Skip to main content

Will you join Midwestern Seminary to train men and women for the Church? By finishing this fiscal year well, you can help us start next year with momentum. Consider giving by July 31st to our For the Church Fund. Every dollar given to the For the Church Fund is a dollar we don't have to charge a student. Make my gift.

MBTS logo link to homepage

Midwestern Seminary Announces 100% Tuition Scholarships for 100 New Students

Posted October 24, 2023 by Lucas Hahn

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Residential masters students admitted into Midwestern Seminary’s For the Church Cohorts will receive a 100% tuition scholarship for the first year of their master’s degree beginning in the fall of 2024.

The full-tuition scholarship includes tuition costs for up to 18 credit hours of residential or practicum courses during the academic year. Additionally, those in the Fusion Master’s Cohort will receive an additional $3,000 scholarship to cover a portion of their overseas costs.

“I am thrilled about our expanded FTC Cohorts and the fact that we can now offer a full tuition scholarship for 100 new, incoming residential students,” said President Jason Allen. “Theological education is always best done in community. With FTC Cohorts, these students will get quality time and mentorship with our world class faculty. I cannot think of a better way to receive robust theological education for the church.”

“Over the past couple of years, God has called several generous supporters to come alongside our work at Midwestern Seminary and make these scholarships possible. The donors’ intent aligns perfectly with the seminary’s desire to more deeply invest in those called to local church service. I wish I had such an opportunity when I pursued my MDiv two decades ago.”

FTC Cohorts is a one-year training program designed to equip like-minded seminary students through enhanced discipleship, focused study, and intentional community.

The cohorts exist for first year graduate-level students who desire to enhance their academic studies through hands-on ministry experience in one of seven areas of focus: Shepherds Fellowship, Biblical Counseling, Fusion Masters, Women in Scholarship, Spurgeon Fellows, Biblical Studies, and Theological Studies.

Each week, cohorts gather on Midwestern Seminary’s campus for fellowship, presentations and discussions on topics related to their ministry fields, and to learn from world-class faculty and ministry leaders. Moreover, participants gain invaluable experience in serving local churches while helping plan and manage events.

Midwestern Seminary believes ministry preparation is best done in community. Having recently added cohort options at their undergraduate arm, Spurgeon College, the seminary’s full-tuition scholarship opportunity cements its commitment to residential theological education.

Jordan Wilbanks, director of church partnerships, said of the cohorts, “We believe this is the best way to train for ministry. The level of community-building, faculty investment, and institutional buy-in toward the student experience at Midwestern Seminary is extraordinary. This means that participants in each cohort will be known by their faculty leaders, will have an immediate avenue to genuine and long-lasting friendships, and will have invaluable opportunities to learn and grow as a leader.”

Each cohort will be led by local experts in the field and focus on a particular area of interest for residential graduate students.

Shepherds Fellowship

The Shepherds Fellowship Cohort, formerly known as the Timothy Track, prepares students for preaching and pastoral ministry. Cohort participants receive in-the-field ministry training and mentorship in the context of the local church. Each student will partner with a pastor or church leader for mentorship during the program.

Reflecting on the growth of the program, Wilbanks said, “The Shepherds Fellowship Cohort will continue to prioritize practical experience in the local church setting. We’re excited to expand the Shepherds Fellowship Cohort so even more people can benefit from the program.”

Biblical Counseling

The Biblical Counseling Cohort, involving counseling experts from the Kansas City-based headquarters of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, helps comprehensively equip students in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program at Midwestern Seminary. This cohort is led by Dale Johnson, associate professor of biblical counseling at Midwestern Seminary and the executive director of ACBC.

Speaking to the benefit of these cohorts, Johnson said, “Discipleship happens in relationship. Time with students is a premium and knowing their stories helps me train them for church ministry with greater precision and purpose. These students will have the opportunity to build relationships with faculty that endure throughout their time in ministry.”

Fusion Masters

The Fusion Masters Cohort, in association with the International Mission Board, comes alongside churches to help train future missionaries for the missionary task, culminating their experience with a summer mission assignment and qualification for long-term service with the IMB. This cohort is led by Joe Allen III, assistant professor of missions at Midwestern Seminary and former missionary with the IMB.

