Financial Aid

About Financial Aid

A Short Guide to Financial Aid at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

See also Need-based Grants and Merit Scholarships and Awards. You'll find forms not linked below here.

Financing a seminary education involves much more than paying bills. It requires prayerful planning and budgeting, good money and time management skills, and the joyful receiving of gifts! This guide describes the different kinds of financial aid available to LTSP students and explains eligibility, application processes and timeline for applying.

See our 2013-2014 fee schedule (pdf file).



All students who are enrolled at least half-time (at least two courses per semester) in a first professional degree program (MDiv, MAR or MAPL), an approved special program at the first professional level, or an advanced level degree program (STM or DMin) are eligible for financial aid. (PhD students apply for financial aid using different forms; these students also observe different application deadlines.) You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

When to apply

  1. The ideal time to apply for financial aid is when you complete your application for admission.
  2. If you don't apply for financial aid when you apply for admission, we suggest applying as soon as possible after being admitted. Since grants are awarded on a rolling basis and because our grant pool, while ample, is limited, an early application is a good idea. Those who complete applications by APRIL 15 will have priority for the highest percentage of financial aid.
  3. The deadline for application for financial aid for new students is July 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.

How to apply

  1. File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) with the Department of Education. You can do this online at LTSP's school code is G03292. (You must obtain a FAFSA PIN, if you do not already have one, before you begin your FAFSA. To register for your FAFSA PIN visit
  2. Complete a Seminary Financial Aid Application and send it, along with your most recent federal tax return, to Elizabeth Brunton, Financial Aid Director.
  3. If you are applying for a Direct Loan, go to and complete the Graduate Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling as instructed. The school code is the same as for the FAFSA (G03292).

Need-based Grants

LTSP Seminary Scholarship Grants

LTSP is able to provide substantial, need-based seminary scholarship grants thanks to the generosity and partnership of people throughout the Church, along with the support of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other denominations. The majority of LTSP's full-time students receive generous seminary scholarship grants. When you receive such a grant, you are not simply getting money for tuition -- you're being welcomed into a valuable partnership with God's people -- the Church!



Seminary Scholarship Grants based on demonstrated need. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.


Non-ELCA students who are enrolled at least half-time (minimum of two courses per semester), as well as those who are enrolled full-time (at least four courses per semester), are eligible for need-based Scholarship Grants from the seminary based on demonstrated need.

Merit Scholarships and Awards

Part-Time Students


  • MDiv, MAR, and MAPL Students: Newly admitted and enrolled part time students in the MDiv, MAR, and MAPL programs are eligible for an Eby Scholarship. Newly admitted students who register for two or more courses will receive a grant of $600.00 for each of the first two semesters of study (for a total of $1200.00).
  • STM and DMin (Graduate) Students: The Eby Scholarship for Graduate Studies students in the STM and DMin programs are available to any new or current part time matriculated Graduate student. Student qualification is determined by and through application available in the Graduate School offices. A $200.00 Grant will be awarded for one registered course, and $500.00 for two registered courses.


  • Newly admitted part time students in the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Religion, and Master of Arts in Public Leadership programs, enrolled in two or more courses a semester, are eligible for a Leadership Grant during their first year of study. Each recipient will receive $765.00 for each of his or her first two semesters of study.
  • Ten (10) Leadership Grants are available for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Entering Students


A number of Philadelphia scholarships are awarded to incoming first professional students each year. The scholarships are given to students who have outstanding academic credentials, who write well and who demonstrate exceptional potential for ministry. These scholarships provide full tuition plus a book allowance and fees (including health insurance for the individual student). They are renewable for up to six semesters by maintaining a 3.5 grade point average (GPA).


These generous scholarship funds provide up to full tuition assistance to a number of incoming first professional students who demonstrate exceptional potential for ministry. They are renewed for up to six semesters by maintaining a 3.3 GPA.

Note: For the two scholarships listed above, the financial aid committee uses the admissions application to make its decisions. No special application or nomination is required. All applications that include a transcript with a 3.5 GPA (or its equivalent) or above are automatically considered for these scholarships.


A number of Presidential scholarships are awarded to incoming first professional students whose strong potential for ministry is demonstrated by a record of service to the church and/or community. These scholarships range from $500 to $4,000, are given at the discretion of the financial aid committee, and are not renewable.

