Ministry Scholarships

The academic field of ministry or ministry studies is as wide and varied as the ministry scholarships that may help you fund your education. This line of study is related to the fields of theology or religious studies. It can represent everything from Bible study to the study of sacred music. Continue reading to find out more.

What separates this major from similar fields such as theology is that it often serves as the educational training for a career as a minister or religious leader. Some colleges offer it as a major, while in other schools it consists of more of an advising program for students planning to continue their religious studies at a divinity school or seminary.

Another major differences among college ministry programs is the denominational emphasis of the program. Some programs study a range of religions and have as their academic emphasis comparative religion. Other programs are affiliated with a particular religion and study only the tenets, rituals and history of that faith. The type of program you select will depend on your educational and vocational goals and expectations.

Common coursework for ministerial studies includes Western philosophy, ethics, world religions, homiletics, Bible studies and intercultural communication. Your courses will most likely consist of lectures and seminars in a traditional classroom environment. However, you'll also most likely engage in field work and internships. These experiences will allow you to gain first-hand perspectives about the kind of problems you'll face as a religious minister. 

These types of programs are relatively few in number. Generally, to pursue ministerial studies at a seminary or graduate school, it is not necessary to have a ministry bachelor's degree. With most programs, any bachelor degree from an accredited institution will be good enough. At the same time, this type of program can provide you with a broad range of experiences and allow you to glimpse the religious life of a minister.

Career prospects for religious leaders should be strong over the coming decade. Employment prospects should be most robust for students with a graduate degree. Also, those individuals willing to work in urban areas and traditionally under-served areas should face the best prospects.

Listed below are a host of ministry scholarships that may help you realize your goals.

Fellowships for Doctoral Students of African Descent

Requirements to become an FTE Doctoral Fellow Applicants must be: Of African descent A U.S. citizen or permanent resident, Canadian citizen or landed immigrant Enrolled full time in an accredited Th.D. or Ph.D. program in religion, theological studies or biblical studies Finished with the course work stage of their doctoral program by the beginning of the fellowship year [If at dissertation stage] Prepared to write full time during the fellowship year Applicant’s dissertation committee must have approved the dissertation research proposal and writing plan, and given the student full approval to proceed before submission of an application for the fellowship Stipulations: Students enrolled in Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) programs are ineligible for this fellowship A student may be awarded an FTE Doctoral Fellowship a maximum of three times during his/her matriculation as a doctoral student Institutional Expectations: The recipient’s institution shall provide a full-tuition scholarship or remission, as a condition of the award As a condition of the award, the recipient’s institution shall host a visit (virtual or in-person) from FTE to assess the student’s needs and experiences. Each visit will include conversations with the student’s advisor and institutional leaders. Details of institutional visits will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Reverend Barbara Ann Wilson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Given by Mrs. Barbara Jean Haney in memory of her sister, this award is given to African-American women over the age of 30 in the School of Theology.

The Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of Minneapolis Scholarship Program

ELIGIBILITY: Member of a congregation of the Minnesota South District. Must be a full-time student pursuing a career in professional ministry or lay ministry. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and demonstrate financial need. For more information, go to:

Dr. and Mrs. Kimber Moulton Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Recipient should be a student preparing for full-time ministry in the Church of the Nazarene and serving in the inner city/urban context. Exhibit the gifts and lifestyle associated with Christian Ministry and demonstrate financial need.

Reverend Chuck Thomas Scholarship

$2,500 per year to a person who has shown outstanding commitment to UUism as a lay leader and has not yet entered seminary.

Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts

The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts offers assistance to students who are training for a ministry in the United Methodist Church in the areas of music, worship, drama, dance, visuals and other liturgical arts. Applicants must have been members of the United Methodist Church for at least one year prior to application, giving strong evidence of Christian character and participation in Christian activities of the church and/or campus. Applicants must be full-time music degree candidates in an accredited university, college, or school of theology, or pursuing an education in worship or the arts related to worship. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional musical/artistic talent, effective leadership ability, and outstanding promise of future usefulness to the Church in the areas of music and/or worship. Attn: Scholarship PO Box 24787 Nashville, TN 37202 phone: 800-952-8977 or (615) 749 -6875

Berniece Hughes Memorial Scholarship

Available to students preparing for Christian Ministry with a GPA of 3.000 and have completed 30 units at PLNU.

Lee and Leona Arce Scholarship

For students who are studying for the ministry and selected through the School of Theology and Christian Ministry.

Bishop Frank Murphy Scholarship Fund for Women

To women who are: * Members of the Women's Ordination Conference * Enrolled or accepted in a graduate program preparing for Catholic ministry (documentation required)

Laguna Country United Methodist Church

Criteria: * UMC students preparing for local church ministry in the California-Pacific Annual Conference (or other). Each year the Scholarship Fund of the Laguna Country United Methodist Church provides financial assistance to help worthy students to obtain the education they need to prepare for the service they propose to give their fellows. The guidelines for awarding scholarships are as follows: returning applicants are to be favored over new applicants.

FTE Dissertation Fellowships

FTE Dissertation Fellowships are for African-American doctoral students who are writing their Ph.D. or Th.D. dissertations. The goal of this program is to increase completion rates and shorten time-to-degree periods for African-American doctoral students who intend to teach and do research in theological schools.To apply for an FTE Dissertation Fellowship, you must: * be an African-American doctoral student in religion, theology or biblical studies * be in the final writing stage of your dissertation * be a U.S. citizenYour dissertation committee must have approved your dissertation research proposal and writing plan, and given you permission to proceed before you submit your application for the FTE Dissertation Fellowship. You must be able to write full-time during the fellowship year.

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