Religion and Theology College Student Aid
Scholarship and Grant Options
Like other educational pursuits, religious studies have the potential to strain student budgets. Seminaries and college campuses engaged in training religious professionals are in the business of matching prospective ministers with the financial resources required to train them. If you plan to work in a church ministry or attend seminary after college, take advantage of the financial helping hands available at all educational levels.
Faith-based foundations and memorial funds provide college aid that can be applied to a wide variety of degree pursuits. Theology fellowships and other aid funded by churches should not be overlooked as valuable financial aid resources. Use your faith, volunteerism and other personal qualities to open educational doors within religious disciplines.
Theology Foundations and Trusts
The Mary E. Bivins Foundation Religious Scholarship Program serves students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees that will prepare them to serve as Christian ministers. To qualify, graduate students must maintain grade point averages of at least 3.0, while undergrads are held to a 2.75 or higher standard.
The scholarships are valued at $2500 per semester for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees, and $3500 per semester for graduate level studies. Graduate students must complete 9 credit hours, and undergraduates 12, before applying to become Bivins Scholars.
Ohio Baptist Education Society stands committed to advancing baptist theological education within the state. To prepare well-educated professional baptist ministers, the organization distributes financial aid from these four distinct scholarship funds to worthy student ministers annually:
- Ohio Baptist Education Scholarship – Established 1831
- Faye and Robert Let Scholarship (African-American) – Established 1990
- Rev Dr. Ralph and Joyce Lamb Memorial Scholarship – Established 2002
- Reverend Robert E. and Gladys Ersnt Scholarship – Established 2007
To be considered for any of the OPES Scholarship programs, candidates are required to submit application materials by April 1st.
The Generosity Trust administers the Dora Maclellen Brown Ministry Scholarship Program to help Tennessee Christians pursue educational credentials at the post-baccalaureate level. To qualify, applicants must be:
- From the Chattanooga region
- Biblical conservative
- Seeking a master’s degree at a seminary that has been approved by The Generosity Trust.
Doctoral candidates are not eligible, and strong preference for the scholarship awards is given to students who plan to be pulpit ministers following completion of their master’s programs.
The Fund for Theological Education grants fellowships for faith based learning. The organization is approaching its sixtieth anniversary and has supplied over 7000 fellowships during the course of its dedicated service to the ministry. The wide variety of financial aid put forth for theology students includes:
- Ministry Fellowship
- Congregational Fellowship
- Undergraduate Fellowship
- Doctoral Fellowship
- North American Doctoral Fellowship
- Dissertation Fellowship
- Volunteers Exploring Vocation Fellowship - National faith based program volunteers are eligible for a 10K first-year award to pursue master’s level theology credentials.
Civic and Church Organizations
Each individual faith maintains its own share of support for educating future leaders. As a theology student in need of college aid, local churches and chapters of national religious organizations stand as funding opportunities. Look for locally administered programs that advance your educational goals within your religion.
- Disciple Chaplain’s Scholarship grants $2,000 awards to religion and theology students in their first year of the seminary. Successful applicants must attend full-time, have a C+ grade point average, and be U.S. citizens and members of the Disciples of Christ Church.
- Asian-Americans studying religion or theology who apply for the David Tamotsu Kagiwada Memorial Scholarship could win a $2,000 educational award. Full-time students must be studying for a future in the ministry and have at least a C+ average. U. S. citizens and members of the Disciples of Christ Church are encouraged to apply.
- Wives of ministers have educational options with the Edwin G. and Lauretta M. Michael Scholarship. This $2,000 annual award is given to a full-time female student who is married to a minister and displays financial need.
These faith-specific resources enable targeted searches for financial aid that speaks to your religious affiliation:
College and University Scholarships
Campus-specific financial aid is an important part of the complete college funding picture. Individual campuses, especially those engaged in specialized pursuits like training ministers, often put forth the most generous financial aid available. Program advisers and campus financial aid offices are best prepared to guide you to financial aid that applies to your specific theological education goals.
Westminster College in Wilmington Pennsylvania is a Presbyterian school that presents several scholarships to students with ministerial aspirations.
- The John Orr Scholarship Fund is awarded to a religion student who plans to enter the seminary. Eligible applicants must have taken at least four religion courses and be in their third year of schooling. The award is based on the amount of income generated by the interest on the Fund.
- The James Corry Religion Scholarship Fund is typically awarded to a college senior with a grade point average of 3.0 whose educational emphasis is on religion or another major that is preparatory for work within the Presbyterian church. Awards are structured to cover tuition, and specific distributions are determined by the level of need that each student presents. Children of ordained ministers are given preference for receiving this scholarship.
High Point University in North Carolina offers scholarships to students majoring in religion or theology who intend to pursue roles as professional ministers. Monetary awards vary from year to year, but recent examples include these memorial scholarship funds.
- The Irvin B. and Marge P. Black Scholarship is awarded to students majoring in religion or theology.
- The Reverend Chester Andrews Scholarship is for those students studying religion who intend to serve the ministry.
- The John D. Idol Memorial Scholarship benefits a cross-section of theology students enrolled at the school.
Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena offers several unique financial aid programs for students pursuing theological degrees. The namesake School of Theology Scholarship is awarded to a student with exceptional academic achievement. Other scholarship potential can be found among other Fuller funds that carry their own distinct eligibility requirements.
- Angehr / Westbrook / McMillen Memorial Scholarships are awarded to young Christians who exhibit strong character, leadership abilities, and financial need. Successful applicants maintain at least a 3.5 GPA.
- Jose Arreguin Scholarship is available to Hispanic students seeking financial aid for programs that serve the ministry. Candidates are not limited to any particular calling, but must be of Spanish ancestry.
- School of Theology Auxiliary Committee Workshop Scholarships go to high academic performers that are enrolled at least half-time.
- Barnabas Scholarship awards financial assistance, but is also designed to emulate the quiet enabling practices of Barnabas.
Boston University School of Theology maintains this valuable list of financial aid resources that are available to students of particular religious callings. These outside sources of theological scholarships, grants and loans supplement the campus-specific programs put in place by the school.