Current Students

Full-time first professional students who have completed at least one semester of study become eligible for other merit awards. Each year the Financial Aid Committee or the Dean nominates students from among whom the Faculty selects recipients of the following scholarships (there is no student application for these awards):

  • The Ted C. Womer Leadership Award, one award annually with possibility of renewal. Recipients shall demonstrate exceptional dedication and commitment to the Church, outstanding leadership qualities, and academic ability. Funded by earnings from an endowment established by St. John’s Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT.
  • The Dr. and Mrs. William Reifsnyder Leadership for Mission Endowed Scholarship Fund, one award annually to a first-year student with a B+ or better prior academic record and exceptional leadership potential.
  • The Roy L. Winters and Sarah Stober Winters Scholarship, one award annually to a member of the first-year class. Consideration is given to academic merit, promise for ministry, and financial need.
  • The Traci L. Maul Awards, one or more awards annually to a student or students who have finished the first year of study and who exemplify the qualities of Pastor Maul: outstanding leadership potential for ministry, active contribution to seminary community life, and academic strength. Funded by earnings from an endowment created in memory of the Rev. Traci L. Maul, MDiv 1995.
  • The Karl Elser Wurster Memorial Award, one award annually to a member of the second-year class. Consideration is given to academic merit, promise for ministry, and financial need.
  • The Paul J. Hoh Awards, four awards annually to Lutheran students, two from the second-year class and two from the final-year class. Consideration is given to academic merit and promise for ministry.
  • The Atonement, Asbury Park Preaching Award, one award annually to a senior student selected by a faculty committee for exceptional potential in the field of Homiletics and Preaching, and having financial need.
  • The Dr. LeRoy Aden Scholarship in Pastoral Care, one award annually to a senior student (normally in the MDiv program). The student is to be nominated by the Integrative Area and approved by the Faculty as having outstanding potential in the area of pastoral care.

Black Church (UTI) Concentration students are eligible for a number of scholarships particular to that area of study. They include:

  • UTI Book Awards provide $100 per semester to those UTI or Black Church concentration students who have completed a minimum of ten academic units with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.3 and who completed a minimum of two academic units in the previous semester. Awards are automatically credited to the accounts of qualifying students after each semester’s grades have been posted.
  • The UTI Academic Award is given each Fall to the African-American UTI or Black Church concentration student preparing for ordained ministry who has achieved the highest cumulative grade point average and who has completed at least ten total academic units. A student may receive this award only once in his/her seminary academic career.
  • UTI Merit or Financial Aid Scholarships are awarded to UTI and Black Church concentration students having a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5, who have completed at least ten academic units, and who are registered in the current academic year for at least two academic units per semester. Students interested in these scholarships must submit a written request to the Financial Aid Officer and complete the regular LTSP financial aid and FAFSA forms. The number and value of awards made are determined by the funds available in the Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson scholarship fund and other designated funds.

Direct Loans

In addition to seminary need-based grants and merit scholarships, subsidized, low-interest loans are available through the federal government. In order to keep debt-loads as low as possible, students are counseled to use these loans sparingly. The recommended maximum educational debt for a single student is $30,000.

To begin an application for a Direct Loan, visit the website and complete your Graduate Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note (MPN). You must complete the Entrance Counseling available at this site before any of the proceeds from your Direct Loan will be available to you.

Unsubsidized Direct Loan (note: Subsidized Loans for Graduate Students were discontinued beginning Fall 2011)

  1. Eligibility based on cost of attendance(COA) - other aid awarded - estimated cost of attendance (EFC). Available to students who are studying at least half time (2 full units per semester). Financial Need is not a requirement for this loan.
  2. Student may either pay or defer interest while in school. Note that defering interest increases the overall repayment of the loan. If you CAN pay your interest as you go, you should!


The seminary participates in the Federal Work Study (FWS) program provided by the United States Department of Education. FWS positions are available on and off campus for students who qualify.

The FWS positions are posted at the beginning of each academic year, or when available, online at the Federal Work Study page. Each year you will be notified if you qualify for FWS positions when you receive your financial aid award letter from the seminary. The base pay for FWS positions is $8.50 an hour. There are a few positions that pay considerably higher, but there are pre-requisite degree requirements for these higher paying positions. Each year the seminary is pleased to expend over 20% of the federally allotted funds in after school tutoring programs at local off campus sites.

Teaching and Research Assistant positions are also available for students who qualify and are enrolled in advanced degree programs. The students who will fulfill these TA and RA positions are selected by faculty members from those who qualify and are pursuing either STM or PhD degrees.


It is important to consider and pursue non-seminary sources of financial aid for your seminary expenses. Plan carefully how you will use your personal resources. But also ask family and friends for their support. You just might be surprised by who is eager to help! Apply for aid from your congregation. Even small congregations should be able to help some, for instance by buying your books. Also, inquire about financial aid from your local judicatory (synod, diocese, presbytery, etc.).

A list of other sources of financial aid is available by request from the financial aid office. Also, visit for a listing of scholarships for which you might be eligible.


Elizabeth Brunton
Financial Aid Director
1.800.286.4616, extension 6301 or 215.248.6301