United Theological Seminary receives $3 million to reduce student debt
DAYTON, OHIO, December 10, 2021 — United Theological Seminary has received $3 million to reduce the educational indebtedness for seminary students, from start to finish.
A generous donor, who chooses to remain anonymous, first provided a $1 million grant to support scholarships for students answering a call to ministry. These funds have assisted 14 students beginning their seminary journey in Fall 2021 and will continue to support future leaders of the Church.
In October 2021, United celebrated the beginning of its 150th anniversary year by paying off a $4 million mortgage to become debt-free. The same donor contributed a $2 million gift to help graduating students celebrate this Jubilee year by reducing their individual indebtedness as well.
Each graduate will receive up to $20,000 to reduce his or her educational debt from both theological and previous academic studies. As a result, the Seminary’s Office of Financial Aid says that 30% of the anticipated 106 master’s and doctoral graduates will graduate entirely free of debt.
Following notification from the seminary, Angela Martin, a fifth-semester doctoral student, responded via email, “I literally must stop running around my home screaming and crying tears of joy over reading this email. I cannot begin to express how this is answered prayer for my family and me! A gift like this can transform a life beyond measure. God has used this donor in a mighty way.”
Through this grant, graduating students also will complete an online course on money management called “Money Talks,” taught by Dr. Rosario and Callie Picardo and based on their recent book of the same name.
“This grant is a gift from heaven as an answer to my prayers,” says Sherri Nelson, who is entering her final semester in the Master of Divinity program. “The Holy Spirit told me not to worry about the cost to attend United Theological Seminary as I completed my application, so I stepped out on faith and began taking courses in September 2018. I will graduate in May 2022! Only God brought me here, provided all of my needs and desires, and is continuing to manifest His promise by way of this blessed gift.”
United Theological Seminary is one of thirteen United Methodist seminaries in the United States. Located in Dayton, Ohio, United prepares students from more than 30 denominations to become faithful, fruitful Christian leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ. On-campus and online learning options provide access to master’s and doctoral theological degrees or continuing education. Founded in 1871 by Bishop Milton Wright, father of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright, United has continued in that spirit of innovation to equip the Church for the past 150 years.