Financial Aid

Need-based Aid Programs

Princeton Seminary is determined to make theological education affordable. We put a significant amount of care and effort into keeping tuition and other education expenses as cost-effective as possible. We also invest a significant amount of our budget to fund our aid programs. The largest of these is our need-based PTS Grant.

To qualify for a need-based grant from Princeton Seminary, an applicant must:

  • Be enrolled full-time as a first professional degree candidate (this includes the MDiv, MACEF, MDiv/MACEF and MA(TS) programs)
  • Complete the FAFSA form, the PTS Financial Aid application (following completion of the admissions application, a link to the financial aid application should appear at the bottom of the admissions application home page), and submit a copy of your most recent federal income tax return
  • Demonstrate financial need (as defined in the Student Financial Aid Handbook)
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Apply each academic year
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Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) Grant

  • Eligible degree candidates who are currently members of a PC(USA) church may qualify for up to 100% tuition plus $250 in the PTS Grant program each academic year.
  • Eligible non-PC(USA) degree candidates may qualify for a maximum PTS Grant which would cover a maximum of 80% of the cost of tuition.

*Please note that the amount a student receives in PTS Grant aid is also dependent on whether they were awarded the PTS Promise for Ministry Award, as the combination of the PTS Grant and Promise for Minsitry Award cannot exceed the PTS Grant maximums listed in the Merit-based awards section below. Questions about aid programs and application procedures should be directed to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Thomas W. Gillespie Grant

This grant program is designed to help our students reduce their dependency on educational loans. Awardees must work a minimum of 10 hours per week and attempt to raise money from outside sources in order to be considered for this need-based PTS aid program. The award maximum for single students and married students without children is $2,000 per year. Single and married students with children may qualify for up to $4,000 per year. Grant recipients must:

  • Qualify for the maximum PTS Grant
  • Demonstrate need beyond the maximum PTS Grant offer
  • Have outstanding student loan debt in their name of $20,000 or more at the time of application
  • Complete the Gillespie Grant application and supply the required documentation by the November 1 deadline

Download application (pdf)

Barnabas Fund Grant

This fund will be able to assist 10-12 students per year. Its interest is assistance to students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who are already burdened with debt. While Princeton Theological Seminary values all vocational directions, this fund’s focus is on those students from distressed financial situations who may need additional financial help to pursue their call to pastoral ministry. The annual grant range for this program, depending on student need is $8,000 to $10,000, distributed 50% each semester.
An eligible student must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered for a Barnabas Grant:

  • Demonstrate financial need for this grant in addition to the maximum PTS Grant or Fellowship awarded for the current academic year
  • Have outstanding student loan debt exceeding $30,000
  • Be enrolled full-time in the MDiv, MATS, MACEF or MDiv/MACEF program
  • Be planning to serve the church in pastoral ministry following the completion of his/her program of study at PTS
  • Write a statement (500 words or less) describing your call or vocational direction
  • Write a statement (500 words or less) describing your particular economic situation that make this grant crucial to financing your education
  • Complete and submit the attached application along with your statements to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid by August 1

Download application (pdf)

Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) Presbyterian Loan Program

Eligible PC(USA) MDiv and MDiv/MACEF candidates who demonstrate financial need beyond the maximum PTS Grant may qualify for a low-interest loan which has the potential to be forgiven if the recipient serves the PC(USA) in ordained ministry after graduating. Applicants for this forgivable loan must complete the application each year and provide documentation of Inquirer status to qualify for year one and two of their program and Candidacy for year three and in the case of a Dual degree candidate, year four. The maximum award for this forgivable loan is $4,000 per academic year.

* Please note that a merit-based aid recipient who can document need beyond their scholarship offer, may be eligible to apply for the Gillespie grant or PTS Presbyterian Loan program as well.

Princeton Seminary also participates in and offers federal loans and work study programs: Federal Direct Loan, Federal Grad PLUS Loan, and Federal Work Study.

Presbyterian Loan Application (pdf)

More Ways to Fund Your Education

Merit-based Aid Programs

Merit-based awardees are selected through the admissions process on the basis of high academic achievement and commitment to the life and mission of the church. These awards are renewable based on the candidate maintaining full-time enrollment and Satisfactory Academic Progress. They are available to MDiv, MDiv/MACEF, and MA(TS) candidates who are US citizens or Permanent residents of the US. They are offered to approximately 20% of our degree candidates each year.

The programs and amounts listed below are effective for those candidates admitted for the 2019-20 school year and later. Applicants who wish to be considered for the Presbyterian Leadership Award, Seminary Fellowship, Presidential Scholarship, and Francis Grimke Scholarship must complete and submit the scholarship application and have an admissions interview by the February 15 priority scholarship deadline.

Promise for Ministry Award

This $3,000 scholarship may be offered at the time of their admissions by the admissions committee to candidates who demonstrate a promise for ministry.

*Candidates who receive this award may also be considered for either our need-based PTS grant program or one of the Merit scholarships listed below.

Presbyterian Leadership Award

  • Selected from those PC(USA) candidates offered the $3,000 Promise for Ministry Award by the admissions committee at the time of their admissions
  • Granted to up to 10 admitted students per year
  • Awarded to top PC(USA) candidates
  • Covers the full cost of tuition plus $5,000 per academic year
  • An interview is required to be considered for the Presbyterian Leadership Award

Seminary Fellowship

  • Selected from those candidates offered the $3,000 Promise for Ministry Award by the admissions committee at the time of their admissions
  • Granted to up to 12 admitted students per year
  • Covers the full cost of tuition plus $1,000
  • An interview is required to be considered for the Seminary Fellowship

Presidential Scholarship

  • Selected from the top candidates already offered a Presbyterian Leadership Award or Seminary Fellowship
  • Scholarship provides an additional $5,000 per academic year
  • The Presidential Scholarships are normally awarded after the February 15 priority scholarship deadline

Francis Grimke Scholarship

  • Selected from students who are descendants of slaves or from underrepresented groups, including but not limited to African, Latino/a, Asian-Pacific Islander or First Nations descent. (Note: Current federal nondiscrimination guidelines and case law permit educational institutions to focus but not limit scholarships to particular racial/ethnic groups. Within the context of the Seminary’s complete financial aid program, the Grimke scholarship will focus on African American students to the extent permitted by these guidelines.)
  • Granted to up to 10 admitted students per year (up to 30 active scholarships at a time)
  • Covers the full cost of tuition plus $15,000 per academic year
  • An interview is required to be considered for the Francis Grimke Scholarship

International Scholars Program

A limited number of scholarships are given annually to select ThM, MA(TS) and MACEF international students with advanced standing.

For more information about these aid programs, please feel free to be in touch with us at your convenience at 609.497.7805 or at admission@ptsem.edu.

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