To one day fully-fund the seminary education of all students from the
Alabama – West Florida Conference.
Seminary students from the Alabama-West Florida Conference come from a broad range of backgrounds and financial situations. However, many of them, especially those with families, find it very, very difficult to meet all of their financial obligations while trying to obtain a seminary education without taking out student loans that are sometimes in excess of $75,000.
Just as our students come from a variety of financial backgrounds, they also take a variety of paths to obtain their seminary educations. Some live on or near the campus and receive some scholarships based on merit. However, the merit scholarships pay only a fraction of their overall expenses, and so they eagerly seek out part-time work. Others study online through virtual classes but still incur costs. Still others are given an opportunity to serve as student pastors within the conferences where their seminaries are located, if a position becomes available and the resident bishop of that area is willing to appoint them.
Others remain in our own Conference and serve as pastors of churches in places like Alexandria, Seale, Hatchechubbee, and the Lee Circuit. These seminary student pastors may receive a minimum annual salary of $38,000. However, they have many additional expenses traveling to and from their respective seminaries each week, as well as paying for lodging during the week while they are on the seminary campus.Others work part-time as youth directors and children’s directors.
No matter what route a seminary student might take to prepare to serve God as an ordained minister, most of them will have to take out student loans to complete their seminary educations.
The largest number of seminary students from the Alabama-West Florida Conference attend Emory, Asbury, and Duke. The approximate cost on an annual basis of attending each of these seminaries is as follows:
1. Emory: $37,000-$40,000 a year
2. Asbury: $27,000-$32,000 a year.
3. Duke: $34,000-$42,000 a year
Some of our seminary students with heavy indebtedness from seminary loans in excess of $50,000 will return to our Conference this year with a minimum salary of $38,000. If they have to repay huge seminary loans in excess of $50,000 while at the same time provide for their families, they face great financial challenges. That is the reason that your gifts are so important. Your generous gifts reduces the amount of money they have to borrow and eases their financial burdens. You are truly making a difference!