Phoenix Seminary appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Ministry Degrees Online 2018.

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the Phoenix Seminary is a small seminary school that offers religious and theological programs. Western Seminary is an older school that dates back to the early 20th century. It operates campuses in several states and decided to open one in Phoenix in 1988. In 1994, the school split off on its own and became Phoenix Seminary. Though it is a multi-denominational seminary, it primarily accepts students who are Protestant.

Phoenix offers degree programs for both graduate students and doctoral candidates. Doctoral students will take a few classes and complete some other requirements before making the transition from a student to a candidate. The seminary offers a diploma program for students who want to study the Bible in depth but do not want to complete a full degree program. Students can also earn a Master of Arts in Counseling through the school. This program requires that they do fieldwork and spend time with real patients before they graduate. Every program available places an emphasis on faith and religious beliefs. Students learn how to answer the questions that their parishioners have and how to feel comfortable with their own beliefs and opinions. Phoenix Seminary is a small school with a low ratio of students to teachers.

Phoenix Seminary Accreditation Details

Students applying to the Phoenix Seminary will find that it has both theological accreditation and regional accreditation. Its regional accreditation comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS), while its theological accreditation comes from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (CAATS). Those two forms of accreditation let students know that the seminary has a higher authority looking over it and that they can both transfer credits to the seminary and apply for financial aid. CAATS accreditation is especially important for those studying theology and those enrolling in the school’s Doctor of Ministry program.

Phoenix Seminary Application Requirements

Though other seminary schools offer undergrad programs, Phoenix Seminary offers online graduate and doctoral programs. Students must have at least a bachelor’s degree before they can enroll in any of its degree programs. The seminary will accept students before they finish their degrees but requires that they have a degree from an accredited college before beginning a program. Some programs will only accept students with a 2.5 or higher grade point average, while other programs only accept students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Incoming students must submit transcripts too. If they attended a college or university that does not have regional accreditation, the seminary will automatically place those students on academic probation. After they complete 12 credits of classes and maintain a 2.0 GPA, the seminary will take them off the probation list. Students will also complete an online application and show that they are proficient in English.

The seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program specifically trains students on working in the field with their parishioners. Students entering this program must pass a background check. They will sign a document that gives the seminary the right to contact their references and do research on them. Students who cannot successfully pass this check will find their names taken off the seminary’s enrollment list. Phoenix Seminary will look at the ethical and moral background of each student.

Tuition and Financial Aid

All students attending the Phoenix Seminary will pay a set rate of $480 per credit hour for any classes they take where they will receive credit. Students can also audit classes and pay a rate of $75 per credit hour. Auditing classes will allow students to learn more about a subject without earning course credit for the work that they do. Students also pay a $75 fee each semester. Those in select programs will pay a $25 fee to take a comprehensive exam.

Phoenix requires that students either pay off their tuition or set up a payment plan by the first day of the new semester. It offers payment plans for those who need more time. Students will typically have until the end of the semester to pay off their costs. The seminary has a Partners in Ministry program that allows the spouses of ministers to take classes in some programs for free. It also allows alumni to take classes for free.

As the seminary has regional accreditation, students can apply for federal financial aid. They can submit the FAFSA months before actually enrolling in classes. Both graduate and doctoral students can use federal loans to pay their costs. There are other loan programs available for doctoral students too. The seminary offers more than nine scholarships for incoming students such as the President’s Scholarship. This allows students with a GPA of at least 3.0 to qualify for a 50 percent discount on their tuition. Students can also apply for assistance through a grant program, which helps them receive funds from local churches and other religious organizations.

Online Doctor of Ministry

Phoenix Seminary offers a number of programs designed for busy and working students. It created a Doctor of Ministry program for those who already work in the ministry. This is a flexible program that allows students to take online classes. Though some classes only take place in Phoenix, the seminary only requires that students spend a week on the campus. It also has a partnership with Western Seminary in Portland. Students can take classes on that campus and specialize their degrees. Western Seminary offers some courses that Phoenix Seminary does not.

Students will take 30 credits of classes that include Growing and Multiplying Missional Churches, Renewing and Revitalizing the Static Church and Conflict Management. The program includes a DMin Project Research and Design class too. The seminary expects students to design a research project based around an emerging or an important topic facing ministers today. They will work with an advisor while completing their projects and present their work at the end of the semester.

The partnership that the school has with the Western Seminary gives students the freedom to take classes online or on a campus in California, Arizona or Portland. Western has campuses in both Sacramento and San Jose. Students can also sign up for a post-residency program. Phoenix Seminary will place these students in a church or religious organization and help them gain more experience before they take on leadership roles in their own churches.