Coffman Hall on Welch College Campus - a Christian Bible College in Gallatin, Tennessee

A Letter from President Matt Pinson

Dear Friend of Welch,

Interacting with Welch students and speaking to them in chapel is a constant, poignant reminder of our mission and purpose, to educate leaders to serve Christ, His church, and His world through biblical thought and life. I see in the eyes of the students with whom our Lord has blessed us a desire to learn how to make a transformative impact on their culture through the gospel of Christ, in the context of their roles as clergy and lay leaders in local churches as well as salt and light in the professional world.

Their desire meshes with the emphasis on spiritual formation that pervades our campus community—a formation that is shaping not only our students’ hearts, but also their intellect and their character. As an alumnus or supporter of Welch, you would be proud of these students, and proud of the faculty who are pouring their lives into these students.

This basic mission has sustained us in good times and bad times, but it is always encouraging when we witness quantitative growth, and that is why I wanted to share a little with you about the enrollment growth we are experiencing at Welch. The occasion for my sharing this information is our annual meeting of TICUA, the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.

At that gathering of Tennessee private college leaders, they always share “Characteristics” of member schools. I wanted to share some of that information with you that I think will encourage you about Welch’s growth.

Before I share the enrollment growth statistics, you’ll find it interesting that only six private colleges and universities in Tennessee (20%) have lower tuition than Welch. Our tuition is about $8,000 less than the TICUA average.

However, the statistic that is most encouraging is Welch’s record of enrollment growth in a time when private higher education is largely plateaued or declining. The TICUA data shows that Welch’s FTE (full-time equivalent) enrollment has grown by 36% over the past ten years, as compared with a 9% increase in TICUA schools as a whole.

Even more encouraging is the comparative numbers over the past five years. Welch’s FTE (full-time equivalent) enrollment has grown by 18% over the past five years, as compared with TICUA schools as a whole, whose overall FTE enrollment has dropped by less than 1%. Only one out of the other 33 TICUA institutions had a higher five-year enrollment increase than Welch did.

We are thankful for these trends at a time when traditional, private, residential colleges are having difficulty maintaining enrollments—especially of 18 to 22-year-old dormitory students—in the face of the proliferation of cheap online learning.
But in the midst of this good news, let me raise a concern. Often when colleges are doing well in enrollment growth, alumni and supporters will give less financial support. They think that because things are going so well, the college is less in need of their gifts. Let me encourage you not to think this! While our cash situation is the best it has been since the Great Recession, our financial needs are very great. Not only is depreciation—a non-cash expense— making it very difficult to balance our budget, but we also have a $15 million debt on our new campus that we need your help in retiring. So I urge you to give more than ever before to help Welch get this debt paid down and balance our operational budget.

Most importantly, I ask you to pray for Welch. Pray for our students and the faculty and staff who invest in their lives daily. Pray for prospective students who are considering Welch for their college education. Pray for donors whom we believe God is leading to make a great difference in the future of Welch and its kingdom impact, and pray about what God would have you do to be a part of the ongoing mission of your college.

Sincerely in Christ,

Matt Pinson

Welch College Adult Degree Program in Gallatin Tennessee

Welch College Expands Enriched Adult Studies Program to Gallatin and Hendersonville

NASHVILLE, TN—With the opening of its new campus in Gallatin this spring, Welch College will launch its new Enriched Adult Studies Program, according to Dr. Charles Lea, special assistant to the president for adult education. “Beginning in April, Welch will start offering classes leading to associate’s and bachelor’s degrees tailored for adults who want to go back and complete their degree,” Lea said. Plans call for the offering of degrees in Biology, Business, Christian Ministry, Teacher Education and Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Licensure.

Lea said, “For those interested in learning more about the Enriched Adult Studies Program, Discover Welch sessions are scheduled for January 26 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce (100 Country Club Drive #104, Hendersonville, TN 37075) and February 28 at the Welch College campus off of Bison Trail, Gallatin.”

Classes will meet one night per week and will have both flexible on-campus and online components. The program features value-priced tuition for working adults with full federal financial aid, and credit for life experience is available. Each student in the program will receive a specific and individualized degree pathway, and internship options and placement assistance will be offered. Applications are now being accepted at welch.edu/EnrichedAdultStudies.

Welch College is both regionally and nationally accredited and ranked one of the South’s best colleges by U.S. News and World Report. The college is slated to relocate to its new campus on Bison Trail in February. Welch has been part of Middle Tennessee’s educational community since 1942, where around 400 students from 23 states and three other countries study in a Christian community of faith and learning.

For more information or to apply: Call 615.844.5000 or go online to welch.edu/EnrichedAdultStudies.

Welch College - Blue image; Welch College | Christian Bible College in Gallatin, Tennessee

Welch College Obtains Approval from Department of Education to Offer Federal Student Loans to Graduate Students

By Josh Owens, Director of Media and Marketing

Nashville, TN—The United States Department of Education (USDOE) has approved Welch College to offer federal student loans to its graduate students through the Direct Loan Program, according to Dr. Kevin Hester, dean of the School of Theology. The USDOE makes the loans available to eligible borrowers through colleges and universities participating in the program.

There are several benefits to these loans. These unsubsidized loans offer a fixed interest rate and flexible payment terms. Financial need is not a requirement to qualify. No payments are required while enrolled in school. In order to receive these loans, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree or certificate awarded by the school.

“Welch College understands that graduate school can be expensive,” said Hester. “For this reason, the college offers generous institutional scholarships to its graduate students. Students who are licensed or ordained Free Will Baptist ministers and who received good grades in their undergraduate studies, can receive a reduction of up to $145.00 per credit hour on their tuition. The addition of these DOE loans helps make the opportunity of a quality graduate degree more easily accessible.”

Last year Welch College became the first Free Will Baptist college to offer a regionally accredited credential on the graduate level. In December, 2015, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Association for Biblical Higher Education approved its application to offer the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Theology and Ministry. This thirty-three hour program consists of hybrid courses, in which a portion of the coursework is done online and the other portion in one-week, on-campus intensive sessions.

For more information about the M.A. degree in Theology and Ministry, contact the program coordinator, Dr. Jeff Cockrell at jcockrell@welch.edu or visit welch.edu/masters.

For information about the DOE student loans and any other financial information, contact Angie Edgmon at finaid@welch.edu.

For the latest information about coronavirus, visit welch.edu/coronavirus