students in church
Church Partnerships

Church Partnerships


In support of our mission to work with and for the church to equip men and women for strategic ministry roles, Western Seminary partners with churches and parachurch organizations to make seminary more affordable for their members. Partnerships allow students from specific churches and organizations to pursue training at Western with a sigificant tuition discount. We currently offer two partnership options:

Church Matching Grants

Western will match contributions from partner churches up to 15% of tuition for students who are enrolled at least half time in their academic program and referred by their partner church.

Partnership Grants

Partner churches that have five or more concurrent students at Western can request that all their students receive scholarships. Discount percentage varies by partnership.

How to Apply

If you are a church or student wanting to take advantage of either a Church Matching Grant or Partnership Grant, refer to our Education Collaboration Agreement, which must be signed and current before any grants are provided. Please contact our Financial Aid Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503.517.1821 for questions. 

Current Partnership List

We offer Partnership Grants to the following list of participating churches and organizations. Eligibility criteria and discount percentage varies by partnership. This list is not exhaustive, so please contact us for more information.

Church Partnerships


Frequently Asked Questions

Matching Grants

Are the Church Matching Grants based on financial need?

No, the Church Matching Grants are not based on financial need. Any student members of a partner church may receive them.

May students who have further financial need also apply to receive need-based financial aid?

Yes, students with further financial need may also apply to receive need-based aid. The total aid offer from Western, however, will not exceed 20%. For example, a student who receives 15% church matching grant and demonstrates greatest financial need may receive up to 5% additional aid for a total of 20% of tuition from Western. Add to this the 15% of tuition received from their church, and their maximum total could be 35% of tuition.

Why do students have to take at least 4 credit hours to qualify to receive the grant?

Every student who applies for financial aid must take at least 4 credit hours per semester to receive the aid because Western considers 4 credit hours to be half-time status. Students below half-time status do not qualify to receive financial aid.

Partnership Grants

Is there a minimum number of students attending Western Seminary that churches must meet?

To establish a new church partnership with Western Seminary, a church must have a minimum of five students who will attend Western. The goal of having a minimum number of students is to encourage both the church and Western Seminary to have a vested interest in the partnership.

With a minimum of five students, what are the church’s obligations?

Western's hope with partner churches is that they would remain actively engaged in the lives of the students they are either financially supporting or encouraging to attend Western. This could look like meeting with the students regularly for prayer, discussing what they are learning in class, etc.

What if the number drops below the minimum requirement of students?

We understand this can happen for various reasons as students have unexpected life circumstances arise. The goal would be to start with five or more students when entering a partnership with Western and to determine an agreed-upon length of time for the partnership to be initially established and then reviewed. If the number of students drops below a certain percentage when the partnership is up for review, we will engage in a conversation together to discern the best path forward. We understand each church partnership is unique and we treat it as such to ensure ongoing mutual collaboration and benefit.

When the initial group of students in the church partnership agreement complete their degrees, does the number still have to remain at a minimum of five students for the partnership to continue?

After the initial group that began within the partnership finishes their programs, we would revisit the partnership together to discern if the partnership served its intended purpose, or if there are more students who may benefit from a continued partnership. When the number of students within the church partnership significantly changes, the percentage discount will reflect the change. This would continue to be an ongoing conversation between the church and Western.

In a church partnership, are there any obligations for the church?

In a church partnership, the churches are held to no obligations other than an encouragement that churches would remain invested in the lives of the students they are sending to Western. We would, however, encourage churches in an active partnership with Western to provide a link from their church website to the Western Seminary website in some form or fashion and invite us to attend church events to set up a booth to help promote Western, if and when appropriate.

How long is the partnership typically structured for?

Typically, we structure partnerships to last the average length of the program. For example, if a group of five students from a church desire to all start the Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies program, it takes full-time students two years on average to complete it. For part-time students, it takes four years on average to complete it. As such, the original partnership agreement would likely last two to three years (depending on whether full-time or part-time status for most of the students in the partnership) with an opportunity to review and revisit the partnership after that timeframe.

Assuming that many or some of the students are part-time students and full-time workers, is there a minimum time period for students to complete a degree? Is there flexibility in that time period?

Great question! Many Western Seminary students work either part-time or full-time jobs while completing their degrees. As such, there is great flexibility for students completing their degrees. The MABTS, alongside most master's-level programs, has a five-year limit for when students must complete their degree.

What kind of tuition discount can churches expect when entering a church partnership?

Most church partnerships provide anywhere between a 10% - 15% tuition discount to eligible students.