A large number of seminary graduates are dealing with overwhelming debt upon graduation, according to a new study by a research organization connected to Auburn Theological Seminary.
Many of these graduates are forced to moonlight at other jobs to make ends meet, found the Center for the Study of Theological Education.
The CSTE found that among 2011 graduates there was record debt, according to David Briggs of Presbyterian News Service.
"More than a quarter of students graduating in 2011 with a Master of Divinity degree had more than $40,000 in theological debt and 5 percent were more than $80,000 in the red," reported Briggs. "Many of these students discovered that not only they or their spouses had to moonlight to make ends meet, but some had to choose another job besides the ministry to pay the billsâ€¦"...
The first thing man does with anything is set up a power structure and means by which one can pay their dues to those who set up the system and decide where the prestigious credentials will come from.
I remember the country preachers of my youth who read the bible on their own after a hard day's work and preached a sermon that would blow the doors off many scripted and contrived sermons heard in many churches today.
....add the push for "church planting" instead of coming alongside downsized churches during this depression, creating competitive churches around the ones established with a community and paid off property.
so then graduates can be expected to take on all that debt and then work side jobs that have nothing to do with their education and as those around them also lose their jobs and deal with this highly transitory time, the magical leader will be able to magically put together a church that will eventually be able to pay its bill?
so in response the megachurches, planted in rich districts say, well we are prosperous because we did it God's way, and then they start planting their campus everywhere, replacing those "out dated" ministries that are on a shoestring budget....
its like watching church politics turn Darwin!
Sometimes I imagine what it might be like to have convention leaders finally admit the depression and move beyond the O is the antichrist, just wait for the next election rhetoric and coming up with alternative means to train up Godly men who really want to pastor, who really want to teach and come alongside those who are evangelists and with those have a prophetic voice for today's church (ministry of discernment and righteous living).
With those debts to pay, you know that there will be greater aversion and a little less courage to proclaim faithful gospel messages with themes like repentance, self-denial and the Lordship of Jesus Christ that might offend and send people away.