ELCA Fund for Leaders Federal Chaplaincy Scholarship Fund
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The climate for educating future leaders in this church has changed — financing seminary education is primarily the responsibility of each individual student. The ELCA Fund for Leaders is a seminary scholarship program that seeks to support and lift up gifted students who are called to leadership in this church. Together with individuals, congregations, and synods, the fund was able to support 241students studying at one of the eight ELCA seminaries during the 2014-2015 school years, distributing over $1.45 million. By relieving these exciting students of the challenges of debt, we are ensuring a bright future with energetic and faithful leaders in the ELCA. A specialized scholarship was established to further assist those seminarians interested in pursuing a Federal Chaplaincy ministry career path. These questions address this new scholarship.
Fund for Leaders Federal Chaplaincy FAQs
Q: How big is the Federal Chaplaincy endowment?
A: $300,000 is the initial goal with increases as giving continues to allow.
Q: How are the students selected?
A: Applications for the Scholarship are received and reviewed by a scholarship selection committee appointed by the Chaplaincy Advisory Committee. Application requirements are an essay describing goals in chaplaincy ministry, recommendations, transcripts, and a statement from home pastor or bishop. Next, the scholarship selection committee recommends 1) whether an award is offered and 2) the amount of the award. These recommendations are then submitted to the Chaplaincy Advisory Committee. The final step is the Chaplaincy Advisory Committee makes a decision for ratification by Assistant to the Presiding Bishop, Director for Federal Chaplaincies (Endorser) and the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop; Executive for the Conference of Bishops.
Q: What is the difference between the Federal Chaplaincy Fund for Leader scholarships and the general Fund for Leaders scholarships?
A: The general Fund for Leaders scholarships are made up of named endowments from individual donors and general gifts to the fund. This money is distributed to candidates who have been nominated from their seminaries as exceptional candidates for ministry. The Federal Chaplaincy Fund for Leaders scholarships are made up of named endowments from individual donors and general gifts specified for candidates who have been nominated from their seminaries as exceptional candidates for Federal ministry positions and who show a strong desire to serve in this demanding ministry. This includes Military Branch Chaplain, Veterans Administration Hospital Chaplain, and Federal Prison Chaplain.
Q: How much money needs to be given to establish a named endowment?
A: $25,000 is the amount necessary to create a named endowment, but that amount can be reached in up to five years and is not necessary for the initial gift. The scholarship will not begin distribution until it reaches $25,000, however.
Q: Can I restrict my scholarship to go to a particular region/student/seminary?
A: A scholarship can include preferences in terms of recipient characteristics, but the Federal Chaplaincy Fund for Leaders wants to benefit as many students as possible each year, so if a preference cannot be honored due to a lack of candidates, the scholarship will still be distributed. There is a $100,000 minimum for preferences if an individual wants to include priorities.
Q: What are the long-term goals of the Federal Chaplaincy Fund?
A: To support any qualified candidate for ministry attending an ELCA seminary that is interested in a Federal Chaplaincy career path (Military, Veterans Administration Hospital, and Federal Prison). There is no limit on the number of Federal Chaplains needed by the ELCA.
Q: What are the qualifications for a person to receive a Federal Chaplaincy Scholarship?
A: Any qualified ELCA seminarian pursuing specialized ministry as a Federal Chaplain.