Looking for Help Paying for Seminary? Learn About Seminary Scholarships & Financial Aid at Saint Paul

You’ve decided to take the next step in your spiritual journey and enter the ministry.

One of the hurdles you may be concerned about is how to finance your seminary education.

The cost of seminary has risen in the past few years, along with routine living expenses such as food, housing and health care. Money is a major source of stress for seminary students and their families, as many graduates complete seminary with significant amounts of student debt.

With that in mind, Saint Paul School of Theology offers numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities to help you fulfill your calling.  

All entering Master’s-level students are strongly encouraged to apply for the Each One, Reach One Scholarship.

  • Valued at $5,000
  • Available to every entering full-time Master’s student
  • You become eligible upon applying for the 2018 seminary year

In addition to the Each One, Reach One Scholarship, Saint Paul offers a number of additional scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

  • General Endowed Scholarships
  • Named Endowed Scholarships
  • Full Tuition Scholarship Fellows Program
  • Advance Course of Study Program
  • Certificate in Theological Formation Award
  • Scholarships and Grants from Outside Sources

Some scholarships are based on financial need, while others require different criteria for eligibility.

Upon acceptance at Saint Paul, you will receive notification of all scholarships for which you may be eligible.

Are you looking for opportunities to fund your seminary education?

Saint Paul invites you to apply for scholarships and financial aid upon acceptance to our program. If you have questions, please contact Kim Warren, Director of Financial Aid, at 913-253-5050.

Spend a Day in the Life of Seminary at Explore Saint Paul

Are you thinking about a career in ministry but wonder what seminary is all about?

Saint Paul School of Theology invites you to experience a day in our community .Explore Saint Paul takes place at both our Kansas City and Oklahoma City campuses.

  • Kansas Explore Saint Paul: Tuesday, March 10
  • Oklahoma Explore Saint Paul: Tuesday, April 3.

All events run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

It’s your chance to visit with students and faculty over lunch, attend worship, and learn about balancing your seminary education with other responsibilities like work and family.

This free event includes a number of immersive activities to give you a taste of seminary life:

  • Attend a class
  • Worship in community
  • Visit with current students and faculty
  • Explore degree programs
  • Discuss scholarship and financial aid options

In addition, all participants will have their Admission application fees waived!

To attend, you can easily register online. If you have questions about Explore Saint Paul, please call (913) 725-8289 or email Deana Brink at deana.brink@spst.edu

Saint Paul School of Theology Adds Convenience with Additional Classes

Are you looking for ways to balance your theological classes with other responsibilities? If so, you’re not alone.

According to some estimates, as many as 95% of seminary students are 25 or older. Other research on students across all disciplines reveals that 26% of adult students are raising children, while 58% have jobs while enrolled in higher education. Read more

Flexible Learning Experience Lessens Seminary Commutes

Saint Paul School of Theology announces an enhanced FLEX schedule for theological education. Students will receive a more Flexible Learning EXperience that combines convenience and community opportunities with intentional academic scheduling. Saint Paul students consult with their faculty advisor to plan a FLEX schedule that will fit their learning style and life situation. They may choose all online and hybrid courses in one semester, and all on-campus courses in another.


Each course will be offered in two formats. The traditional on-campus option at the Kansas City or Oklahoma City area location will remain as one format. In addition, the course will also be offered either as an online or hybrid course (a blend of online and on-campus).

Saint Paul will be increasing its online and hybrid course offerings beginning Fall 2018. The goal of FLEX is to make theological education for ministry more accessible for commuter and out-of-state students. Additional online and hybrid courses will eliminate the need for weekly travel.


If a student chooses all hybrid courses then they will only need to come to campus 2-3 weeks out of the year for their on-campus time. During FOCUS weeks hybrid and on-campus students will come together with faculty and skilled pastors to participate in spiritual formation retreats, practicums that teach ministry skills, such as funeral planning, using technology in worship, or financial reporting, and community activities. One FOCUS week will be offered in the fall, spring, and summer semester.


“Students seek seminary education in the midst of already busy lives, often juggling many responsibilities,” said Dr. Jeanne Hoeft, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean. “FLEX enables them to fulfill their hopes with less disruption. FLEX also builds on the Saint Paul tradition of emphasizing academic rigor along with the practice of ministry, intentional spiritual formation and community building.”



For additional information visit www.spst.edu/flex or contact Deana Brink in Admissions, 913-725-8289, or deana.brink@spst.edu.

