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.

Arthur W. Arnold Scholarship

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

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

Magoichi & Shizuko Kato Memorial Scholarship

National JACL membership is a requirement to be considered for a JACL scholarship. Membership must be held by the applicant or applicant's parents only. Extended family ties do not apply for this requirement. Student memberships are available. For more information about membership categories, please contact the JACL Membership Department at National Headquarters. Applicants must also be planning to attend a college, university, trade school, business school or any institution of higher learning at the graduate school level in the upcoming fall. Preference for this award will be given to a student planning a career in medicine or ministry.

Grover Powell Scholarship

This scholarship of $900 is for seminary students desiring to be a military chaplain. For more information, contact: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry - Division of Ordained Ministry - Section of Chaplains and Related Ministries.

School of Theology Grants - Latino Leadership Grants

All students in the Hispanic Church Studies program are eligible to apply. The average Hispanic American Ministries grant in covered 52% of tuition.

Jerry and Nancy Owsley Scholarship Award

Established in memory of Jerry and Nancy Owsley by their children, this award is given to third-world students in the School of Intercultural Studies who plan to return to their native countries to minister upon graduation.

Rev. John W. Elliott, Sr. Ministerial Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 Description: The John W. Elliot, Sr. Scholarship Award has been established for minority students. The John W. Elliot, Sr. scholar should encompass outstanding leadership traits as embodied by Rev. Elliot: Spiritual Leadership, and Social Justice Leadership. The purpose of this award is to encourage men and women to prepare for ministry as a religious profession.

Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry Theological Education Scholarships For Asian And Pacific Island Americans

Summary: To provide financial assistance to Asian and Pacific Island Americans interested in seeking ordination and serving in a ministry involving Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Episcopal Church. Eligibility: This program is open to Asian and Pacific Island students pursuing theological education, including diocesan programs as well as seminary education. Applicants must be a member of an Asian or Pacific Island constituency in the Episcopal Church and have begun the process of seeking ordination through a local Episcopal diocese. Scholarships are presented only for full-time study. Financial data: The maximum scholarship is $4,000 per semester for seminary study or $2,500 per semester for diocesan theological study programs. Duration: 1 semester; renewable. Additional information: This program was established in 1983 with a grant from undesignated funds received through the Venture in Mission Project. Additional funding was received from the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Number awarded: Varies each year.

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.

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

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