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HANA Scholarship Empowers Pastor to Continue His Education and Service to the Church

June 22, 2017

Pastor Josias Andujar is a past recipient of the HANA scholarship for Hispanic, Asian and Native American United Methodist students and credits the program for providing valuable financial support. “I can honestly say I would not have made it without the HANA Scholarship. Prior to pursuing higher education, I worked in construction and served as a Pentecostal pastor. After joining the UMC, going to school on a local pastor salary alone became very difficult. The HANA Scholarship helped me to see light at the end of the tunnel.” 

The Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) recently began the application review process for the HANA Scholars program. HANA provides scholarships to increase access to higher education for Hispanic, Asian and Native American United Methodist students. The program also provides institutional support to recruit and retain minorities at United Methodist-related schools, colleges, universities and theological schools. 

The program is made possible through the HANA Education Fund which is supported through church giving. Students meeting the criteria of ethnicity and two-year minimum membership in the UMC are eligible to receive up to $2,500 in undergrad and $5,000 for graduate studies. Applications are accepted between January and March of each year. Scholarships will be awarded in July. 

Andujar recently graduated with his Doctor of Ministry from Drew University. “I have fallen in love with biblical studies, especially old testament. I will be attending classes to strengthen my knowledge in Greek and Hebrew. I see myself serving as a faculty member at a United Methodist school someday.”

Along with his academic pursuits, Andujar continues to serve the church in a pastoral role. He was recently appointed to serve as lead pastor of Pine Ridge UMC in the Florida Annual Conference. Originally from Puerto Rico, Andujar spent more than 20 years in service to the Pentecostal Church in Puerto Rico. He was a part of the Missions Department with the denomination, which helped support 450 churches in 21 countries. He also helped to start churches as a district superintendent. Andujar relocated to the U.S. and joined the UMC six years ago. 

“The HANA program has brought so much into my life, it made me commit to exploring ways that I can continue to give back to others and serve. I always recommend others apply to the program if they are pursuing higher education or ministry.”

To learn more about the Office of Loans and Scholarships or the HANA Scholars program, visit To help continue the invaluable work of the Office of Loans and Scholarships, consider providing a gift at or GBHEM Loans & Scholarships, 1 Music Circle North, Nashville, TN 37203. 

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of the church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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