Saint Paul Oklahoma Fellows Program Provides Enriching Learning Experience

Michael Carpenter had much on his mind after graduating with his civil engineering degree from Oklahoma State University. How did he envision his future? Recently married, his wife had applied and been accepted to medical school. The young couple also hoped to start a family. If he followed his heart to go to seminary and become a pastor, could they afford it?

According to a recent article in The Atlantic, the average Master of Divinity graduate accrued more than $40,000 in educational debt and five percent accumulated more than $80,000 in debt. Meanwhile the U.S. department of labor states that the median wage for a pastor is $43,800 — not a salary that lends itself to paying off high-end loans.

Carpenter was especially drawn to Saint Paul at Oklahoma City University after hearing an announcement about a newly established Oklahoma Fellows program. Recipients would receive tuition, a church placement, and ministry mentor. Carpenter was elated to later receive the news that he would begin seminary in 2015 as a Fellow. He was also welcomed into the fold at Oklahoma City based, United Methodist Church of the Servant.

Michael began his internship by simply observing ministry and later took on more leadership roles. “I view all of the clergy here as mentors,” said Carpenter. “They are all experts in their fields and open to sharing. It’s a wonderful church.” Michael turns to one pastor for academic questions, another for pastoral care advice and another for advice when working on Sunday sermons.

Now into his third year as a seminary Fellow, Michael has grown through his multiple experiences around the church. He has enjoyed planning worship for the early-morning chapel service and preaching in both traditional and modern worship settings. He currently leads the young adult ministry and focuses on the church’s hospitality and follow-up ministry with guests.“One of the things I appreciate is that this 1500 member church remembers that they have grown through personal relationships, one member at a time.”

Carpenter has learned so much from the congregation and his church leadership mentors — all while keeping up with his seminary studies. “Saint Paul has been incredible in readying me for real-life ministry. In every class the professors discuss how we can use what we learned not just for our own edification, but also for building God’s kingdom on earth through our ministries.”

Randy Shrauner, Church of the Servant Executive Pastor and clergy mentor sees the collaborative program as a win-win situation. Together the church and seminary are raising up young, high-caliber clergy for the state.

“I have no doubt that Michael’s acumen in the classroom will make the short jump to the local parish intact and energized. We are grateful for his ministry among us and look forward to a life invested as clergy colleagues.”

Saint Paul at OCU student Michael Carpenter and his wife Rachel were pleased to welcome a baby boy to their family in May.




Saint Paul Receives 2018 Leadership Transformation Grant

Saint Paul School of Theology has been awarded a 2018 Leadership Transformation Grant from the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) in Wichita, Kansas. The grant provides tuition coverage so that Saint Paul can send 20 people to KLC programs such as You Lead Now (2 ½ days in length) and Lead for Change (a two part, seven day program).

Saint Paul will send faculty and staff members to experience a KLC program as well as offer opportunities for pastors and congregation members to attend.

Dr. Jim Brandt who developed and submitted the grant proposal along with Saint Paul Alumna Melissa Pearce said, “I’m very pleased Saint Paul has received this grant and excited for the opportunity for folk to experience the KLC approach to leadership. The grant provides a great way for Saint Paul to partner with some pastors and congregations and support them in leadership development and in providing leadership for the church.”

Kansas Leadership Center offers experiential learning about leadership, grounded in the work of Ron Heifetz and Marty Linski of Harvard.  KLC’s programs help participants gain ability in diagnosing situations and acting with purpose to contribute to forward movement. Participants also have the opportunity to work with a coach and reflect on what they are learning.

Dr. Yatta Young Advocates for E-Reader Program in Liberia

Saint Paul DMin Alumna Advocates for E-Reader Training in Liberia

Saint Paul DMin Alumna, Dr. Yatta Young, believes that expanding access to theological resources in remote locations enhances teaching and learning. She was the first person to to launch the E-Reader Project under the African Association of United Methodist Theological Institutions in 2013. Dr. Young is the dean of the Graduate School of Theology at United Methodist University (UMU) that began classes August 2015. 

This summer (2017) the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Discipleship Ministries, and the African Association of United Methodist Theological Institutions  (AAUMTI) led an e-reader training in the area. Students and faculty from the Graduate School of Theology, United Methodist University (UMU) in Monrovia, Liberia attended.

