Financial Information

Providing quality education at an affordable investment is extremely important to the Institute for Worship Studies. Our per-credit tuition is based primarily on the budget needed to form servant leaders in Christian worship renewal—not what other schools are charging for their programs.

IWS offers several financial aid programs for those who qualify. Once a prospective student has been admitted to a degree program, an application can be made for financial aid.

 

Financial Aid

  • What We OfferThe Institute for Worship Studies offers limited financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and payment plans. Our students who have served in the armed forces, including active duty service members, may receive a 50% tuition discount.
  • What We Don't OfferIWS does not participate in Title IV federal funding at this time, so we will not appear on FAFSA forms and cannot offer loans or loan deferments. The Financial Aid Committee works hard to give aid to deserving students who display genuine need. IWS does not cover all of a student’s tuition expenses.

How to apply for financial aid

To be considered for financial aid, a student must submit the following items by the deadlines listed below. Supporting documentation should all be submitted through Populi.

  • IWS Financial Aid Application completed via Populi
  • IWS Asset Verification Form
  • Tax return information:
    • Americans: Submit a 4506-T form and the first two pages of your most recent 1040 form to IWS.
      We only need you to return the first page of this form but both pages are included for your information. Fill out #1-3 (and #4 if you’ve moved in the last year), then sign and date at the very bottom. Everything else can be left blank.
    • Canadians: Submit your most recent Notice of Assessment to IWS.
    • All other countries: Submit a short description of your occupation, annual income, and regular expenses to IWS.
  • A one-page letter that includes:
    • an explanation of your financial situation;
    • a description of when you approached your church/ministry context for continuing education funds, and what their decision was;
    • an outline of any and all other financial resources you have pursued;

Failure to submit any of these items in their entirety may result in an applicant’s request being denied, so please double-check all documents before submitting.

Any financial aid awarded from IWS will be credited solely toward the student’s tuition balance. All fees (meals fee, orientation fee, etc.) and any additional expenses (textbooks, travel, etc.) must be covered by the student and/or the student’s ministry context. Please note: Financial aid resources at IWS are limited, and the Financial Aid Committee endeavors to distribute these resources equitably to the greatest number of students possible. To this end, the Committee expects all applicants to request an amount that reflects their true need. All requests for full tuition will be returned unless the applicant can demonstrate that full tuition is their true need.

When to apply for financial aid

After a student has submitted an application for admission to either the DWS or MWS degree program and received a letter of acceptance from the Admissions Department, the student may then apply for financial aid.

Financial aid applications must be submitted no later than November 7 (for the January session) or April 28 (for the June session). The Financial Aid Committee will then convene to review all applications, and determinations will be made within a few weeks of the application deadline. Students will be given 10 days to accept or reject their financial aid package.

Payment plans

Payment plans are available for a $50 fee and with the approval of the Financial Aid Committee. Payment plans require one payment towards tuition– as well as all fees– to be made prior to the on-campus session. In most cases, the remaining balance is then split into monthly payments for the remainder of the semester, with payments due by the 15th of the month. Late payments will result in a $10 late fee. The student’s balance must be paid in full before the student can enroll in their next class.

Students who wish to apply for a payment plan ONLY (i.e., with no additional request for aid) must complete this Financial Aid Application Form through Populi. If you specify that you are only requesting a Payment Plan, the form will ask you fewer questions. Applicants will also need to submit

  • A one-page letter outlining your financial situation and explaining why you are in need of a payment plan. Please indicate whether your church or ministry context is contributing financially toward your studies.
  • Tax return information:
    • Americans: Submit the first two pages of your most recent Form 1040.
    • Canadians: Submit your most recent Notice of Assessment.
    • All other countries: Submit a short description of your occupation, annual income, and regular expenses.
  • Tax return release form (Americans only): Submit a 4506-T form and the first two pages of your most recent 1040 form.
    We only need you to return the first page of this form but both pages are included for your information. Fill out #1-3 (and #4 if you’ve moved in the last year), put IWS’s address in #5, write in “1040” for #6 and check box “a,” then in #9 write the year of the tax return you’re sending to us. Finally, sign and date on the bottom.

All supporting documents are uploaded through the form link above.

For returning students

Please note that unless you have been awarded a merit scholarship, your financial aid award or payment plan will not automatically renew. Returning students must reapply for financial aid each semester by submitting new copies of all the forms outlined in the above “How to Apply for Financial Aid” section, as the Financial Aid Committee does not retain tax documents from prior submissions.

Estimated Cost to Attend IWS

Tuition Cost

Effective for the January 2024 session, here are the current tuition prices per credit hour.

