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.

Robert Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund

For junior or senior ministerial students. Consideration is given to academic achievement and financial need.

Howard C. and Martha M. Miller Student Aid Fund

Established by Mr. and Mrs. Howard C. Miller to help students in the School of Theology who have great future promise, but who are struggling with financial burdens, these awards are made to worthy and needy students.

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.

Marvin and Lilly Young Endowment Fund

Assists students preparing for ministry.

J. Edward Headington Jubilee Scholarship

This scholarship is given to an international student from a developing country whose ministry plans include returning to their home country after completion of their program.

ECIM Scholarships

The purpose of the ECIM Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to Native Americans interested in theological education within the Episcopal Church in the United States of American (ECUSA). Eligibility Applicants must be seminarians of American Indian/Alaska Native descent attending an accredited Episcopal institution. They must submit documentation of tribal membership, diocesan endorsement with a statement signed by the bishop that the applicant is in track for ordination, and a signed statement that the applicant intends to serve Indian ministry upon completion of study. Financial data The amount of the award depends on the needs of the recipient and the availability of funds to a maximum of $2,000 per year. Additional information The Episcopal Council of Indian Ministries (ECIM) also awards the David Oakenhater Merit Fellowship to a middler with outstanding achievement and the Oakenhater Award of @2,500 to a seminarian pursuing a PhD. Number awarded Varies each year. Attn: Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society Episcopal Council of Indian Ministries 815 Second Ave. New York, NY 10017-4503 (212) 716-6175 (800) 334-7626

Cary Weisiger Award

Given by the congregation of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church as an expression of love in honor of Dr. Weisiger for his twelve years of faithful service, this award is presented to deserving students preparing for the pastorate.

Leonard S. and Carol C. Song Scholarship

Given by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard S. Song, this award is provided to worthy students preparing for the ministry.

Stevenson Scholarship

Amount: $200 - $400 (can reapply each year) Description: This scholarship is available to members of First United Methodist Church who are working toward professions in areas that will benefit people and the environment: education, medicine, environmental, seminary, social service, etc.

The Walter and Reba Dilworth Scholarship Fund

This fund was established by Mr. and Mrs. Walter and Reba Dilworth to assist School of Intercultural Studies students who intend to return to their country of origin to communicate the Gospel more effectively to those of their own culture.

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