As an encouragement to prospective participants, Allen III said of this cohort, “My wife and I were part of a small group during seminary that proved to be one of the most formative spiritual experiences of that season and a great source of ongoing encouragement. I have a similar vision for the members of my cohort, that through their participation, they will forge lifelong friendships that stimulate greater devotion to the Lord and passion for the lost.”

Women in Ministry and Scholarship

The Women in Ministry and Scholarship Cohort is led by Leslie Umstattd and Christy Allen. Umstattd has served in a variety of ministry roles for over 20 years, including teaching Bible studies, developing curriculum, and leading women’s retreats. She currently serves on the instructional faculty at Midwestern Seminary, where she received her Doctorate in Educational Ministry, and as the women’s ministry leader at her local church.

Allen served as a missionary with the International Mission Board in South Asia for 14 years. During her time overseas, she wrote and translated two books on the sanctity of life, developed discipleship curriculum, and hosted several conferences for women. In addition to her extensive training and experience in trauma healing, Allen received her Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and enjoys writing and teaching on the topics of missions and evangelism.

Speaking to women interested in this cohort, Umstattd said, “I am thoroughly excited about co-leading an FTC Cohort. This type of experience provides opportunity for deep conversation and relationship. This is where life on life happens and where we can have long lasting impact on future ministry.”

Allen agreed as she stated, “I am also thrilled to be co-leading this cohort for women because I believe transformation happens in relationships. We want to enhance the academic experience of female students by providing mentorship and creating a safe community where they can connect with each other and connect the truth with life. My prayer is that the women in our cohort will feel seen, known, and loved, and in turn, have greater capacity to love others well.”

Spurgeon Fellows

The Spurgeon Fellows Cohort, affiliated with the Spurgeon Center at Midwestern Seminary, gives participants full access to the Spurgeon Library, the premier center of Spurgeon scholarship, housing nearly 6,000 volumes from Charles Spurgeon’s personal library. This cohort is led by Geoff Chang, assistant professor of historical theology at Midwestern Seminary and curator of the Spurgeon Library.

Expressing his excitement for new students in this cohort, Chang said, “As a former vocational pastor and current lay pastor, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to invest more intentionally in seminarians who are getting ready to launch into ministry. I’ve always believed that church history is the pastor’s best friend, and my goal for this cohort is that we would be able to learn from those who have come before us through focused reading and discussion.”

Biblical Studies

The Biblical Studies Cohort is designed for students interested in studying Old Testament, New Testament, and biblical theology. This cohort is led by Tyler Sykora, assistant professor of biblical studies at Midwestern Seminary, and features additional faculty members in biblical studies.

Speaking to students interested in this cohort, Sykora said, “Understanding how to properly interpret God’s Word is one of the fundamental reasons why a seminary exists. Through this cohort, we will think deeply about aspects of Old and New Testament theology, the New Testament use of the Old Testament, the importance of learning Greek and Hebrew, exegetical fallacies and best practices, and more! Each of these topics is fundamental to a robust biblical education, and the best part is the context of community through which all of this is done.”

Theological Studies

The Theological Studies Cohort focuses on the study of biblical and historic Christian doctrine, as well as its application to the Church and world today. This cohort is led by Jason Duesing, provost and professor of historical theology, and features additional faculty members in the areas of systematic, historical, and applied theology.

Emphasizing the value of this cohort for students in theological studies, Duesing said, “The Theological Studies Cohort will allow residential students interested in systematic and historical theology to build upon what they are learning in their classes and explore themes in greater detail. It is an ideal setting for students who want to ‘get all the theology and church history’ they can while completing their degree.”


To qualify for an FTC Cohort, individuals must be newly admitted residential graduate students at Midwestern Seminary with an incoming GPA of 3.0 or higher and must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout their studies. Upon admittance to the seminary, students will need to apply for their given cohort prior to the academic year. To receive the scholarship, students must submit their scholarship form between their enrollment and the start of classes.

One hundred scholarships are available for the fall semester of 2024. Additionally, limited spots are available for each cohort. Priority will be given to incoming students based on the dates they submit their application. Those interested in participating in an upcoming cohort can visit to learn more and apply.

featured image

Latest Videos

Chapel with Michael Reeves – April 24, 2024
April 24, 2024
Fusion Commissioning Ceremony with Joe Allen III – April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024

Latest News