Just fifteen months ago, Rev. Dr. Micah McCreary began his tenure as the twelfth president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary. At that point, Dr. McCreary said “New Brunswick Theological Seminary is an exceptional theological community living out its calling by providing a genuine theological education within a diverse community of faith. I look forward to working with the board, administration, faculty, students, Reformed Church in America, and other denominations, to further the seminary’s mission.” Unfortunately, there are less students at NBTS for Dr. McCreary to work with.
Seminaries in the United States are seeing record lows in enrollment. In May, an article from the Religion News Service explained that there were 28,400 students enrolled in Master of Divinity degree programs last year in accredited US seminaries; that’s down from 35,000 in 2006. The number of Master of Divinity students has been steadily decreasing as church attendance drops, more churches hire pastors with two-year Masters of Arts degrees, and higher education costs increase.
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, the oldest protestant seminary in the United States, one of two seminaries affiliated with the RCA, is seeing that decrease. This year, the seminary is facing a $400,000 deficit due to low enrollment.
While that deficit may seem impossibly high, seminary president Dr. McCreary is working hard toward the future of the seminary. Earlier this month, at the NBTS 2018 Underwood Lecture and Symposium, Dr. McCreary shared the new model he’s working on for the seminary: “New Brunswick Theological Seminary: Educating people and calling communities to think critically, act justly, and love expansively.” (McCreary said the model will be ready for mass distribution soon.)
As the seminary continues its work teaching leaders and future leaders, alumni, churches, and pastors who have been touched by NBTS should consider making a gift to the seminary. A donation to help close the deficit would support the seminary as it moves into its new model. Make a gift to New Brunswick Theological Seminary this year, to help teach leaders to Think, Act, and Love for generations to come.
For information on donating to New Brunswick Theological Seminary, click here.