Columbia Theological Seminary

Columbia Theological Seminary Quick Facts

Denominational Affiliation
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


Theological Orientation

Degrees Offered
MAPT (Master of Arts in Practical Theology); MATS; MDiv; ThM; ThD; DEdMin; DMin

Number of Students
c. 450

Tuition Costs for 2017 - 2018
$454/hr (basic degrees); $538/hr (advanced degrees)

Decatur, Georgia

School URL

Introduction to Columbia Theological Seminary

Originally founded in Georgia in 1828, Columbia Theological Seminary was based in Columbia, South Carolina not long after its founding, hence the name. Nearly a hundred years later in 1927, the relocation to the Atlanta area secured its current location. Founded by Presbyterian ministers for Presbyterian ministers, Columbia lives up to its original calling while broadening its scope to not only the entire United States, but the world itself.

Currently home to around 450 students, Columbia's broad-mission is seen in its diverse student body representing 40 different US States, 20 different countries, and 40 different faith traditions. While faithful to its Presbyterian and Reformed heritage, Columbia is unapologetically ecumenical in its scope and, as their mission explicitly states, "exists to educate  and nurture faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders for the sake of the  Church and the world."

Academic Life

Columbia Seminary currently offers seven degrees. Three are considered "basic" degrees (i.e. foundational): MDiv; MATS; MAPT. The MA in Practical Theology is an uncommon degree that offers concentrations in various areas of professional ministry, such as Christian Education and Pastoral Care. A student may elect to do an MDiv in conjunction with the MAPT.

Columbia also offers several advanced degrees: ThM; ThD (in Pastoral Care and Counseling); DEdMin (Doctor of Educational Ministry); DMin. The ThD and DEdMin as well as the the MAPT programs demonstrate Columbia's commitment to serving the needs of the church through practical ministry.

Student Life

As a body concerned with the spiritual development of its student body, Columbia Seminary holds chapel every day Monday - Friday from 10:00 am - 10:30 am. The Eucharist is celebrated every Friday. Students are encouraged to seek an active role in worship and seniors are required to lead worship in groups during the school year.

A relatively small campus, onsite recreation services are limited but still available, as is access to a pool through Agnes Scott College. If students wish to have access to more robust facilities, they may join the local YMCA at no charge with a valid Columbia Seminary ID. Furthermore, student recreation directors plan a wide range of activities for the student body.

Financial Aid

Columbia offers generous financial aid to all full-time students in the MDiv, MATS, and MAPT programs. Both need-based aid and generous scholarships are available. The need-based aid is available to any qualifying student while  scholarships - Columbia, Honor, Deans, Merit, Racial/Ethnic, Columbia Friendship Circle - are also available to a limited number of students based on merit or other factors.


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