Eastern Seminary now Palmer Seminary: More scholarship aid

June 28, 2005

After receiving a $5 million gift from the family of its longest-serving president, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary will dramatically cut tuition costs and be renamed Palmer Theological Seminary on July 1.

Gordon Palmer, president of the Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, school near Philadelphia from the 1930s to the 1940s, was known for creating funds for those in need—a current concern for many of its students. Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, Eastern is one of ten seminaries affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA.

“Our hope is to offer a significant improvement in scholarship aid, so that as many as one-third to one-half of our students may be able to matriculate full-time,” said Wallace Charles Smith, Eastern’s president and a former student.

With the boost to its endowment fund, the school will begin offering scholarship aid to all of its full-time students regardless of need. A three-year master’s program will drop to roughly $7,600 per year, down from the current price of about $11,000. At present about 480 students attend the seminary; about half of them are African American and half are women. –Religion News Service