GTS Initiatives to Ease Student Debt Are Featured on Episcopal Digital Network


General Theological Seminary's initiatives to address the financial realities facing seminarians and graduates are featured in an article published on June 4, 2012, on the Episcopal Digital Network. Written by Veronica Dagher, a New York City-based reporter, the article honestly presents the hardship of seminary debt and describes steps being taken by seminaries, dioceses and other church bodies to ease the financial stress. The article highlights GTS' efforts to provide more scholarships, such as by establishment in 2012 of the Peter James Lee Fund and the  F.A.R. and Wide Scholarship in Mission and World Anglicanism, and through the successful May 2012 Scholarship Challenge, and to educate students better about financial stewardship. In particular, the seminary is developing a Financial Literacy certificate program, which will provide students with skills to manage both their own finances and the finances of parishes where they may work. President Lang Lowrey also revealed that GTS is building its distance-learning program, including as a means for reducing student debt. While still in the very early planning stages, Lowrey said that GTS is considering, for example, a program in which M.Div. students would attend seminary full-time for two years, then spend their third year gaining practical experience and attending courses online to complete their degree.

Such efforts, President Lowrey affirmed, are needed to support seminarians who are following a call to serve God. â€œWe have even more of a responsibility [to help them] as they follow this call."