Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

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Lead on. We're with you.

For those who’ve heard God’s call to leadership, we’re here to make the journey with you, connecting you with what you need to flourish as difference-makers. That’s our commitment as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. GBHEM.

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Fellowships & Grants for Deacons


Diaconia Graduate Fellowships for Doctoral Studies
By assisting deacons in higher education, this fellowship aims to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and administration in schools of theology, colleges, universities, and institutions and agencies of the church. Up to $10,000 may be awarded to the top two applicants. Apply on the Loans & Scholarships section. For more information contact the Rev. Victoria Rebeck, director of deacon support for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Completed applications are due March 5.


Emerging Ministry Grants

Deacons in provisional or full membership and diaconal ministers may apply for funds up to $5,000 to develop cutting-edge and innovative ministries in peace and justice. Request an application from the Rev. Victoria Rebeck, director of deacon support for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.


Subsidy for Basic Graduate Theological Studies (BGTS) and Certification in Specialized Ministry
Candidates for church-related certification in specialized ministry and for ordination as deacon in full connection taking theological studies at a seminary (but not enrolled in a degree program) are eligible for financial assistance for individual courses. Download Scholarship Form for Part-time Students.

The Rosalie Bentzinger Graduate Scholarship
This scholarship of $5,000 is designed to recognize a United Methodist student pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian education at a graduate theological institution. Apply online before March 5.

The Schisler Graduate Award
This scholarship of about $2,000 assists outstanding United Methodist graduate students who have chosen a career as a lay person or ordained deacon professional Christian educator in a congregation (this can include Christian educators and directors of discipleship, spiritual formation, urban ministry, or other). Apply online before March 1.

Special Seminary Scholarship
Students under age 30 who have started the ordained ministry candidacy process and who are pursuing a master of divinity degree at a United Methodist seminary can apply for a scholarship of about $2,000. Apply here.

Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship
Certified candidates for ordination who are enrolled full-time in a master of divinity program at one of the 13 United Methodist theological schools are eligible to apply. The scholarship has some matching components and is designed to help students minimize loan indebtedness. Apply through the GBHEM Loans & Scholarships office.

United Methodist Higher Education Foundation
The foundation offers a number of scholarships. Visit its web site to learn more.

Don't forget to talk to your United Methodist seminary's financial aid department to learn about more financial aid opportunities.