Scholarships and Grants in the United Church of Christ

Scholarships and Grants in the United Church of Christ

Scholarship & Grant descriptions, Applications and Giving Opportunities

Scholarships for Undergraduate Education

Scholarships administered by the UCC National setting

The Avery Arthington Fund provides $400-$4,000 in scholarship aid to Africans who are members of our partner churches studying towards an undergraduate degree in a UCC-related college in the United States. Students must commit to return to homeland countries after graduation.
Avery Arthington Fund Application

The Daniel Hand Fund provides annual scholarship aid to UCC related –AMA institutions that educate persons of African descent.

The Martin Luther King Memorial Fund provides annual funding to UCC-related AMA schools.

United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship provides annual scholarship assistance to UCC members entering their sophomore, junior and/or senior year of an accredited 4-year college in the United States. Awards range from $500 - $1,500.  

Undergraduate Scholarship Brochure
Undergraduate Eligibility Requirements
Undergraduate Application Instructions
Undergraduate Application
Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

UCC Related institutions providing scholarships for UCC students

Colleges and Universities:
Ask the Admissions Office at the school for details:

Academies:
The residential and day campus secondary schools related to the United Church of Christ offer some financial aid, and should be contacted directly for information:

Seminaries and Divinity Schools:
There are a few very modest scholarships available through the national offices of the United Church of Christ. These scholarships are from funds established by donors with strict conditions on eligibility. 

Scholarship for African American Laywoman

The Valerie Russell Scholarship Fund was established in 1997 in honor of Valerie Russell who served as the Executive Director of the Office for Church in Society in the national setting of the United Church of Christ. Valerie served in this role from January 15, 1992 until her death on February 23, 1997. The scholarship is administered by Justice and Witness Ministries, the successor body of the Office for Church in Society.

Intended recipients

  • The scholarship will be awarded to an African American laywoman, who is NOT a member in discernment, licensed, commissioned or ordained.
  • The scholarship will be awarded to a woman who has a deep love for the United Church of Christ.
  • The scholarship will be awarded to a woman whose commitment to justice is theologically grounded.
  • The scholarship will be awarded to a woman who affirms the values of the United Church of Christ and who embraces the justice commitments of the United Church of Christ through Justice and Witness Ministries.
  • The scholarship is for persons not organizations.

There are two categories of applications that will be considered

  1. An application from a woman who is already professionally engaged in justice work either in the church or in a secular organization that is consistent with the perspective and mandate of the United Church of Christ and Justice and Witness Ministries. The committee welcomes applications from African American laywomen that will use the dollars for identified continuing education experience, (classes, workshops, travel, etc.) that will assist in personal skill building to further the work currently engaged in or allow the beginning of work in new areas of challenge and interest.
  2. An application from a woman pursuing formal higher education as an undergraduate or graduate student who has the qualities, characteristics and commitment to justice consistent with the values outlined above.

Additional General Information

  • Awards will be made on a yearly basis and will be in the amount of $1,500-$2,000.
  • Applicants may apply for renewal in subsequent years.
  • Application deadline is May 1. The scholarship recipient receiving an award in a Synod year is expected to attend the General Synod.  Expenses will be covered.

Download Application

Scholarships for Theological Education

UCC Scholarships for Seminarians
(PDF is best printed on 8.5x14 paper)

Scholarships made available through the national ministries of the United Church of Christ for those preparing for ministry.

One of the most cherished features of the United Church of Christ and our ancestral denominations has been a learned clergy. We have long considered rigorous practical and academic preparation essential for the pastors of local churches, as well as for people in ministries serving the church in other offices, whether as chaplains, administrators, or educators. In various ways we have worked to support their education and training. Today, that tradition continues through scholarships made available through the national ministries of the United Church of Christ for those preparing for ministry. Gifts from many generous congregations and individuals committed to the continued vitality of our church have funded these scholarship endowments.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR UCC SEMINARIAN SCHOLARSHIPS

To qualify for a United Church of Christ Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria unless otherwise stated:

  • Membership in a UCC congregation for at least one year prior to receiving a scholarship;
  • Enrollment in an ATS accredited seminary towards a course of study leading to ordained ministry;
  • Member-in discernment of an Association or Conference at time of application;
  • At least a "B" average maintained;
  • Agrees to serve in the UCC or a partner church on completion of seminary;
  • Demonstrates leadership ability through participation in local church, Association, Conference, or academic environment.

 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE! SCHOLARSHIPS

The Caring for Clergy Endowment created by gifts to the Make a Difference! Campaign makes provision for several types of scholarships.

