Financial Aid

Shepherds Theological Seminary commits to comply with the Principles of Excellence established by the President in Executive Order 13607 on April 27, 2012, thus publicly recognizing the importance of transparency and providing students with appropriate information.

For information regarding programs offered, re-admittance to a program if temporarily unable to attend class, our refund policy, and general information please consult our Catalog.

Federal Student Aid Program

Shepherds Theological Seminary is recognized by the Department of Education to participate in Title IV programs. This recognition allows all students to defer previously received federal student loans, graduate and undergraduate students to participate in the subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Program, and undergraduate students to apply for Federal Pell Grants.

Students who wish to be considered for these need-based funds must:

  • Apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line (
  • Set up an entrance interview with the Financial Aid Administrator, Lucy Burggraff (
  • Sign a Master Promissory Note for federal student loans
  • A student must be a full- or half-time student and maintain satisfactory academic progress in each course. See chart below for full- and half-time requirements for each degree.
DegreeCredits RequiredFull TimePart Time
Associates6012 hrs./semester6 hrs./semester
Master of Arts479 hrs./semester5 hrs./semester
Master of Divinity969 hrs./semester5 hrs./semester

The federal government issues loans once per semester by sending the seminary the student’s financial aid award. After receiving the award money, the seminary applies the amount to the students account and issues a check for any remaining credit balance.

Shepherds Theological Seminary has received the following government authorizations:

  1. The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the North Carolina State Approving Agency has approved STS to enroll students who are entitled to educational benefits under Titles 38 and 10 of the United States Code.
  2. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has approved STS to participate in the Title IV Programs.
  3. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved STS to issue I-20 forms through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to enroll nonimmigrant international students.

To obtain an estimated cost of education here at Shepherds, and possible grant aid for undergraduates, please use our Net Price Calculator.

Financial Aid Refund Policy/Return of Title IV Funds

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statue to determine how much financial aid was earned by students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term.

For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there are no unearned funds. However, the seminary must still complete a return calculation in order to determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The return calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the seminary would be required to return a portion of the funds to the U.S. Department of Education and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds to the U.S. Department of Education. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the seminary.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him or her, the seminary would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.

The seminary must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order: (1) Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (2) Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan (3) Pell Grants.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who receive federal financial aid must be considered to be making “satisfactory academic progress.” Satisfactory academic progress is defined at Shepherds Seminary by the following three criteria as evaluated every spring by the Financial Aid office.

  1. A student must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or greater.
  2. A student must pass at least two thirds of the credit hours taken each semester.
  3. Students must have completed enough credits to complete their required program within the maximum time frame allowed for their respective degree programs.

Students may be considered to have resumed making satisfactory academic progress by reversing these three characteristics by the time the Financial Aid Office makes its annual spring evaluation of satisfactory academic progress.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and tuition grants come through the endowment funds and sacrificial gifts provided by friends of STS. A limited number of scholarships are available only for tuition expenses of degree-track, credit students who have completed at least 20 credit hours on a continuing basis. These scholarships are given on the basis of academic excellence, commitment to ministry and financial need.

The student should demonstrate that his home church has been approached for matching funds. Scholarship funding is rarely available for students in their first year at STS. Scholarships are funded through revenues generated from invested funds. Therefore, the amount and number of scholarships awarded is dependent on the size of the scholarship fund.

Paul K. Jackson Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a student who shows a heart for a teaching ministry. The namesake of this scholarship, Paul K. Jackson, had a heart for teaching and was the first professor of Old and New Testaments at the Seminary, as well as Pastor of Adult Ministries at Colonial Baptist Church.

Tully M. Fletcher III Soul Winner Scholarship

The Tully M. Fletcher scholarship is awarded to a student who has best demonstrated a spirit of compassion for the lost by the habitual practice of personal or church group evangelism. The namesake of this scholarship, Tully M. Fletcher III, had an intense interest in winning souls.

Ben Hamilton Memorial Scholarship

The Benjamin Hamilton scholarship was founded by Mr. & Mrs. Linwood Hamilton in memory of their son Benjamin. This scholarship is established to enable deserving young students seeking Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degrees in Church Ministry at Shepherds Theological Seminary who are challenged daily by the balance of academic studies, ministry impact within their church, and financial support.

Student Tuition Grant-in-Aid

Before each main semester (August and January), students may apply for benefits from the Student Tuition Grant-in-Aid Fund. These funds, which are received from private donors to the Seminary, are disbursed by the faculty to deserving students who apply.

Application Forms may be obtained by contacting Lucy Burggraff at 919-573-1572 (  The application covers the academic year starting July 1 through June 30.  We would like to have all applications submitted by August 1 for the fall semester, and January 1 for the spring semester.

GI Bill

STS is approved in both North Carolina and Wyoming to certify students who are eligible to receive benefits through the GI Bill. Certification takes place through the Registrar’s office. Please contact Lucy Burggraff ( for further details and any questions you may have regarding GI Bill benefits.

Further Information

For further information on financial aid, please see the Financial Aid Policies and Procedures, and the Financial Aid Handbook.