A national magazine for seminary leaders has highlighted Campbell University Divinity School’s efforts to help its graduates complete their theological education without the burden of student debt.
The spring 2009 issue of In Trust magazine, a journal covering trends and issues in leadership for theological schools in North America, noted Campbell Divinity School’s record of “graduating students with essentially no seminary debt.” By comparison, a 2006 Auburn Seminary study found that 2 out of 3 students in North America require educational loans to finish seminary, and that 21 percent of seminary graduates borrow more than $30,000.
Excessive educational debt is a major issue for divinity school students since substantial loan payments may prohibit graduates from serving in poor communities.
Kelly Jones, the Divinity School’s director of admissions, cited the generosity of Campbell University donors as a major factor in helping students avoid debt. During the current academic year, the Divinity School awarded aid to students from 225 endowed scholarship funds. In addition, Jones noted key partnerships with churches in the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, and also the Charles B. Keesee Educational Fund of Martinsville, Va.
“Campbell Divinity School is proud to receive this national recognition of the work we do to assist our students to graduate free of the burden of educational debt,” added Michael Cogdill, dean of the Divinity School. “It is our hope these newly commissioned ministers can serve more faithfully and effectively in first ministry positions without the distraction or the worry of debt.”