Ashland Theological Seminary

ashland-theological-seminaryAshland Theological Seminary is a religious institution of higher learning located in Ohio. Established in 1906, this seminary has a connection to The Brethren Church, which had a hand in its founding. That church wanted to build a new seminary school that would specifically train and educate the chaplains and other professionals working for it. The seminary later became a branch of Ashland University. While Ashland offers undergrad degree programs, ATS only offers graduate programs. Many of these programs require that students do some practical work in the field and for the church.

ATS is extremely selective in who it accepts and admits each year because the seminary wants to keep its class sizes low. There are only 800 students currently enrolled in the seminary, and many of those students come from Ohio and surrounding states. ATS now has locations in both Columbus and Cleveland as well as a small branch in Detroit, Michigan. These campuses allow students to major in any of the programs the seminary offers without traveling to its main campus. The seminary offers six main degree programs with different concentrations available in some programs.

Ashland Theological Seminary Accreditation Details

Though ATS is one of the only religious graduate schools in the nation, it knew that it needed to set itself apart from other religious institutions, which is why it looked for regional accreditation. Unlike similar colleges that only have religious accreditation, Ashland Theological Seminary has both. The university's regional accreditation comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). With NCACS accreditation, the seminary needs to maintain its accreditation and apply for renewal at least once every 10 years. It also has accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATSUSC). The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs accredited its mental health counseling program, which also has approval from the Marriage and Family Therapist Board and other professional organizations.

Ashland Theological Seminary Application Requirements

ATS wants every student who applies to feel welcome, which is why it has an open enrollment policy. As long as the program that interests you still has space available for the coming semester, you can submit an application. The seminary lets you start classes in the fall, spring or summer session. When you start work on the application, you will need to use the Ashland University Graduate School application. Ashland University requires that you create a brand new account or log in with an older account that you used in the past. That user name and password lets you keep track of your application, see when your status changes and finish the application at a later date. There is a $35 application fee, but you can get a waiver. Any student who attends an Experience Ashland event gets a waiver. These events let you learn more about the seminary before you enroll.

The seminary also asks for an official transcript, and your transcript must show that you maintained a GPA of 2.75 or higher. The review committee may admit those with a lower GPA but will require that those students complete a probationary period. The seminary asks for two letters of recommendation and requires that you provide one letter from a pastor or other religious leader and one letter from a college professor. As a counseling student, you will also need to attend an interview that takes place on campus. The interviewer will ask you questions about whether you have any counseling experience, how you will use your faith in the field and what you want to do with a counseling degree.

Tuition and Financial Aid

When you enroll in one of the graduate programs that ATS offers, you can expect to pay $630 per credit hour for most classes, which brings your total cost up to a little over $15,000 a year. The mental health and other counseling programs that the seminary offers cost $650 per credit hour. As a full-time counseling student, you'll pay a little over $14,000 a year because you take fewer classes. If you decide to do a directed study project or any type of independent research project, you'll need to pay $120 hour for each credit that you hope to earn through that project.

ATS gives out awards to incoming students who demonstrate more need and those who helped their community in the past. You'll want to fill out the scholarship application and submit a copy to the seminary. This application asks you how many courses you want to take each semester, what you want to study, how you will use your degree and for your contact information. The seminary has dozens of scholarships available for students who belong to the church and those enrolling in specific programs. You can also apply for government grants and loans as well as alternative student loans.

Psychology and Counseling Programs

Ashland Theological Seminary offers two graduate counseling degree programs and one certificate program. There is a Master of Arts in Counseling that is a cohort program. You must agree to start classes in the fall, and you'll then work with the same group of students as you complete the program. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA and take 52 hours of work. You'll take four credits of religious heritage classes, 16 core counseling classes and both a practicum and internship. Classes include dimensions of healing, crisis counseling, spiritual themes in clinical counseling and marriage and family counseling. While the practicum and internship help you gain practical experience, you'll need to complete those requirements in Detroit because the program is only available on that campus.

Those who want to work in specialized centers and treatment facilities can enroll in the school's Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Though this is also a cohort program, the seminary lets you take classes on any of its Ohio campuses to earn your degree. You must receive a B or higher in each class to stay in the program. Some of the classes that you must take include group dynamics, lifestyle and career counseling and personality assessment. Ashland Theological Seminary also offers a certificate in Christian care and counseling that you can earn while working on your degree because the programs include some of the same classes.