Each year, the UCC's national setting awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to support UCC seminarians and those preparing for ministry in global partner churches. In addition, the church's grants support continuing education opportunities for pastors.
In 2004, $543,572 was distributed from the church's endowed scholarship funds to support ministerial education and training. That's up by $120,915 over the 2003 total, when $422,657 in scholarship funds were awarded. Larger funds, plus improved returns on investments, accounted for the increase.
Here's a run down of the number and amount of awards offered this year:
THE CARING FOR CLERGY ENDOWMENT, made possible by gifts to the UCC's Make a Difference Fund, provided $66,221 in assistance, including:
Seminarian scholarships, $14,700;
Doctoral students, $5,241;
Educational support awards,$19,800;
Bi-vocational and licensed ministry training, $1,572;
Continuing education, $13,567;
Global partner church awards, $6,100; and
Regional gatherings for seminarians, $5,241.
THE CANNON ENDOWMENT SCHOLARSHIP was established in 1992 with a gift from Clinton Cannon, a U.S. Army retiree. It provides assistance to students planning to become military chaplains from the UCC, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or the United Methodist Church. In 2004, $5,200 was awarded to four seminarians, including two UCC students.
THE GARRETT TRUST SCHOLARSHIP FUND was established in 1946 to provide scholarships to UCC seminary students seeking a Master of Divinity degree. $7,800 was distributed to nine seminarians.
ADRIENNE M. AND CHARLES SHELBY ROOKS FELLOWSHIP was established to support UCC seminarians from historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups. Twenty-four UCC seminarians received awards totaling $107,000 in 2004. Nineteen are pursuing Master of Divinity degrees, while five are completing doctoral studies. In addition, $3,200 was awarded to six students who are preparing for authorized ministry in Marshellese churches.
THE RICHARD AND HELEN BROWN PASTORAL ENDOWMENT, established by a $5 million bequest, provides scholarships for seminarians and continuing education funds for pastors. In 2004, awards totaled $331,951, including:
International seminarian scholarships administered by the seven UCC-related seminaries,$157,823;
UCC seminarian scholarships administered by the UCC's Council for Racial Ethnic Ministries: $10,500 awarded by United Black Christians; $9,000 awarded by the Council of Hispanic Ministries; $2,500 awarded by Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice; and $12,760 awarded by Pacific Islander and Asian-American Ministries. No awards were given this year by the Council for American Indian Ministries;
Bi-vocational and lay ministry training, $35,000;
Continuing education for UCC pastors, $45,598; and
Global partner church scholarships (administered by Wider Church Ministries): $27,470 awarded to seminarians of the UCC's global/overseas partner churches; $31,300 to support continuing education programs in global partner churches.
THE WILLIAM R. JOHNSON SCHOLARSHIP FUND was established in 2000 to provide scholarships for openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seminarians. $22,200 was awarded this year to help nine UCC seminarians.
UCC congregations, members and friends may contribute to any of the UCC's endowment funds in order to increase the amount of interest income available annually to provide scholarship assistance and grants. Contact the UCC's financial development ministry at 800-846-6822 for more information.
For more information on UCC scholarships, contact Veronica Jefferson of the UCC's Parish Life and Leadership Ministry, 216-736-3839; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.