frustration · School · theology

School Sticker Shock!

So I got a bit of a shock yesterday when I looked into going back to school. I just want to go back part-time, 2 or 3 classes per semester, and finish my Theology degree so that I can go on to become a Pastor. Seeing as how September is quickly drawing to a close, I figured I’d start getting the details on applying for school and getting the ball rolling. Then I saw tuition costs. I’d looked at the University of Winnipeg (UofW), and Manitoba (UofM) in the past and tuition for a 3 credit course (standard) was just under $300 which was fine and I figured we could afford for me to take 2 classes come January.

Then I look at Canadian Mennonite University’s tuition, $590 for a 3 credit hour course! That’s double what it costs to do a degree at either of the other universities in town. So then I look a little closer at the other schools to see if I’m missing something. It turns out that while a 3 credit hour course in the Faculty of Arts is only $285, a 3 credt hour course in the Faculty of Theology is $585. Umm… what?!?! How does that work? The only people going into the Faculty of Theology are potential ministry candidates; people that aren’t looking to make a lot of money. So why does it cost double to get a degree to go into ministry as it does to get a normal Arts or Science degree. And then seminary ends up being $900-1300 per class.

It was a bit of a kick in the nuts. So I’m figuring when it’s all said and done, we’ll be shelling out about $1500 for me to go back to school in January. Which is a good $500 more than we had planned on spending. I know we can make it work, and we’ll just make some cuts in other areas. We, like most people, aren’t always the greatest with our spending habits, but I like to think that we’ve really improved over the past couple of years.

So, I guess we’ll make it work, it just really sucks. It’ll cost me just as much to become a pastor as it would to become a doctor, and I’ll make less than a third. Now I know people don’t become pastors for the money, but that’s a HUGE debtload to take on for a career path that pays a mere pittance in comparison to an equally costly education. No wonder there is a pastor shortage, not many people are going to accept a debtload like this for such little monetary pay off. It’s not like it is buying me a ticket to Heaven; that’s free and available to anyone.

Prayers would be greatly appreciated as we make some pretty big transitions in the next few months. Mama Bean is due in about 4 weeks, I’ll be off work for 9 months starting December 1st, and I’m hoping to be taking a couple of classes starting in January. It’s going to be a busy time, but I’m really looking forward to it all.

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