Teaching Theology… For Profit?

Career College Central Summary:

  • At South University in Savannah, a handful of students are starting classes toward a new Doctor of Ministry degree. Among this pilot class of four students is Gregory Kinsey, of Green Pond, South Carolina. Kinsey says he’s been a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 15 years — but that's not his only job.
  • "I’m bivocational," Kinsey says. "I do work in a school system as an administrator, and I just wanted to enhance my ministry."Kinsey says he likes the fact that this theology program draws students from a variety of denominations.
  • Robb Redman is dean of the College of Theology at South University. He says this for-profit college can also operate more efficiently, with fewer faculty and more practical classes like counseling, rather than biblical Greek. Redman says most seminaries depend on the whims of donors.
  • "There’s something kind of … broken in theological education," he says, "so it seems like now is a good time to try out a different model. And I think the for-profit model points the way forward."
  • At close to $50,000, the Doctor of Ministry degree at South University costs about the same as many better-known, non-profit seminaries. And it's not clear whether the for-profit model will take off.

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