Ministry Education Scholarships

Ministry Education Scholarships are available to those preparing for ministry in the United Church of Christ and for continuing education for ministers. In addition to what is listed here, check with the Admissions Office at your educational institution to find out about additional scholarships that may be available.

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

  • Membership in a UCC congregation for at least one year at time of application;
  • 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; (With the exception of The Rev. Virginia Kreyer Scholarship where a lower GPA will be accepted)
  • 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.

Members in Discernment may apply for the Brown Endowment Scholarship and ONE other UCC Ministry Education Scholarship per year.

Important dates to remember:

  • All online Scholarship application forms open on December 1 each year and close on March 1 of the following year at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.
  • The online application form for The Genesis Fund, a program grant, opens on December 1 each year and closes on March 15 of the following year at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.

The application link in each listing includes more details, guidelines, and application procedures for the scholarships listed below.

The Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships
The Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships derive from a generous gift received in the 1990s, designated to support pastoral ministry in the United Church of Christ. Since its inception, the gift of $5 million has provided over $250,000 annually to UCC Conferences, seminaries, and global partners, providing individual scholarships for seminarians and sponsorships for continuing education events. Please note: The Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships are administered at United Church Funds. Please do NOT contact the United Church of Christ for information about the Brown Endowment Scholarship or Continuing Education grants. 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. Application.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Henry Evans Designated Fund for African-American Pastoral Scholarships
The Evans Scholarship fund for African-American seminary students was established in 2009 by United Black Christians, in covenant with the UCC’s Local Church Ministries. In addition to the standard requirements, applicants must be justice advocates who have proven leadership through a history of service in the church and in the world. Application.
Rev. Dr. Joseph Henry Evans Scholarship Brochure
Rev. Dr. Joseph Henry Evans Scholarship Video

The William R. Johnson Scholarship Fund
In 1999, the predecessor body to Local Church Ministries, The Board for Homeland Ministries, created a scholarship for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender UCC 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 church’s long-standing conviction that sexual orientation or gender identity should not be a barrier to ordination. Recipients must be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity and be Members in Discernment. The scholarship is available to students who have completed their first year of seminary. Application

Rev. Virginia Kreyer Endowed Scholarship for Theological Education
The Rev. Virginia Kreyer Endowed Scholarship for Theological Education for Persons with Disabilities Called to Authorized Ministry was created in 2010 by the UCC’s Disabilities Ministries. The rev. Virginia Kreyer Scholarship is a board-designated fund for persons with disabilities called to authorized ministry. The scholarship fund will help defray the cost of tuition, assistive devices, specialized software, hardware, specialized services, assistants, transportation, and adapted services. Application

The Reverend Dr. Héctor E. López Scholarship for Latina & Latino UCC Seminarians
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 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. Application

The Adrienne M. and Charles Shelby Rooks Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Theological Students Scholarships
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 seminary accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Doctoral Degree: Application
Masters of Divinity Degree: Application

Make A Difference! UCC Seminarian Scholarship (applications not accepted)
The presidents of the six United Church of Christ seminaries annually nominate one Member in Discernment for the Make A Difference! UCC Seminarian Scholarship. The awards are transferred to the seminaries to offset tuition, books, or other educational expenses for the selected seminarian. Interested seminarians should contact the president of their UCC seminary. Application

Make A Difference! Educational Support Award
Each year United Church of Christ Association Committees on Ministry are invited to nominate their Members in Discernment to be considered for a “Make A Difference! Educational Support Award.” Members in Discernment must have the prior approval/nomination of their Committee on Ministry BEFORE starting this application. Awards are available to UCC seminarians who are attending a seminary accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the United States. Application

Make A Difference! Caring for Authorized Clergy Fund (Open All Year)
Grants are available for persons authorized for ministry in the United Church of Christ (ordained, licensed and commissioned) who are experiencing crisis in their vocational and/or personal lives. The authorized minister may not self-apply.  Conference staff must apply on behalf of the authorized minister. Payment is made to the Conference/ Association to assure anonymity. The Conference/Association agrees to make the source of the funds known and available to the recipient and ensures that the funds are used as intended. Application

The Garrett Trust Fund Award (Open All Year)
The Garrett Trust Fund was established in 1946 to provide emergency financial assistance for persons pursuing a seminary education. Seminarians enrolled full-time in a Master of Divinity program in an ATS accredited seminary who wish to apply must sign a faith statement and must articulate their financial emergency. A representative of the applicant’s UCC Conference or Association Committee on Ministry must approve the application. Application

The Harold H. Wilke Scholarship
The Harold Wilke Scholarship, established in 1981, honors the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Wilke, a devoted minister, disability advocate, and pioneer. Annual scholarships are available to assist gifted persons with disabilities and/or those directly involved in service to persons with disabilities further their education or training. Applicants must be pursuing a degree or educational certification and may be from the United States or other countries. Application

Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program (not administered by the UCC)

John and Norma Nomura DeSaegher Scholarship (not administered by the UCC)
Central Union Church is pleased to offer the John and Norma Nomura DeSaegher Scholarship, which provides Divinity students $5000 awards annually and students may receive the scholarship twice in the matriculation of their degree. Applicants must be a member in good standing in a UCC or affiliated denomination and a Member in Discernment in the UCC (or an equivalent designation in an affiliated denomination). View other scholarship requirements and download an application and Need Assessment Worksheet. The application deadline is March 31, 2020, for consideration for the following academic year.