Degree Programs Offered at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Theological Seminaries in the United States.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary offers a total of six degree programs and a handful of non-degree programs for students. It developed a joint program with the University of Texas at Austin that allows students to earn both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Social Work. They take social work classes at the university and divinity classes through the seminary. Students must apply and receive acceptance letters from both campuses and get permission to enroll in the joint program. They will take 130 credits of required divinity classes and 54 credits of electives in addition to their social work classes.
The remaining programs are available from the seminary itself and allow students to do most of their work on the campus. Students take 180 credits in the Master of Divinity program, including Introduction to Old Testament, Introduction to New Testament, Foundations of Christian Education and Theology and Practice of Mission and Evangelism. Those who do not have a Presbyterian background will need to take four additional courses. This program is also available with a Greek focus. Students will do a three-week internship in the summer and a year-long internship as well as do ministry work in or around Austin during the school year.
Also available is a Master of Arts in Ministry Practice designed for students who want to work as Christian leaders and can commit two years to their studies. The seminary’s youth ministry program asks students to spend at least 25 hours working or volunteering with youth organizations around Austin. Some of the classes they will also take include Communicating the Gospel to Youth, Engaging Youth in Mission and Evangelism and Youth Minister as Pastor and Leader. A divinity doctoral and master’s in theology are also available from the seminary.
Non-degree students can take individual classes at the seminary and sign up for courses taught in Spanish. Those courses are helpful for pastors and others who work in the Spanish communities around Austin. The seminary also offers two certificate programs in general ministry and the Jewish and Christian relationship.
About Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a private seminary affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Established in 1902, it opened at a time when many settlers belonging to the same church moved to Texas. As the Presbyterian Church grew, it saw the need for a seminary that offered training for pastors and others who would learn its new churches and communities. It is now one of only 10 seminaries in the United States run and operated by that church. Most of its programs include courses in both Hebrew and Greek that allow students to study the Bible in greater detail. The campus consists of only nine buildings, several of which are residence halls that offer options for single and married students in traditional dorm rooms and apartments. Also known as the Austin Seminary, it has an enrollment of fewer than 200 students and sits close to the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Accreditation Details
Federal financial aid is available for students attending Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary because the school has regional accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) awarded the Texas school regional accreditation. This institutional aid covers all the degree and certificate programs it offers as well as the seminary itself. As the seminary offers religious programs, it also sought accreditation from a religious organization. That accreditation comes from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (CAATS).
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Application Requirements
The Austin Seminary offers a simplified application process that allows students of all types to apply in just a few days. Students will start with the seminary’s application, which has a fee attached. The application requires that they have the latest version of Adobe Reader to both view and complete the form. Students can also download a PDF version of the application and use their computer software to fill it out before dragging and dropping it into a box on the seminary’s website. When they apply, they’ll also find a box that allows them to pay the application fee. This fee is $25 for a certificate program and $50 for a degree program.
Students then need to visit the Castlebranch website and give the seminary authority to run a background check on them. The seminary asks for official transcripts from any schools a student attended and earned credits as well as three essays from each student. They will write an autobiography, an analytical essay and a third that answers a question from the department that oversees their degree programs. Most essays need to be at least two pages long. The final requirement for all students is an interview with one of the admissions counselors at the seminary.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Both degree and non-degree seeking students attending the Austin Seminary pay $233 per credit, and one credit equals one semester hour. Most of the courses they take are worth six credits and cost $1,398 per class. Doctor of Ministry students pay $1,824 each time they do a residency at the seminary. Most of these students only need to do one residency while in the program.
Several types of financial aid are available from the seminary, including tuition grants. One grant covers 50 percent of the cost of the seminary’s youth ministry program regardless of how much need the student has. Students can qualify for need-based grants that cover up to 85 percent of their total costs. Eight full-tuition merit scholarships are available for new students each year as well as some fellowship based on the individual merit of students. These awards have set deadlines and require that students apply for each one.
Also available are grants for parents who want to go to school but have children at home. Students need to apply for these grants and show proof that they need help with their childcare. The seminary offers childcare assistance grants in both the fall and the spring. On-campus jobs allow students to work part-time as tutors, instructional aides, and research assistants too. The federal direct loan program offers loans to students in any of the degree programs available at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary too.