  • Make a Difference! Seminarian Scholarships: The presidents of the six seminaries of the United Church of Christ are invited annually to nominate a Member in Discernment for a Make a Difference! Seminarian Scholarship. The amount of the award is typically between $1,500 and $2,500 per recipient. The awards are transferred to the seminaries and applied toward tuition. Recipients must meet the general requirements. Interested parties should contact the president of one of the seminaries of the United Church of Christ.

    Make a Difference! Seminarian Scholarship Nomination Form

  • Make a Difference! Educational Support Awards: Each year association committees on ministry are invited to nominate their members-in-discernment to be considered for a Make a Difference! Educational Support Award. These awards of approximately $500 are transferred to the recipients' seminaries to offset tuition, books, or other educational expenses. Recipients must meet the general requirements. Interested parties should contact the committee on ministry of the association where they are members-in-discernment. Make A Difference Educational Support Awards Application
  • Make a Difference! Doctoral Studies Award: The Make a Difference! Doctoral Studies Award is given annually to members of the United Church of Christ who are engaged in a doctoral studies program that would prepare recipients to be considered for a teaching position at a seminary of the United Church of Christ. Persons enrolled in a doctoral studies program may request a set of application materials. Make a Difference! Doctoral Studies Awards of approximately $2,500 are made each year. Make A Difference Doctoral Award Application
  • Make a Difference! Overseas/Global Partner Church Awards:
    For a Student of an Overseas/Global Partner Church
    Scholarship for an International Student Studying at a United Church of Christ Seminary
    Continuing Education for Persons of an Overseas Partner Church

    These scholarships are awarded annually upon nomination by the Area Offices of our common Global Ministries/Wider Church Ministries.  Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000.

THE ADRIENNE M. AND CHARLES SHELBY ROOKS FELLOWSHIP FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC THEOLOGICAL STUDENTS

The Adrienne M. and Charles Shelby Rooks Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Theological Students was established to support the seminary education of members of the United Church of Christ from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in our church who are committed to serving the United Church of Christ and who are enrolled in a school of theology accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The Rooks Fellowship is available to members of the UCC who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American Indian or Pacific Islander. Grants are also made to support doctoral study at accredited graduate schools for those seeking to pursue a scholarly teaching vocation in the field of religion. Grants are made to both full-time and part-time students and range from $500 to $5,000 annually. Grants may be renewed.

Who May Apply?

  • Master of Divinity Students: Any member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ who is from an underrepresented ethnic group (such as African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American Indian, or Pacific Islander), who is enrolled in an accredited school of theology, and who has maintained at least a B average in all post high school academic studies may apply. Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated leadership through a history of service to the church and scholarship through exceptional academic performance and who intend to become pastors and teachers within the United Church of Christ. Both full-time and part-time students are encouraged to apply. Applicants are expected to have begun the member in discernment process by the time of application. Rooks MDiv first time and renewal Application
  • Doctoral Students: Any member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ from an underrepresented ethnic group, who is in a program of study leading to a Ph.D., Th.D., or Ed.D.; with in a field related to religious studies, may apply. Preference will be given to those students who have demonstrated high promise of academic excellence, teaching effectiveness, and commitment to the United Church of Christ and who intend to become professors in colleges, seminaries, or graduate schools.  Rooks Doctoral first time and renewal Application

THE GARRETT TRUST FUND

The Garrett Trust Fund was established in 1946 to provide scholarship assistance for persons pursuing a seminary education. Seminarians enrolled full-time in a Master of Divinity program in an accredited seminary who wish to apply must sign a faith statement as part of application process. Students may make application throughout the year, as funds are available. The trust is held by Local Church Ministries. Scholarship awards range from $600 to $1,500 and are based on one time emergency financial need.

Garrett Trust Application

 

THE CANNON ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIP

The Cannon Endowment Scholarship was established in 1992 through a gift from Dr. Clinton Cannon. An army retiree and UCC lay member of the Washington-North Idaho Conference Dr. Cannon appreciated the ministry of chaplains during his career and wanted to ensure the future availability of chaplains to serve military personnel and their families. The Cannon Endowment provides scholarship assistance to seminarians planning to become military chaplains. Applicants must meet the general requirements, or the equivalent, if they are from other faith communities. Seminarians who are of the following faith communities may apply: United Church of Christ, Christian Church Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian U.S.A. and United Methodist. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis and typically will be in the $2,500 range.

