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How to Start a Seminary School
A seminary school offers an education platform to persons interested in pursuing ministry. It may also offer further theological training to practicing ministers, who would like to offer quality services to their local churches. To start a seminary school, there are various processes and procedures to follow.
Register your school as an entity. You can register the school as a business or a corporation; this is the first step that will ensure that you can transact your business such as paying your staff and receiving school fees. Consult your attorney to advise you on the registration process. It is important to consult and know the type of seminary school you set up -- is it a charitable organization or a for-profit business?
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also referred to as a federal Tax Identification Number, to identify your school as a business entity. You can apply online by visiting the International Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS offers this application as a free service. Check with your state to confirm whether or not you need the number of your state or charter.
Apply for tax exemption under section 501c3 of the IRS code. The code signifies nonprofit organizations as tax exempt. This applies to many religious institutions and schools. The process takes approximately three months to complete.
Identify the church with which you will liaise. Every church has its own leadership and rules on how they operate. Find out the desired church's requirements for starting a seminary school. The denomination with which you'll liaise will guide the curriculum that you will develop for the school.
Get accredited in order to gain public’s faith in your institution; it reassures the public that your school meets the accepted standards. You can do this through the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), an authority for handling accreditation for Bible colleges. The ABHE will measure your institution's self-analytical process against the set standards in order to accredit it.
Set your admission requirements and the tuition fee you will charge. Research other seminary schools in order to determine their requirements and tuition fees, and use that research as a basis to make your decision. Then set standards that will market your school.
Develop a curriculum according to the standard set. Researching different curriculum developed for other seminary schools will serve as a good starting point for your own. Though you'll find standard subjects, you can develop niche subjects that will make your school competitive. Most Bible-teaching institutions are expected to offer general courses ranging from the humanities to fine arts.
Choose a good location for your school and fulfill all required laws of your state. Develop marketing strategies that will avail your school to your target audience.