Anonymous Donor Gives $100,000 to GBHEM Scholarships

2/28/2011

A United Methodist elder, who has a long history with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and his wife have donated $100,000 to the Special Seminary Scholarship Fund to help those seeking ordination in The United Methodist Church.

“I was able to graduate from seminary with no debt because of scholarships, and my wife and I wanted to help others do that,” he said. They asked that the donation remain anonymous.

“Those who enter ministry without significant debt are better prepared to focus on their work, and I believe a seminary education is critical for ministry,” he said. “My wife and I have been blessed, and we wanted to share the gifts that we’ve had with others.”

The donor said that during his work with GBHEM he had often read scholarship applications and really wanted to support the work that is done through the Office of Loans and Scholarships in helping educate the future clergy of the church.

James Harding, interim executive director of the Office of Loans and Scholarships, said the income from the donation will generate enough funds for two additional $2,000 scholarships each year. The Special Seminary Scholarship Fund, created in 2006 with a $2.25 million transfer from earnings on investments of loan funds, is used for seminary students 30 and under who are planning to be ordained as clergy in The United Methodist Church. An additional $1 million was added to the fund in 2007 from earnings on investments, bringing the balance to $3.25 million. Between 65 and 70 scholarships of $2,000 each are awarded each year from the fund.

“We appreciate that an elder in the church is willing to help pay for the education of young seminarians,” Harding said.

*Brown is associate editor and writer, Office of Interpretation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

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