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Seminary students receive excellence in clergy leadership scholarships

Posted: November 10 2017 at 08:13 AM
Author: By Rev. Mark Meyers, NIC Board of Ordained Ministry

In 2016 the NIC Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) was approached by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) to partner with them, the Lilly Foundation, UM Foundations and UM Seminaries in a new scholarship program for seminary students, the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship.

The scholarship is designed for full-time Master of Divinity students attending one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries/schools of theology. The recipients are also certified candidates for ministry (elder or deacon) or pursuing certified candidacy in The United Methodist Church. The Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship is based on merit, leadership capacity, financial need, and the recipients must demonstrate how the scholarship will help them avoid additional student loans. 

The Board of Ordained Ministry agreed to use our Ministerial Education Funds (MEF) for seminary scholarships (about $12,000 annually) to join this program in 2017 and 2018. 

Applicants apply directly to GBHEM and are reviewed by them and our BOOM. This year, five seminary students from the NIC were selected as recipients of this scholarship. They were awarded a total of $42,500.

Two students were awarded the full $12,500.00 scholarship as they received $2,500 from the MEF Fund, the UM Foundation endowment, GBHEM, the Lilly Foundation, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Another student received $7,500 and two others received $5,000. This is a significant boost from the $500 to $1,000 scholarships BOOM was able to award in the past several years.

Kate Miller, a certified candidate for Deacon who will be graduating from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in May 2018, is one of the five scholarship recipients and says it is an amazing opportunity to help her complete her degree. 

“As a first-generation college/graduate student, with not a lot of resources to help me understand college/graduate school and finances, this has been helpful in making sure my debt doesn't grow any larger,” said Miller. “It has helped alleviate one worry during my last year of seminary, especially after talking with someone about the best way to pay off my student debt.”

Anthony Livoti is currently a student ministry director at First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights, Ill. He is grateful for receiving the scholarship and says it will be a tremendous help as he continues on his seminary journey.

“This scholarship is an incredible blessing that strengthens my endeavor to transform student ministry in The United Methodist Church,” said Livoti. “Through this seminary education, I will walk alongside many voices as I journey to revitalize our denomination through the power and passion of our 7th-12th grade students, who are an active and important part of our church and our world.” 

Full-time seminary students who are interested in applying for the 2018 scholarship please contact your District Board of Ordained Ministry Chair, or NIC BOOM Vice Chair Rev. Mark Meyers by email at early next year. Scholarship applications will be open between January 3 and March 1, 2018, at

I encourage everyone reading this to consider supporting our seminary students through your local congregation, the MEF Fund special offering, or by planned giving through our UM Foundation.

The 2017 recipients are:
Gloria Feliciano Feltman
Eun Ae Lee
Anthony Livoti
Katelyn Miller
Jinkyung Park

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