Undergraduate fellowships of $2,000 will be awarded to 70 college students in 2004 to help them explore whether they may be called to congregational ministry.
Sponsored by the Fund for Theological Education (FTE), the program is open to students of all Christian traditions. The award includes a $1,500 stipend for education-related expenses, $500 for mentoring and a four-day summer conference focused on excellence in ministry.
"The honor of receiving the FTE fellowship gave me courage and confidence to further develop and discern my own unique theological commitments," says Anna Blaedel, a previous recipient and a student at the University of Iowa. "The FTE conference helped me struggle through my vocational discernment process, and opened me to experiences and relationships that both challenged and affirmed my faith, my identity as a person of faith, and my call to ministry."
Melissa Wiginton, director of FTE's ministry program, says, "Churches need highly-qualified, passionately-faithful young leaders, but there are few places where college students are encouraged to think seriously about church leadership or where they can learn about the rigor and excitement of theological education and the vitality and challenge of being a minister in a congregation."
The 2004 conference—to be held at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.—will provide a forum for students to experience theological education, learn about the practice of ministry, connect with other young adults who are wondering about ministry, and be with young ministers who are serving congregations.
Applicants should have a committed Christian faith, demonstrated gifts for leadership in campus and church activities, imagination, compassion, and exceptional critical thinking and communication abilities. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, be a junior or senior during 2004-05, be under the age of 30 and possess U.S. or Canadian citizenship.
Applications are due March 1, 2004, and may be obtained at thefund.org or by calling 404/727-1450.