(Sacramento) – Since its founding in the year 2000, City Seminary of Sacramento has never provided student loans, and discouraged students from seeking loans elsewhere. Instead, the Board of Governors has striven to meet all legitimate tuition financial needs through scholarships. The Board of Governors formalized their practice by adopting a policy statement forbidding students to seek or accept student loans to pay for tuition.
“What the Board of Governors did today was to put in writing what has been our policy since we opened our doors,” said Board Chairman Kurt Snow. “We strongly believe that loading up a new minister with an onerous debt burden places a limit on the kind of ministry in which they can engage. It is the duty of the church to train ministers to serve wherever the Lord may call them, not just to well-heeled congregations. We see this policy as a step in the right direction and encourage all other seminaries to take a fresh look at this issue.”
The policy statement reads as follows:
“It is the formal position of City Seminary of Sacramento to forbid students to incur debt for the purpose of paying tuition expenses. While those embarking upon secular business careers may reasonably expect to repay student debt out of future earnings growth, such an expectation is inappropriate for a graduate who may well be called upon to serve in a poor or even poverty-stricken field of ministry. In keeping with this conviction, the Board of Governors endeavors to provide sufficient tuition scholarship aid so that no qualified student is denied a theological education for financial reasons.”
Alternatively, seminaries could simply waive student loan debt for those who accept calls to the mission field, or in poor and poverty-stricken areas. “That would be a first step, and an important one,” said Board Member Wayne Johnson, “but the goal should be to eliminate student loan debt across the board in seminaries so that graduates can accept calls to works that simply can’t pay them enough to support a family as well as service a large student loan debt.”
To learn more about City Seminary of Sacramento, please visit www.CitySeminary.org. City Seminary operates under the umbrella of the Reformed Church in the United States.