Grants for Religion Students

The Spirit of Giving

In order to remain unaffiliated, some scholarship and grant funds expressly prohibit the use of financial aid for religious education.  As a result, Theology majors rely on college assistance that takes faith into account, and targets religious students to receive aid.

College programs teach religion at all levels, and it is common for theology undergraduates to continue-on, to study complimentary graduate disciplines.  Theology-related undergraduate degrees interface seamlessly with other major courses of study like:

Federal Grantsgrants for religion

Large-scale federally-backed financial aid programs issue assistance without regard for academic major.  Grants like Pell, and others, provide longstanding go-to resources for students majoring in all departments.

Financial need is a qualifying feature for landing Pell assistance, but the Grants go to students of moderate means, as well as those applicants exhibiting the greatest levels of need.  Unrestricted gift-aid from the Department of Education underwrites religious education.

Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities maintaining theology degree programs are likely to offer general grants and scholarships that support academic programs.  General awards are made available to all degree-seeking students, while subject-specific assistance goes to individual departments. For example:  Lynchburg College, in Virginia, is a small liberal arts school with a reputable religion-studies program that provides eight different scholarships and grants for enrolled students.  The awards are merit-based, and offer assistance to each qualified candidate, valued from $3,000 to $12,000.

University of San Diego Department of Theology and Religious Studies is committed to exploring diverse faith-based scholarship, with particular attention paid to Catholic traditions.  In support of Theology degree programs, the school provides financial aid for worthy candidates.  One initiative, the Colombo Memorial Award in Theology and Religious Studies, benefits a graduate school candidate annually, who is a senior in the Theology program.

Mid-America Christian University sponsors financial aid in support of the educational programs offered at the school. One recent initiative allows qualified candidates to compete for Walton Scholarships in Theology and Religious Studies, to be used for expenses related to a year’s study at the King’s College, in London.

Explore general college scholarship and grant opportunities at your school, and consult financial aid advisers for information about subject-specific resources available for Theology studies.

Churches and Private Organizations

Religious organizations and churches offer high levels of support for religious education.  Developing future generations of church leaders and conducting religious research are key components of religious groups’ missions.  These examples illustrate the types of aid found by grant-seekers studying religion.

  • National Ministries of the American Baptist Church awards grants to support the development of Baptist ministers and other church personnel. Undergraduates and graduate students are encouraged to apply for assistance.
  • The Lilly Foundation, an adjunct of the Eli Lilly family, provides funding for the Louisville Institute in Kentucky. The Institute, located at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, supports various student and pastoral study and research programs:
    • The Dissertation Fellowship is for doctoral students engaged in religion degree programs.
    • First Book Grant Program is an assistance program offered exclusively for minority students. Students who are interested in working on large research projects are eligible for nearly $50,000 worth of grant money each academic year. Approved research topics must be related to Christian studies, and of particular interest to the Louisville Institute.
    • Summer Stipend program awards a few thousand dollars to religion students who assist with academic research during the summer term.
  • National Presbyterian College Scholarship, sponsored by the Presbyterian Church Grant Program, is offered to undergraduate students on a merit and need-based level. Qualified applicants attend colleges approved by the Presbyterian Church.


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