Ministerial Education Fund
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The Ministerial Education Fund is the church’s affirmation that we continue to share the responsibility for education of our clergy. It is one of the seven apportioned funds that enables United Methodists to do together what no church, district, or annual conference could do alone. Through the MEF and other funds, each individual, each family, each congregation gives a fair share for the church's work.
Our seminary students need the support of their annual conference, congregation, and the MEF, which is a critical piece of the circle of support for those on the path to ordained ministry.
For most of our seminaries, MEF support represents between 9 percent and 20 percent of their annual budget -- a big piece of keeping tuition and other costs lower for the clergy we need.
All of our 13 seminaries make scholarships available to qualified United Methodist students, and GBHEM has endowed a Special Seminary Scholarship Fund to further increase support for educating clergy. These funds are in addition to money students receive from annual conference MEF dollars. Twenty-five percent of MEF apportioned dollars are retained in annual conferences.
As Myron McCoy, president of Saint Paul School of Theology, has said so well: “MEF dollars are critically important to the life and mission of Saint Paul. The church’s MEF disbursement to us accounts for approximately 20 percent of our educational budget. The MEF dollars given to Saint Paul are a great investment for the UMC’s present and future as roughly 80 percent of our graduates are directly involved in ministry leadership in the local church.”
Our 13 United Methodist theological schools can, with our financial support, respond to the immediate and future needs of the church in terms of curriculum, focus, and special programs.
Amee Miller, a student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, recently wrote the following thank-you letter:
“Your contribution to Garrett-Evangelical affirms your commitment to equipping our churches with well-educated leaders. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea how much I needed to learn until I got here and got started. I now see more than ever how crucial our seminaries are to the growth and development of the Church,” she wrote.
To learn more about the fund, visit the UMC Giving site for the Ministerial Education Fund.