We’ll help with tuition.
You help change the world.
Your commitment to theological education and a meaningful vocation shouldn’t be interrupted by the burden of student debt. That’s why Columbia’s Office of Student Financial Services offers one of the most generous scholarship programs of any seminary in the country. Some say it’s our best kept secret.
More than 90% of first-level master’s students receive scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition. Top applicants are also considered for additional awards and scholarships to cover student fees, housing, and living expenses. When we say we are committed to our students, we mean it.
We are betting on our students to turn the world right side up.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Available assistance includes
All students admitted to Columbia Seminary are automatically considered for financial aid. Your application for admission also serves as your financial aid application. If you need assistance brainstorming additional ways to afford seminary, please reach out for a one-on-one consultation.
Top applicants are considered for the largest and most prestigious scholarships offered by Columbia. The Presidential Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition and also includes a single room in Florida Hall plus a meal stipend. Presidential Scholars also receive an annual stipend of $5,000 to assist with personal expenses. Renewability GPA is 3.5. The Columbia Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition and also includes a single room in Florida Hall plus a meal stipend. Renewability GPA is 3.3.
If you wish to be considered for these top awards, please complete your application by the priority deadline of January 15th.
Named for Columbia Seminary’s first African American student, the William Thomas Catto Scholarship seeks to repair the breach caused by Columbia Seminary’s historical involvement with the enslavement of Black people and the ongoing effects of racism in America.
Through this scholarship, Columbia funds the full cost of tuition and student fees for all African-American students who are admitted to first-level Master’s programs.
Applicants who demonstrate leadership potential and academic excellence are considered for several awards offered by the Seminary. The Promise for Ministry Scholarship is given to those who show a deep commitment to the life and future of the PC(USA). The Community Scholarship is intended for those who have a genuine desire to faithfully serve others in their vocation.
Both the Promise for Ministry and the Community Scholarships cover the full cost of tuition.
Denominational and ecclesial bodies often provide scholarships to students pursuing ordination and many other organizations offer scholarships specifically for theological students. For example, PC(USA) students in the MDiv program who are under care of their presbytery or MAPT students in Educational Ministry who are members of PC(USA) congregations can apply for Presbyterian Study Grants of up to $6,000 to help supplement the already robust scholarships provided by Columbia.
Our Office of Student Financial Services can help you find those additional funding sources for which you are best qualified.
The Working Scholars Program for Part-Time students offers financial aid to students based on the number of credit hours which they are taking. The more courses that are taken, the more aid that is provided. Students taking:
- Nine or more credits will have 90% of their tuition covered.
- Six to eight credits will have 75% of their tuition covered.
- Three to five credits will have 50% of their tuition covered
To qualify for the financial aid from the Working Scholars program a student must submit a FAFSA to the Student Financial Services Office no later than one month before starting classes. Demonstrated need will be determined based on information submitted. Once need is determined, the student’s eligibility for the program is certified. The student must submit materials annually. A student need only to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible for the program.
 The FAFSA is to be used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. The Student Aid Report (SAR) must be received by the Financial Aid Office no later than 2 weeks prior to the beginning of classes. International students coming to the USA will qualify based on financial materials submitted to the Seminary as part of their application. International students pursuing their degree online in their country are not required to submit additional information. The Office of Student Financial Services shall determine the eligibility of any student for the WSP.
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for student loans and to accept Columbia scholarships. Please use Columbia’s institutional code G01560.
The following costs are for full-time (9 or more credits per long semester) students enrolled in Masters Degrees for the nine-month academic year, based on estimates from the Office of Student Financial Services.
*A one-time enrollment fee of $250 is charged upon matriculation
**Tuition is $664 per credit hour.
Additional Estimated Expenses
All expenses listed below reflect an estimated cost for a single student. Actual costs vary based on the student's choices and circumstances.
Books and Supplies
Living Expenses (student activity fee, rent, food, incidentals)
Loan Fees (if applicable)
All degree-seeking students, international students, and exchange students are required to have health insurance. Columbia Theological Seminary requires a seminary sponsored health insurance plan for international students. Health insurance cost for domestic students is estimated at $1,745 for a single student.
** The Working Scholars Program for Part-Time students offers financial aid to students based on the number of credit hours which they are taking. The more courses that are taken, the more aid that is provided.
Interested in learning about Financial Literacy? Please make an appointment with the Director of Student Financial Services at email@example.com. For additional information, please visit our partners at Annuity.org at this link: annuity.org/financial-literacy
ONE ON ONE
There are so many ways to fund your theological education.
Many denominations offer support for students seeking ordination. Veterans of the armed forces have access to federally funded educational benefits. Non-profits and philanthropies offer aid to students based on a wide variety of criteria. Columbia’s Director of Student Financial Services Carlene Knights can help you identify and apply for financial resources for which you are qualified.
Our Promise to You
Columbia’s financial commitment does not expire after your first year. Students automatically receive institutional aid each year of their degree program as long as they maintain full-time enrollment status, a minimum GPA, and good standing with the Seminary.
Columbia’s scholarships and financial aid are generous, but there are additional factors for you to consider. The cost of attending Columbia Theological Seminary will depend on how many courses you take.
Tuition for newly enrolling students is $664 per credit hour for the 2023-24 academic year. Most classes are three credit hours, so the average total cost per course is $1,992. Full-time students who take a normal course load of 30 credit hours in one academic year can expect to pay an average of $19,920. Additionally, full-time students must pay a $250 Enrollment Confirmation Fee to secure their place in the incoming class, and are responsible for fees of $664 per semester. More information about tuition and fees can be found here. See our Refund Policy here.