The public "opening" of the seminary is October 1-2, around the time of homecoming. The practical opening of the seminary is when students show up for classes August 3. But as a quiet note of celebration, today is the technical, legal opening of the seminary (woo-hoo!). Shh, don't tell anyone. Today it officially exists within the structure of the university. Pop, goes the non-alcoholic bottle of champagne.
The next of the IWU Seminary videos is "economical."
So far we've featured the Missional, Communal, Integrated, Spiritually Enriching, and Personalized vidcasts. Today we feature the Economical vidcast.
It's true. If you can get into Princeton or Duke, there's a fair chance their endowment machine will give you some hefty financial aid. That is, at least before the economic crisis.
But as far as evangelical seminaries go, it's going to be hard for anyone to justify going anywhere else but to IWU's new seminary--especially Wesleyans!
The per hour tuition rate for IWU's MDIV is 367 per credit hour. That's respectable. It shows we're affordable but not cheap. We have to put the number somewhere around there so that no one thinks we're the Dollar General of seminaries (P.S. aren't people stupid--that people would pass up real value because it is inexpensive!). Fine. We have a respectable number, 367 a credit hour.
BUT, then we give scholarships. For Wesleyan ministers, it's half off, which brings the number down to $183.50 a credit hour. That's pretty good... certainly beats anything a Wesleyan minister would get from the other institutions Wesleyans usually look at.
THEN, because we are now the only denominationally owned seminary of the Wesleyan Church, we have instantaneously, as of today, equal status in the eyes of the denomination to Asbury. That means all Wesleyan ministers who take our MDIV will get the same amount of denominational loan grant that only on campus Wesleyan students at Asbury get. I don't know the exact number, but it's about 80 dollars a credit hour, a fifth of which is "forgiven" by the denomination for every year served in ministry.
That brings us down to aroun $103.50 a credit hour for a Wesleyan minister.
BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Many districts have funds for seminary education or matching funds. I believe two years ago one of the Michigan districts gave $85 dollars a credit hour for their ministers to go to seminary. That brings us down to about $20 bucks a credit hour.
So let's see, a Wesleyan minister from that district could do their whole first year, 20 credit hours, for about 500 bucks for the whole year!!!
To be sure, this equation couldn't support a thousand people. But in the meantime, from an economic perspective, you'd have to be crazy as a Wesleyan minister to go to one of the other places Wesleyans typically look at. You'd be like the Sprint commercial with the guy taking a bag of money out with the trash or the woman shoveling her quarters into a public fountain!