>> Download Application

WILLIAM R. JOHNSON SCHOLARSHIP

In 1999, the predecessor body to Local Church Ministries, The Board for Homeland Ministries, created a scholarship for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender United Church of Christ seminarians in honor of William R. Johnson, the first openly gay man ordained in the United Church of Christ. The scholarship was established as a concrete way of affirming the long-standing conviction of the United Church of Christ that sexual orientation should not be a barrier to ordination. To qualify for this scholarship, students must be open about their sexual orientation, enrolled in an ATS accredited seminary, and have proof of both local membership in a United Church of Christ church and of member-in-discernment status. First-time applicants must exhibit exceptional academic ability typically demonstrated by a 3.0 GPA or better while in seminary. Specific written recommendations are also required. The scholarship is available to second and third year students. Scholarship awards typically will be in the $2,500 range. Please donate to this wonderful Scholarship opportunity!

William R. Johnson Application

 

  • The Reverend Dr. Héctor E. López Scholarship for Latina & Latino UCC Seminarians
    A scholarship program to nurture, support and educate Latinas and Latinos in the prophetic and liberating theology of the United Church of Christ.The United Church of Christ (UCC) has been a prophetic and pioneer Christian voice in America, since the founding of this nation. It is our vision that the message of Jesus was that of an extravagant welcome, in which all people are honored in love and justice.

    The Hispanic population has experienced enormous growth in the past few decades. Mainline Protestant denominations have been unable to effectively meet the pastoral challenge this growth represents. The UCC, one of the most prophetic and socially progressive Christian denominations in the USA, is taking action to meet this challenge through its Council for Hispanic Ministries with the establishment of The Reverend Dr. Héctor E. López Scholarship for Latina & Latino UCC Seminarians. This program was established in 2006 as a 3-way covenant between the Council for Hispanic Ministries, Local Church Ministries & Justice and Witness Ministries of the UCC.

    The Lopez Scholarship is intended to prepare Latinas and Latinos future ministers, educated in the socially and theologically progressive seminaries of the UCC, who will return to lead vital congregations, minister to Latino constituencies, multicultural communities and the whole church, equipped to proclaim the liberating Gospel message of salvation, full-inclusion, justice and peace. This new scholarship is named in honor of The Reverend Dr. Héctor Edmundo López, a laborer in the journey for racial justice. Dr. López is the first Latino ordained in the UCC and the first Latino UCC Conference Minister. Please donate to this wonderful Scholarship opportunity!

    Hector E.Lopez Scholarship Application

 

Grants for Continuing Education of Authorized Ministers

RICHARD AND HELEN BROWN PASTORAL SCHOLARSHIPS

The Brown Endowment is now administered by United Church Funds.

http://ucfunds.org/the-brown-endowment/

Please direct all inquiries to Rev. Nelson R Murphy at nelson.murphy@ucfunds.org

Grants for New Church Start Pastors

The New Church Benefits Support Program is a program for new churches to provide their new church planter with medical, dental and pension benefits for the first three years of their ministry. The funds are awarded for benefits in a decreasing amount each year, with the maximum amount for the first year from $8,000 to $10,000. This program is in partnership with Local Church Ministries and the Pension Board, and the benefits are in a form of a credit that is directly put into the new church planters account. Contact: The Rev. Persida Rivera-Mendez, Local Church (216) 736-3813 or via e-mail at riverap@ucc.org

Grants for Authorized Ministers in Crisis

Grants for Clergy in Crisis Support for persons authorized for ministry in the United Church of Christ (ordained, licensed and commissioned) and who are experiencing crisis in their vocational and/or personal lives is available through funds from the Make A Difference campaign.  >>Download Brochure

For information and applications, please contact: Associate Director, Grant and Scholarship Administration, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115, 216-736-2166 or lydenp@ucc.org

Grants for Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Church

Support for victims of sexual abuse in the church, in obtaining professional counseling, is available in situations where a formal complaint has been initiated with the appropriate body (agency; conference /association or local minister). Requests for funds are made by the association or conference staff on behalf of the person.

For Information please contact: Associate Director, Grant and Scholarship Administration at 216-736-2166 or at lydenp@ucc.org.

Seed Money for Faith-based Projects

The Genesis Fund, established in 1996 from funds raised through the Make a Difference Campaign, provides seed money for faith-based projects that are innovative or experimental, represent a new initiative in Christian mission, or that may be deemed controversial. Funds are available for domestic and international projects.

Genesis Fund Application

Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Funding is provided through donations to the Neighbors in Need offering. Additional information and application materials are available at http://www.ucc.org/nin/.

Contact Info

Pat Lyden
Associate Director, Grant and Scholarship Administration
700 Prospect Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115
216-736-2166
lydenp@ucc.org