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.

Gail Wilkins Missions Scholarship

Academic scholarship awarded to a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) who is pursuing a career in international missions or a current international missionary wishing to further his or her education at NOBTS. Application Deadline February 1 / Awarded in April Criteria for All Scholarship Applicants: Our primary mission focus is to assist Baptist students and/or entities, with activities that further the cause of Christ around the world. To be eligible for an MK scholarship, applicants must show that their parents are affiliated with a Southern Baptist-related entity.

Herbert A. Mike Donovan Scholarship Fund

Criteria: Applicants in pursuit of parish ministry in a Christian Denomination. Contact: Recot, Christ Episcopal Church Herbert A. Mike Donovan Scholarship Fund 103 W. Jefferson Avenue Charlottesville, VA 22902

International Student Scholarship

Given by Janet Holdcroft, out of concern about developing Christian leadership among nationals in Third World countries, this grant is awarded to a non-U.S. student who plans to return to his or her home country upon graduation.

School of Theology Grants - African American Ministries Grants

All students with a Special admissions status in the African American Ministries program are eligible to apply. In addition, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The average African American Ministries grant covered 41% of tuition.

Arthur W. Arnold Scholarship

For a needy student who plans to enter the Christian ministry.

Novak Award

Full-time students enrolled in Master degree programs for church vocations at approved Presbyterian theological institutions. Scholarship grants will also be awarded for full and part-time study toward the baccalaureate degree or certification at colleges, universities and vocational schools. Priority will be given to Presbyterian applicants from the states of Michigan and Ohio. Persons enrolled in church vocations at approved Presbyterian theological institutions may be awarded a maximum of $1500 on initial applications. They may receive up to $2000 on subsequent applications with evidence of continuing progress and according to need and availability of funds. All financial grants will be made payable to the session for distribution.

School of Theology Grants - Team Ministry Grants

Fuller offers these grants to married couples who are pursuing a join ministry. Both students must be accepted in a M.A. or M.Div. program in the School of Theology. Under this program, eligible students pay full rate for the first 16 units of their combined tuition each quarter. One student then receives a Team Ministry Grant, which covers 75% of the remaining tuition cost for that quarter. Both students must complete separate financial aid applications.

Juliette M. Atherton Scholarship Program

The scholarship was named in memory of Mrs. Atherton to ensure the continued association of her name and her special interest in Christianity with the foundation. The scholarship benefits three categories of individuals: 1) active, ordained Protestant ministers residing in Hawaii wishing to continue their education; 2) dependent sons or daughters of ordained, active Protestant ministers in Hawaii pursuing undergraduate studies; and 3) individuals from Hawaii pursuing graduate theological studies at a Protestant seminary with the goal of ordination. Scholarship recipients are selected based on their financial need and academic promise. For sons and daughters of Protestant ministers and seminary students, applications will be available beginning Nov. Application materials, including the application form, transcript of grades, and personal letter must be postmarked on or before Mar. 1. Ordained Protestant ministers wishing to continue their education should contact scholarship staff for application information. Sons or daughters of ministers and ministers applying for continuing education grants must provide the place and date of ordination, and name of the seminary attended to confirm eligibility.

Leonard and Una Mae Goodwin Scholarship

Student must be preparing for the ministry.

Rudolph E. and M. Grace Wulfsberg Scholarship Fund

For junior or senior students entering the ministry.

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