If you are in a ministry position and God has called you to earn a Doctor of Ministry (DMin), here are some tips that might help you go to seminary without going broke.
1. Carefully analyze the costs of the Doctoral of Ministry program.
Unfortunately, schools hide costs in their marketing material. Look at your budget and determine if a particular seminary is going to be right for your finances.
2. Research for scholarships.
These are few and are highly sought after. Plan to spend a number of hours finding financial aid. Many seminaries do not provide scholarships until a student has enrolled and completed a term at the school. Here is an example of one site: http://fteleaders.org/grants-fellowships.
3. Raise the funds.
If you are giving your life to a non-profit organization, you’ll be forever dependent upon the generosity of others. You’d better get used to it and learn how to raise your own support from family and friends. Take a course in fund raising. Use social media funding sites such as: http://causera.org/nonprofit-journal/7-ways-to-use-social-media-for-fundraising/
Share your mission with others and explain how a seminary degree (such as a DMin) is going to help you accomplish that mission. We don’t advocate Bingo, but the following article does illustrate the creativity of students: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1200723.htm
Be sure to research the tax implications on these gifts.
4. Go to a Doctor of Ministry Program part time.
Take your time and pay for seminary as you go. It’s better to stretch a 3-year program into ten years, than to spend 15 years paying off a loan.
5. Ask church leaders to provide a portion of your Doctor of Ministry.
It should be a no brainier for the organization. By providing seminary assistance a ministry organization can keep a valued staff member in their organization. As the seminary student grows through their learning experience, what they learn will improve the quality of service to the ministry organization.
6. Ask your church for permission to do conferences, writing, and speaking engagements to pay for your Doctor of Ministry.
The things you learn and produce in seminary could be turned into a source of income.