Why is traditional seminary so expensive? There is a local seminary close to where I live in Arizona called Phoenix Seminary. Their M.Div degree costs around $37,000 (http://www.phoenixseminary.edu/AcademicServices/AcademicPrograms/MasterofDivinity/tabid/281/Default.aspx)
Now as much as I would like to attend this institution I simply can not afford it. So I've decided to take their course descriptions (as well as others) and develop my own free seminary. There are countless on-line "seminary's" each claiming to be unique and called by God. While I don't doubt that many of the on-line "seminaries" are well meaning. For example, listen to this description of an online seminary: Northwestern Theological Seminary offers the most time efficient and affordable way ever to receive your Online Seminary degrees. There is NO Preset Tuition...Our students simply make a Love Offer which can save you up to 98% when compared to total costs of many traditional Degree programs. http://www.northwesternseminary.com/
What exactly is a love offering?
Masters Degree M.Div. or M.Th.
As Much As: $50,000 *TRADITIONAL Private College or University
Love Offer SAVE 96% of *TRADITIONAL >>>
Enter $1,900 or More
Thus, for a "love" offering of $1,900 you can get an online theological degree.
What about accreditation? Well, NTS spills a lot of ink attempting to minimize the importance of accrediation and by the end they just quote the verse: And the authorities said, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching, in the name of this man Jesus, behold now you have filled all of Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring the blood of Jesus upon us." But Peter and the Apostles answered and said, "We must serve God rather than men." (Acts 5: 28-29). Many online "seminaries" just come out and say "Our accreditation comes from God.
Traditional seminaries which offer an online program are not much better. You would think because the program is online that the expense would decrease. Not the case.