CTS Takes Bold New Step To Further Support Canadians
Published by Shawn Brix
At their October 2022 meeting, the Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) Board of Trustees made the bold decision to accept Canadian dollars (CAD) paid toward tuition at par with the U.S. dollar (USD). Over the past half-decade, the average exchange rate between the CAD and USD has been roughly 30% but has been as high as 45%. For the last several months, it’s hovered in the 35% range. Accepting CAD at par is a huge saving for Canadian students who have chosen CTS to be further equipped for Kingdom service.
Although CTS serves an increasingly diverse body of students as the official seminary of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), it recognizes its unique responsibility to serve churches in the US and Canada. Because the exchange rate put Canadian students at a distinct disadvantage, the CTS Board of Trustees knew it was time to do away with the historic obstacle to those living north of the 49th parallel. The decision was a clear indication of the seminary’s firm commitment to serving a bi-national denomination.
CTS President, Jul Medenblik, called the news “an answer to prayer.” Presently, the seminary provides about $1.4 million a year in scholarships. While these funds already serve to make CTS more affordable than many seminaries, this new initiative pushes affordability to new heights. Not only will it bless existing students from Canada, but it will also attract a whole new generation of Canadians to make CTS their choice for pursuing further theological education.
While CRCNA classes in Canada often pay a portion or all of a student’s tuition, they are encouraged to see this new initiative as an opportunity to further support the students under their care. A classis can determine that their cost savings in tuition go towards a student’s books, travel, health care costs, and other family needs.
The CAD/USD parity initiative applies to all first-level Masters’ degrees (MDiv, MA, and MTS programs) and was implemented in the Winter Semester of the 2022/23 academic year. It was made possible through two Canadian charitable foundations that appreciate the seminary’s vision and mission. Medenblik said, “I want to especially thank our Canadian donors who were deeply involved in developing this initiative. It will mean so much for generations to come.”
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