McCormick Seminary

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Updated August 6, 2020

McCormick Seminary appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Ministry Degrees Online.

McCormick Seminary is one name given to the McCormick Theological Seminary. Founded in 1829 as the Hanover Seminary in Indiana, it initially offered classes for ministers who belonged to the Presbyterian Church in the USA. The school helped prepare those students to tackle the unique job opportunities out west. This school later moved to a southern Indiana town and became the New Albany Theological Seminary before moving to Chicago and adopting the name of the Theological Seminary of the Northwest. It changed its name once again to honor Cyrus McCormick who worked for the school for many years.

The seminary still retains its connection to the Presbyterian Church in the USA today. Many of its students work for that system before taking classes and after they graduate. It has a small campus in Chicago that it shares with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. This campus is also close to the University of Chicago. The seminary encourages students to give back in different ways through service learning projects and similar programs. Students also work together to raise money for local charities. They use those skills when they take on positions of power after they graduate.

McCormick Seminary Accreditation Details

Instead of just seeking theological accreditation the way other schools do, the McCormick Seminary sought both theological and regional accreditation. The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (CAATS) granted accreditation to the seminary that covers all its theological programs. It also gained accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). Regional accreditation is important because this is one of the requirements that students must meet when applying for financial aid. It also allows transfer students to bring some or all of their credits with them to a new program.

McCormick Seminary Application Requirements

The Doctor of Ministry program that McCormick Seminary offers is a cohort program and requires that all students start at the same time. Students must submit their applications by October 15. They will receive a response usually within a month and will begin the program in January. McCormick will accept any application that has a postmark of October 15 on it. Students can submit their applications even earlier and take classes the summer before joining the upcoming cohort.

Incoming students must have a Master of Divinity or the equivalent of this degree before beginning the program. The seminary also asks for official transcripts to see that students maintained a grade point average of a B or higher. One unique requirement of this program is that it asks students to have at least three years of professional experience in the divinity field. That experience must occur after the student completes a graduate program. While students can show the experience they gained while in school, the seminary requires three years of experience post-graduate work.

Students will provide the school with five different documents or pieces of information, including official transcripts and a finished application. The seminary offers the application as a PDF that students can download and print off at home before completing and sending it back. They will also submit a peer assessment form completed by a friend and a governing body reference form that lists the name and contact information for a reference. McCormick Seminary also asks for a staff reference. Students should also someone who works for or with them in a church setting to fill out this form. The seminary will base its admissions decision on all the information that an applicant provides.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Incoming students must pay a $70 application fee and miscellaneous fees each semester. Though the Doctor of Ministry program is available online, students will complete some residency sessions on the campus. They must pay $60 for each night that they stay on the campus. Students also pay a flat rate of $900 for each class that they take in this program. The seminary estimates that their books will cost $250 per course. Students will also pay fees when working on their thesis projects and when they graduate.

McCormick Seminary offers financing options for incoming students, but those students can also use the FAFSA. Many doctoral students will use government loans and alternative loans while in school. A large number of students also use donations and grants that their churches give them. The seminary offers grants for students who need financial aid outside of what they can get from the government. Students can also apply for one of the seminary's merit scholarships. These scholarships only go to those with the highest grades and test scores. To qualify for any type of financial aid, students must agree to take at least six credits each semester. Those who take fewer classes will not receive any financial aid.

Online Doctor of Ministry

The Online Doctor of Ministry available through the McCormick Seminary consists of just three different components. One of those is a residency that requires students to spend 11 days on the seminary's Chicago campus. They will also do a thesis and take nine classes. The residency requirement allows students to learn directly from their professors and to work with their peers who come from all across the nation. As they work together, they learn what parishioners and ministers do in other cities and states.

Full-time students will take three classes each year and do some work on their thesis projects. Where Three or More are Gathered is the first class that students take. It looks at how they can lead small groups without losing sight of their end goals. The Church in the World Today is a course that focuses more on how the role of the church changed in recent years and what ministers can do to keep up with those changes. Students will also take a Research Methods class that teaches them how to conduct research and how to evaluate the sources they find.

The seminary requires that students attend an intensive thesis workshop in January. They will spend 11 days working on their projects with their advisors. This also gives students access to all the resources available on the campus. Students will need to complete other residency sessions that last for five days as they take certain classes. McCormick Seminary recommends that students pick their thesis topics before they enroll in the Doctor of Ministry program.

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