CTSFW has released their Lilly funded report on student loan debt from their seminary graduates (myself included.) The responses are staggering. Take time to review their findings and consider how you and your church can respond. I’ve blogged about this many times: The Pastor Debt Monster, Debt Follows Seminarians into Congregations, and Progress Being Made on Addressing Pastoral Debt.
It will take time to digest all of the findings of this study. One conclusion that will inevitably be drawn is that seminary education, especially the formation of pastors, demands significant resources. While some might suggest that the remedy would be to scale back the training of pastors, we at CTSFW are convinced that this would not be in the best interests of the Church. It is becoming increasingly evident that Christians live in a hostile environment in which controversial issues such as same-sex marriage, gender identity, physician-assisted suicide, and, most recently, religious freedom, threaten the very fabric of our society and pose a significant challenge to the Church’s confession of the faith. More than ever, we need pastors who are thoroughly equipped to lead God’s people toward a faithful confession of what we believe and teach. While the Seminary continues to search for innovative ways of equipping future pastors for the challenging demands that will be placed upon them, nothing can replace the daily one-on-one interaction that students have both with the faculty and with each other. To that end, CTSFW pledges nothing less than the preparation of well-equipped pastors who are able to lead the faithful to contend for the faith (Jude 3)…
… Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, understands that this study is just a first step in solving the challenge of educational debt among pastors and church workers. Recognizing that the entire body of Christ must become involved in the support of future servants of the church, a major goal of this study is to make congregations, districts, donors and laypeople more aware of the financial challenges that future church workers face. We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment Inc. for its support of this study and believe it will be a blessing both to our students and to our Seminary. We welcome your continued prayers and support for this endeavor. May the Triune God guide and bless the efforts of “Improving the Economic Well-being of Future Servants of Jesus Christ.”
Source: PDF of Report