-free without the burden of debt hampering their ministry.

Here is how the Endowment Debt was paid:

Additional good news is that our five-year Fresh Wind campaign to raise $10 million to grow the endowment has received $8.1 million in gifts, pledges and estate commitments thus far.  About $4.5 million has been given in cash so that our endowment and long-term investments have grown to over $13 million compared to $5 million in 2016.  The growth of the endowment will provide more scholarships for future students.

To God be the glory for the things He has done!

Dr. Kent Millard
United Theological Seminary


*ATS. Strategic Information Report for United Theological Seminary. This data reflects the proportion of students who reported no educational debt load incurred in seminary. This data is self-reported by the students who completed the ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ).

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