Dr. Yatta Young shared her experience with the project at the training. She highlighted the importance of books and partners who have helped provide theological texts to Liberia. Through the E-Reader Project, students now have access to an electronic library with hundreds of publications. Many of the textbooks and books are written by Africans.

“We have a good champion and advocate for this program in Dr. Yatta Young. She inspired the whole group with her praise for reading and education,” said Robin Pippin, director of Contextual Resource Development and Distribution, Discipleship Resources International (DRI).

To learn more about the E-Reader Project, visit umcereader.org.

Oklahoma City University and Saint Paul School of Theology Sign 3+3 MOU for Accelerated Ministry Degree

Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry and Rev. Neil Blair, President of Saint Paul School of Theology, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a 3+3 theological studies undergraduate-graduate program. The agreement is a significant partnership between the United Methodist-based university and United Methodist seminary.

Under this arrangement, Oklahoma City University students would condense the four-year course of study for the new seminary track of the Bachelor of Arts in religion into three years, followed by the completion of the three-year Master of Divinity degree at Saint Paul School of Theology. The seminary established a branch campus at OCU in 2008, giving students the opportunity to complete their Master of Divinity studies on the OCU campus. This accelerated degree agreement allows students to prepare for ordination and entry into the ministry in six years instead of the usual seven, while earning both B.A. and M.Div. degrees.

“We have enjoyed helping Saint Paul establish a fine program here in Oklahoma,” said Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry. “This agreement expands our relationship and establishes a new pathway for fulfilling the academic requirements for ordained ministry.” The accelerated degree reduces the barriers of time and money. “This program provides a cost savings, which should open the door for students to receive a first-class ministerial education as they answer the call,” said President Neil Blair.

The distinctive new seminary track of the Bachelor of Arts in religion at Oklahoma City University prepares students for full-time ministry in an environment that encourages the interaction of faith and learning. Studies in the major field, along with courses in English, history, philosophy, the social sciences, and various electives will give students an excellent background for entrance into a theological seminary or for various service opportunities in the church and society. Learn more at www.okcu.edu/religion/undergraduate/major.

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Saint Paul School of Theology prepares graduates for ministry in the church, chaplaincy, not-for-profit work and other forms of religious leadership. The M.Div. is required for ordination by many denominations and is among the requirements in the primary track toward becoming ordained as elder in the United Methodist Church. This graduate degree develops students as theologians who are able to understand the biblical, historical, and doctrinal traditions and the ecclesial practices of the Christian heritage. They learn to lead and minister in diverse contexts, to integrate practical skills with academic learning, and to grow in maturity of faith. More information at www.spst.edu/masters-degrees.

Neil Blair to Serve as Saint Paul School of Theology President

The Board of Trustees has named Rev. Neil Blair as President of Saint Paul School of Theology. Blair is a 1980 Master of Divinity graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology. He will begin his leadership on July 1, 2016.

“We are fortunate that Neil Blair has agreed to provide leadership to Saint Paul during this time. Neil has a long and fruitful history with Saint Paul. He brings with him knowledge and love of the seminary as well as a strong understanding of the church and theological education’s special role in the life and vitality of the church,” said Saint Paul Board Chair Twila Glenn.

Neil Blair returns to the seminary with a combination of passion for Wesleyan evangelism, knowledge of The United Methodist Church, and a variety of development leadership experiences. Blair most recently served as the Executive Director for Institutional Advancement for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Previously, he was the President of The Foundation for Evangelism of the UMC in Lake Junaluska, N.C. and Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. Additionally, he served 19 years as Vice President for Development at Saint Paul School of Theology.

Blair is an ordained elder in the Dakotas Annual Conference and served eight years in a local church in Missouri. He has two grown sons.

Faculty Write New Book about Transforming Communities to Missional Congregations

Transforming CommunitySaint Paul Professor of Wesleyan Studies, Dr. Hal Knight and Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr. have come together to coauthor the book Transforming Community, The Wesleyan Way to Missional Congregations.

The book draws on the strengths of their previous book, Transforming Evangelism. The book is written for a wide audience and can be used for study by individuals or groups in the church. It’s published by Discipleship Resources as a print or e-book.

The central motive of authentic evangelism is: Having received a message that’s made all the difference in our lives, we desire to share that message with others in the hope it will transform their lives as well. Wesley models an evangelism that reaches out and welcomes, invites and nurtures. The book will better equip today’s congregations to be more transformational in their community.

To get a copy, please visit the Upper Room.

Evangelical Society