Master of Worship Studies: $422 per credit hour // 36 credit hours total
Doctor of Worship Studies: $475 per credit hour // 36 credit hours total

Rates are subject to change.

Technology & Resource Fees

Technology & Library Resources fee: $250.00 for each semester a student is enrolled, to partially offset costs associated with maintaining a hybrid campus and digital library resources.

New Student Orientation and Resources fee: $155.00 each time a student participates in Orientation. This fee covers the materials and services provided at Orientation and also gives each new student access to the Institute’s growing collection of digital and physical library resources.

Rates are subject to change.

Additional Fees

Meals fee: $290.00 covers all meals during the on-campus intensive, beginning with breakfast on Thursday and running through lunch on the concluding Wednesday. No meal service is offered on Saturday night or any time on Sunday. Students and Faculty eat all other meals together in the Refectory.

Logos Bible Software: Varying per semester.

Other: The Academic Catalog contains additional information on various fees for Incompletes, Extensions, Continuations, Graduation, etc.

Rates are subject to change.

Estimated Cost to Attend IWS

  Master of Worship Studies Doctor of Worship Studies
  First Session:
MWS 501, BIB 501A, BIB 501B, WR 501
First Session:
WR 701 & DWS 701
New Student Orientation Fee $155.00 $155.00
Technology & Library Resources Fee $250.00 $250.00
Meals Fee $290.00 $290.00
Tuition $3,798.00 $2,850.00
Subtotal $4,493.00 $4,495.00
     
  Second Session:
MWS 502
Second Session:
DWS 702 & DWS 702-P
Technology & Library Resources Fee $250.00 $250.00
Meals Fee $290.00 $290.00
Tuition $3,798.00 $3,087.50
Subtotal $4,338.00 $3,627.50
     
  Third Session:
MWS 503 & MWS 601 Part 1
Third Session:
DWS 703 & DWS 703-P
Technology & Library Resources Fee $250.00 $250.00
Meals Fee $290.00 $290.00
Tuition $3,798.00 $3,087.50
Subtotal $4,338.00 $3,627.50
     
  Fourth Session:
MWS 504 & MWS 601 Part 2
Fourth Session:
DWS 704 & DWS 704-P
Technology & Library Resources Fee $250.00 $250.00
Meals Fee $290.00 $290.00
Tuition $3,798.00 $3,325.00
Subtotal $4,338.00 $3,865.00
     
    Fifth Session:
DWS 801
Technology & Library Resources Fee   $250.00
Meals Fee   $290.00
Tuition   $3,800.00
Subtotal   $4,340.00
Estimated Program Total $17,507.00 $19,955.00
Rates are subject to change. The Academic Catalog and Student Handbook contain additional information on various fees for Applications, Incompletes, Extensions, Continuations, and Graduation that may be assessed on a per-student basis.

Outside Scholarships

Many prospective students find that their local church has money in their budget for members to pursue theological education. Even if a budget line doesn't exist, it never hurts to ask! Besides the local church, often denominations or groups of regional churches have funds for ministry-focused education. Besides IWS scholarships and grants, many church and ministry organizations award scholarships to graduate students. Past students have found these funds in a variety of ways, mostly through word-of-mouth, publications, and internet searches. Keep your eyes open for these opportunities. Below are some examples of outside sources.

CM Cares Religious Scholar Program

The Church Mutual Religious Scholars Program, established by CM CARES, is offering 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to the religious leaders of tomorrow, totaling $250,000 to assist students pursuing an advanced degree in religious studies.

To apply, students must be enrolled in a full-time, advanced degree religious studies program at an accredited theological seminary, college or university of higher learning in the United States for the entire 2024-25 academic year. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent), and must demonstrate personal impact through their education, work experiences, and volunteerism.

In addition, applicants must be committed to entering the practice of full-time ministry in the United States following completion of studies — including leading a denominational congregation, or worship group, or serving in religious leadership at a house of worship. Religious students of all denominations are encouraged to apply.

Up to fifty (50) awards will be granted; awards are one-time only and not renewable.

See more information & apply here.

GBU Foundation Scholarship Program

GBU Foundation Scholarships are awarded in various amounts for several programs.

New scholarships are offered in four programs: Freshman (applicants to attend a four-year accredited college); Undergraduate (applicants already attending an accredited college) and Graduate (enrolling or currently seeking an advanced degree); and Two-Year (enrolling or currently in a vocational/technical school).

Scholarship applicants not awarded a GBU Foundation Scholarship are entered into a random drawing for a chance at being awarded one of a predetermined number of one-time $500 grants or Personal Giving Scholarships.

