The Huffington Post reported yesterday on the increasing pressure of debt hounding seminary students these days; the national total has reached over $1 trillion. Data from the The Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn Theological Seminary shows it is “no longer unusual” for students to leave seminary with over $70,000 in debt.
And the debt is not just affecting students’ financial status—the report showed seven out of ten religious institutions turned away prospective candidates because of their debt levels. Increasing numbers of clergy, according to the report, are putting off marriage and family or the purchase of a home. A few even face bankruptcy.
Religious institutions are attempting to mitigate the problem by educating students about the obligation of student debt and sometimes helping them create a budget: “Live like a graduate student while you are a graduate student so you don’t have to live like a graduate student later.” An increasing number of universities are considering whether or not to screen or even admit students with unmanageable debt.
Read more on this story here.