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Loans, Debt Surging for Seminary Students

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Aug 14
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Today's budding pastors and theologians are entering and exiting seminary with more debt than ever before, according to new research from the Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn Theological Seminary, Christianity Today reports. The number of Master of Divinity graduates who borrow money is surging, as well as the total size of their loans. Debts of $30,000 to $80,000 are now common -- with little hope of a high-wage job to repay them, as a clergyman's average yearly wage last year was $44,140. Those who acquire substantial debt before seminary may be "too poor to take the vow of poverty," according to Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which found that many seminaries have turned away candidates due to educational debt.