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Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Renews Its Commitment to 100 Percent Tuition Support

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, has renewed its policy that all of its resident students who are preparing to serve in the pastoral ministry of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) will receive 100 percent tuition support. The full-tuition support is provided through three sources: gifts to Concordia Seminary by individuals, groups and congregations; the student’s home congregation (the one in which he holds membership); and the student’s home LCMS district.

This policy has been in effect at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, since January 1999 when it was adopted by the Seminary’s Board of Regents. It was recently reaffirmed in a meeting of the Seminary’s financial aid committee.

“Every resident student at Concordia Seminary who is preparing to serve as a pastor in our church receives a guarantee from us: ‘The cost of your tuition will be fully covered. You will not pay any tuition costs,'” commented Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary. “As our enrollment increases, however, already stretched funds are being stretched even further. Yet, even in the face of this challenge, we will not rescind our guarantee of full-tuition support for tomorrow’s pastors.”

The Seminary is quick to add that 100 percent tuition support would not be possible without the generous gifts offered each year to Concordia Seminary by individuals, groups and congregations throughout the LCMS. “I trust that the people of the LCMS agree with us in this commitment to cover the cost of tuition for their future pastors and will be moved to assist us in this effort, commented Johnson. “Concordia Seminary’s enrollment is growing, and for this we give thanks to God. With the assurance of His continued blessing and the continued partnership of His people, I remain convinced that we can respond to the serious clergy shortage our church is experiencing.”

The past two years have witnessed the largest back-to-back incoming classes in recent history at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. “We join with the church in giving thanks for the future pastors who are enrolling in larger numbers at Concordia Seminary,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, vice president for seminary relations at Concordia Seminary. “Initial indications are that the incoming class for the next academic year will be every bit as large, if not larger than the previous two.”

The Seminary’s policy results in many students receiving financial assistance that exceeds the cost of their tuition and may be used to cover the cost of books, room and board, and other Seminary-related expenses. “The student really cannot lose with our policy,” commented Thomas. “If the student’s home congregation or LCMS district cannot afford to provide the suggested level of support for their student, Concordia Seminary will make certain that his tuition costs are covered. In addition, if the home congregation or home district exceeds the suggested amount of support, the student receives the extra amount over and above the cost of his tuition. Finally, any gifts received from so-called ‘outside sources,’ including foundations and congregations other than the home congregation, are not used to cover tuition costs and are available to the student for other Seminary-related expenses.”

The Seminary also offers the Food Bank and the Re-Sell-It Shop to assist students and their families. The Food Bank provides generous amounts of grocery, household and personal care items. The Re-Sell-It shop provides clothing for children and adults, as well as household furnishings. “Every time I walk into the Food Bank, I am amazed at the generosity of God’s people,” commented first-year student Neil Wheeler who is married and has three children.

For more information concerning the Seminary’s financial assistance program, contact the Financial Aid Office, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63105; 314.505.7202; To assist in providing financial support for students, contact the Seminary’s Development Office at 1-800-822-5287 or e-mail For more information concerning admission to Concordia Seminary, contact the Seminary’s Admissions Office at 1-800-822-9545 or e-mail For more information concerning the Food Bank or Re-Sell-It Shop, call 314.505.7205.