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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.

Other Majors Scholarships

Eligibility Criteria:•Must be of Hispanic background•Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident residing in the United States or Puerto Rico•Must be studying at an accredited university in the U.S. or Puerto Rico for the upcoming academic year•Must be (or plan to be) enrolled full-time as an undergraduate student for the upcoming academic year•Must have earned and maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of no less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale•Must demonstrate financial need•Must be studying a major that falls under the Other Majors Application

Native American Supplemental Grant

Grants assist Native American and Alaska natives pursuing full-time post-secondary education.Criteria * Be a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) o The Presbytery’s Christian Education Certification Advisor must recommend M.A.C.E. students. o M.Div. students in years 1 and 2 must be an Inquirer or Candidate o M.Div. students in year 3 must be a Candidate * Normally enrolled full time at one of the following related seminaries: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, McCormick Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Auburn Theological Seminary (Presbyterian Inquirers and Candidates enrolled at Union Theological Seminary of New York), Evangelical Theological Seminary of Puerto Rico. * First professional degree required for church vocation — students who have an M.Div. or M.A.C.E. and are working on a second degree will not be considered for award. Dual degree students will only be considered for the portion of their education that is in the M.Div. or M.A.C.E. program. * The Office of Financial Aid for Studies will evaluate and determine need based on the seminary’s standardized budget, the student’s EFC, and aid awarded. To be considered the student must complete a FAFSA and apply to the seminary for financial aid.

Evangelism for the 21st Century Grants

All Episcopal students, faculty administration, staff and their families at the accredited members of The Association of Theological Schools are eligible to apply for the Evangelism for the 21st Century grants. The Society offers annual grants of $500 to $5,000 for new projects that will strengthen the evangelical witness of the Episcopal Church. During the past year, the Society awarded 22 grants ranging from $1,200 to $5,000.

CBA Memorial Stipends

The Catholic Biblical Association will award twelve $4,000 stipends to students for each academic year, renewable for up to five years. The conditions for application are as follows: Applicants must hold a tuition scholarship in a program of scientific, graduate biblical studies. Preference will be shown to actual or prospective CBA members. Awards will be made on the basis of need as well as of achievement and promise in biblical studies. Applications do not carry over from year to year but may be resubmitted. Since these awards are renewable up to five years, the number of stipends available for a given year will vary; for information on availability and for application forms, write to the CBA Executive Secretary, The Catholic Biblical Association, 433 Caldwell Hall, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064. Preference will be shown to actual or prospective CBA members. Application forms for Memorial Stipends may be requested from: The Executive Secretary The Catholic Biblical Association Catholic University of America Washington, DC 20064

Ministry Fellowships

FTE's Ministry Fellowship is $10,000 award for seminary students in the second year of a Master of Divinity program. The Ministry Fellowship seeks to bring together a community of emerging, young pastoral leaders from an array of communities and backgrounds across the Christian spectrum. These remarkable young leaders represent voices that cut across lines of race, gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, denomination and ideology to form a leadership cohort dedicated to a life of service to the church and the world.To apply for the Ministry Fellowship, you must be nominated by the dean or president of your seminary. Each seminary may nominate up to three students. Eligible candidates must be: * a first-year, full-time Master of Divinity student who have completed one semester at a seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. (You are not eligible if you are already in the second or third year of a M.Div. program, or enrolled in an M.T.S., Th.M., or M.A. degree program). * have a seminary GPA of 3.3 or higher * a U.S. or Canadian citizen * age 35 or younger * able to participate in all fellowship activitiesYou must demonstrate strong leadership abilities for ministry and a deep commitment to the life of the Spirit and ministry as a vocation. Ministry Fellows have a desire to work in community to better understand and act on behalf of others' need with the aim of empowering those they serve to pursue lives of faithfulness. The FTE Ministry Fellowship is an eighteen-month commitment to journey together over time that culminates in a self-designed ministry project. Good candidates for the fellowship possess authentic faith, imagination, vision, an awareness of personal limits, maturity, capacity for critical thinking, a keen sense of curiosity, good communication skills, and the ability to be self-reflective and understand the importance of accountability to the wider community.

School of Theology Grants - Need Based Grants

All students in the M.A. or M.Div. programs are eligible to apply. The average need-based grants cover 16% of tuition. Students must show financial aid eligibility.

Racial/Ethnic History Research Grant- General Commission on Archives and History- The United Methodist Church

This is the first need based aid award made for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) students. There are two awards (Racial Ethnic Supplemental Grant and Native American Supplemental Grant) that may be made to the qualifying Presbyterian Study Grant recipients who have remaining need.

Lee and Leona Arce Scholarship

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

John C. and Ruby Wright Ministerial Scholarship

Established by Mr. and Mrs. Wright, this award is given to deserving students preparing for a pastoral ministry.

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