A scholarship applicant must be a GBU member to apply for the scholarship and remain a GBU member for the tenure of the scholarship. Members of all ages are eligible to apply.

See more information & apply here.

The Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program

The purpose of the Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program is to educate ministers to preach the Christian religion.  Applicants must be permanent residents of the Texas Panhandle (more details below).  A full description of the Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program can be found here.

Scholarships are provided for upper-level undergraduate (junior or senior only) or graduate education leading to a bachelor or master degree in a field that prepares the student to preach the Christian religion or enter into vocational ministry.  Individuals who intend to serve as a pulpit preacher* upon graduation will be given precedence.  Individuals must have a strong inward call or desire, the necessary gifts and abilities to be successful in that calling, and external affirmation of their call to be selected as a Scholar. 

See more information & apply here.

The Rev. Robert E. and Gladys G. Ernst Scholarship

The Ernst Scholarship, in the amount of $1,000 to $1,500, will be offered annually, funded by the Ernst family and awarded by the OBES according to guidelines set forth in Article II of the OBES By-Laws, with one exception. The scholarship will be awarded to current ABC/Ordained pastors of American Baptist Churches in Ohio who are pursuing post-graduate ministry degrees such as Master or Doctor of Divinity either at accredited institutions or through a college or seminary extension program.

See more information & apply here.

Champions for Christ Scholarships

Champions for Christ seeks to assist students through scholarships who are preparing for full-time Christian ministry. 

See more information & apply here.

Harvesters Scholarship Foundation

Harvesters Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships to seminary students and Bible school students who are passionate about sharing the gospel to the ends of the earth.

See more information & apply here.

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation funds a major program of graduate fellowships in the humanities and social sciences. These fellowships support students in the final stages of doctoral study whose work offers significant potential for advancing academic scholarship related to ethics and/or religion. The Institute for Citizens & Scholars administers all aspects of this program, including a rigorous national competition for Newcombe Fellowships each year.

See more information & apply here.

Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarships

The Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship is named in honor and memory of the Generosity Trust’s founder. Given since 1965, the scholarships have supported students from the greater Chattanooga area who are studying for current or future ministry service. Madelene says that making the scholarship exclusive to Chattanoogans was the request of the initial group of Trustees, who were selected by Dora Maclellan Brown.

See more information & apply here.

Continuing Ministry Education Scholarship

The Elevate Chattanooga: Continuing Ministry Education Scholarship (Elevate Chattanooga) is an offspring of the Dora Maclellan Brown Scholarship. The scholarship intends to meet the needs of ministry leaders who seek to take continuing education and/or class(es) to assist them in their selected field of ministry.

There are essentially three groups of Christian men and women who are eligible to apply for and receive this scholarship. Those who:

  1. work and live in the greater Chattanooga area (see definition in guidelines)
  2. are theologically and biblically conservative, and
  3. are seeking to continue their education in Christian service work

See more information & apply here.

Katie Cannon Scholarship

The Presbyterian Mission Agency has created a scholarship to honor the name and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, a pioneer and legend in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  The Women’s Ministry Fund (E049991) supports Presbyterian women of color, clergywomen, college women, and other women with opportunities for leadership and spiritual development as well as mission opportunities in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Up to $3,000 will be awarded for expenses for a leadership development event in the United States for qualifying applicants.

See more information & apply here.

Fellowships for Doctoral Students of African Descent

FTE offers fellowships to sustain current Ph.D. and Th.D. students of color through graduate school and into a vocation of teaching and scholarship. In doing so, FTE is working toward improving the quality of theological education and scholarship by diversifying the faculties of theological schools. Financial support is available for doctoral students who have completed the coursework stage of their Ph.D. or Th.D. program in religion, theological studies, or biblical studies.

See more information & apply here.

Fellowships for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations Doctoral Students

FTE offers fellowships to sustain current Ph.D. and Th.D. students of color through graduate school and into a vocation of teaching and scholarship. In doing so, FTE is working toward improving the quality of theological education and scholarship by diversifying the faculties of theological schools. Financial support is available for doctoral students who have completed the coursework stage of their Ph.D. or Th.D. program in religion, theological studies, or biblical studies. 

See more information & apply here

Privacy Statement

IWS ensures the confidentiality of student records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment. Your family’s financial information, as well as the type and amount of aid awarded, are held in the strictest confidence.

Questions?

If this page has not answered your questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Committee. Rates are subject to change. The Academic Catalog and Student Handbook contain additional information on various fees for Applications, Incompletes, Extensions, Continuations, and Graduation that may be assessed on a per-student basis.