Thanks to Your Giving: Ministerial Education Funds Help Future Clergy
When you give to your local United Methodist Church, much of the gift stays with that church to cover mission, ministry and expenses, but a small percent from your church is put together with gifts from other United Methodist churches in our Conference (and around the world) to fund in part our work together as a Conference and as a denomination. We call that apportioned giving. Over the next few months we'll be featuring some of the ministries that are thriving thanks to apportionment giving!
Ministerial Education Funds Help Pay Tuition for Future Clergy
Raising up servant leaders is part of our call to make disciples, and this call is addressed in part by our giving to the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF).
Grants from the Ministerial Education Fund help pay tuition and other costs for future clergy who will serve our churches or go on to be chaplains, teachers and missionaries.
In 2015, $595,213 apportionment dollars will be used in our Conference for the Ministerial Education Fund. Scholarship grants can total $1,000 per semester for undergraduate studies and $3,000 per semester for seminary students with a lifetime maximum per student of $26,000. The fund covers the entire tuition cost of Course of Study for all our licensed local pastors.
"I am grateful that churches in our conference faithfully pay their apportionments to help people like me -- second-career clergy people with spouse and children and mortgage -- afford attending one of the best seminaries in the country right here in North Georgia," said Rev. Joya Abrams, an associate pastor at Impact UMC in East Point and a Candler School of Theology graduate.
"Receiving MEF in seminary meant that my conference cared about me and my development and training as a future clergy woman," Abrams explained. "When your conference helps to fund your education, it means that a body of people believe in you. It helped to remind me of the depth of the connection. I did not know about MEF until my second year of school, but receiving that grant began to change how I experienced my education. I was having a personal, intellectual, and spiritual experience during my first year, but during my second year, I began to see my education also as training and preparation for a life of ministry in the local church."
Lathem Postell is a student at United Methodist-related Young Harris College and a recipient of an undergraduate Ministerial Education Fund grant.
"Receiving Ministerial Education Funds has allowed me the ability to continue my education at Young Harris College and will allow me to graduate with a lesser financial burden," he said. "This decrease in the financial burden of college will enable me to better serve the United Methodist Church after graduation."
Postell expects to graduate from Young Harris in December of 2016 and plans to attend seminary after that.
"While I'm attending seminary, I would like to be appointed as either a local pastor or student pastor," said Postell, who feels called to ordained ministry. "This will allow me to begin ministry while also advancing towards a seminary degree."
Thanks to your giving, United Methodist clergy receive excellent educations.
Check out the where apportionment dollars from your church to using the Apportionment Calculator
Read about how your apportionment dollars are helping make young disciples through camp ministry
Learn more about apportionments
in our Conference and in the United Methodist Church