Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid Available

PSR offers a comprehensive program of financial aid for eligible students, including need-based scholarships, merit awards, work-study, or loans.  Below you will find the types of financial aid offered at PSR and information on how to apply.

Merit Awards

PSR awards merit awards to select master's-level applicants regardless of financial need. President's Awards provide full tuition to a limited number of MDiv students and PSR/GTU Common MA students on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and promise for ministry. Dean’s Awards provide partial tuition to a limited number of entering MDiv, MTS, or PSR/GTU Common MA degree programs who show exceptional promise. (Merit awards are renewed for the allotted duration of each program, provided that recipients demonstrate continued academic excellence and vocational interest.) All accepted students entering in fall semester who have submitted all application materials (including all transcripts, reference letters, application fee, personal or academic statement, resume, and GRE or TOEFL scores if applicable) by the February 1 priority deadline are automatically considered for merit awards based on their admissions applications. (Applicants may, if they wish, submit additional materials that support their candidacy for these awards. MA applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a writing sample.) Recipients of these awards must be enrolled at least half-time.

Merit Award Recipients for 2004-2013 can be viewed here »

Merit Scholars and Academic Progress
1. In order to retain a merit award, merit scholars must continue to make satisfactory academic progress.
2. If a merit scholar fails to make satisfactory academic progress and is placed on probation, he/she will receive a letter, warning that merit scholarship funds will be forfeited should the student remain on probation a second semester.
3. If a student continues on probation for a second semester, they will lose their merit scholarship. They may, however, be considered for need-based scholarships.
4. Conditions for the merit award will be detailed in the original merit award letter. Additionally, merit scholars will be required to file a financial aid form each year.

Need-based Scholarships

Each year Pacific School of Religion distributes scholarships to qualified students with financial need. Students are eligible for a percentage of tuition, based on demonstrated financial need and availability of funds.  International students are eligible for these scholarships. These scholarships are not available for DMin students.

Scholarships are available to eligible students who are enrolled at least half time (4.5 credits for MDiv, MTS, CAPS, CSS, and CST students; 6 credits for GTU Common MA students). The half-time requirement does not apply to CSR or CTS students.

PSR is committed to increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of its student body. In addition to any other aid that they may receive, students from racial/ethnic minority communities are also awarded special scholarships. Recipients of these scholarships must be enrolled at least half-time.


In conjunction with the federal government, Pacific School of Religion offers loans and work-study. We disburse these funds annually on the basis of need, available funds, and satisfactory academic progress. International Students are not eligible for federal loans. Only U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens who possess a green card qualify for federal assistance. For students who have previous loans, you are eligibile to defer your loans if you are enrolled half time or more each semester. PSR reports all student enrollment statuses to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse at least three times per semester. If you need a loan deferment form to be signed, bring it to your registrar.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study Program was established to promote part-time employment for students who are in need of earnings to finance the cost of their education. Students may work up to a recommended limit of 20 hours per week while school is in session. The amount of the award is based on a student's need as determined by the Financial Aid Office and available funds. Federal work-study jobs may be on or off campus. The work-study program is open to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. International students are not eligible for federal work-study.

Doctor of Ministry Scholarships for International Students

A limited number of awards are available each year for eligible international students in the DMin program. Entering international students are considered for these awards on the basis of their application for admissions. If you are interested in this program, we encourage you to apply by December 1 for priority consideration for fall semester awards. These scholarships are only available for DMin international students.

Applying for Financial Aid

PSR's financial aid funds are administered through the Graduate Theological Union Financial Aid Office. To be considered for financial aid applicants must submit:

We strongly recommend submitting these by the February 1 priority deadline for fall semester admission and by October 1 for spring semester. Financial aid may be limited for students submitting applications after these priority deadlines. For more information, contact GTU Financial Aid at 510/649-2469 or finaid[at]gtu[dot]edu. (Note: Continuing students must apply for financial aid every year. The application deadline for continuing students is February 15.)

GTU financial aid information »

Send all completed forms to:
GTU Financial Aid Office
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, California 94709
Phone: 510/649-2469
Fax: 510/649-1730
Email: finaid[at]gtu[dot]edu

Additional Financial Aid Resources

Graduate Theological Union Scholarship Database »

Whether you are seeking funds to offset the cost of tuition, support research interests, or subsidize your dissertation year, the GTU scholarship database is a great place to begin your search. There are nearly 500 different scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loan opportunities listed on this scholarship database.

The Forum for Theological Exploration's FundFinder »

The Forum for Theological Exploration's (FTE's) FundFinder provides information about financial resources beyond those offered by FTE and by individual theological institutions. Sources of financial assistance in FundFinder can be searched by keyword and by specific categories. FundFinder is a full listing of financial aid available for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral studies in theology and religion. Here you can find support offered by churches, denominations, individuals, and organizations.

Jeanne Audrey Powers Leadership for Change Scholarship »

The Jeanne Audrey Powers Leadership for Change Scholarship is an innovative program for United Methodist seminarians studying at any one of the thirteen United Methodist seminaries in the United States or at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. It aims to bring about full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in The United Methodist Church (UMC) by supporting the development of leaders committed to this goal.

Georgia Harkness Scholarship Award

The Georgia Harkness Scholarship Award is provided to encourage women over 35 to prepare for ordained ministry as an elder in the United Methodist Church as a second career.

Video Resources

Student Loans and Seminary Costs: How to Keep from Mortgaging your future
video by Auburn Seminary (2012)

A Call to Action: Lifting the Burden
How Theological Schools Can Help Students Manage Educational Debt

booklet by Auburn Seminary (2014)