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.

School of Psychology Grants - Marriage & Family Therapy Need-based Grants

All students enrolled in the M.S. or Ph.D. programs are eligible to apply. The average need-based grants covers 13% of tuition. Students must show financial aid eligibility.

James F. and Barbara Ber

These grants are awarded to Master of Arts and Master of Divinity candidates in the School of Theology who show exceptional promise for a full-time ministerial or academic vocation.

AGBU - Religious Studies Fellowship

AGBU offers scholarships to graduate students of Armenian descent worldwide (excluding citizens of Armenia studying in Armenia) who are pursuing religious studies (theology, youth ministry). Applicants must be enrolled in full-time degree programs at seminaries or highly selective colleges/universities worldwide with a GPA of 3.0 and above as measured by the American grading system scale. Grants are awarded annually in the range of $1,500-$5,000 USD, and applicants may apply for renewal for up to three (3) years toward seminary/college/university education expenses.

Reuben Welch Endowed Scholarship

To a student who is a junior or senior preparing for full-time ministry in the Church of the Nazarene and who is a child of a Nazarene minister.

Hocutt Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to anyone pursuing a career in Baptist missions with an emphasis on, but not limited to, the chaplaincy or U.S. based missions. 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.

Women of Color Scholar Program

Candidates must be female, have an M. Div degree and be enrolled as a full time student or accepted into a full time program. Must be an active member of the United Methodist Church for at least 3 years. For more information, contact: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry - Office of Loans and Scholarships (615) 340-7344

Native American Seminary Award

Candidates must be born of Native American parentage (at least one parent) and indicate tribal affiliation. Must also be a member of the United Methodist Church for 3 years; be accepted and enrolled in a University Senate approved school of theology (Pacific School of Religion is an approved school) as a full time student and demonstrate financial need. For more information, contact: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry - Office of Loans and Scholarships (United Methodist Church) (615) 340-7344

John H. Ness Award

The General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church offers an annual award of $200 (first prize) and $100 (second prize) to the students enrolled in the M. Div. program (or its equivalent) in United Methodist or other seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools who submit the best papers on some aspect of United Methodist history broadly conceived. The award is given in memory of John Harrison Ness (1891-1980), pastor, conference superintendent, and denominational executive in the Evangelical United Brethren Church .

The Burr/Roth Scholarship Award

This award, established by Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Roth in honor of Larry Burr and in recognition of his faithful service to others and to the Seminary, is given annually to a worthy and needy student.

Hershell & Gladys Umbaugh Scholarship

Scholarship for Concordia Theological Ministries.

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