Through the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF) and other generous gifts, financial assistance is available for persons who are pursuing licensing or ordination. This fund is available to any certified candidate for ministry from the Florida Conference who are enrolled at a University Senate approved seminary and are completing courses for credit towards a specific degree or educational program as indicated. Find list of approved seminaries here: https://www.gbhem.org/students/seminary/list-of- approved-seminaries/
For persons on an Elder track, coursework must be for a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree or for completion of Advanced Course of Study (ACOS) requirements (see Book of Discipline ¶335 (3) (c) and (3) (d)) from a University Senate Approved Seminary.
For persons on a Deacon track, coursework must be for a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, or another theological master’s degree that includes the Basic Graduate Studies (such as a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) or a Masters of Pastoral Counseling) or for the completion of the Basic Graduate Theological Studies as a non-degree student if taken at a University Senate Approved Seminary – depending on the deacon educational track (see ¶330.3 (b) or .3(c)). Master’s degrees in other specialty areas such as Marriage and Family Counseling, an MBA, Nursing, etc. are not eligible for Ministerial Education Funds.
One exception is, the board may provide seminary scholarships for persons who are taking courses for seminary credit beyond a basic seminary degree to fulfill denominational or conference requirements for ordination. This includes OE and OF clergy working on educational requirements for a transfer request.
An additional exception is, the Adventurers Leadership Academy (formally the Pioneer Leadership Academy) which equips lay, licensed, and ordained adventurers to cultivate Fresh Expressions of Church and other forms of innovative ministry in their unique contexts throughout the Florida Conference. Ministerial Education Funds will be provided for Florida Clergy or certified candidates for ministry and can be requested for a total amount of $1250 per clergy applicant. Upon completion, United Theological Seminary will confer a Certificate in Fresh Expressions and Adventurer Ministry and 8.0 CEUs (continuing education units).
The purpose of the Ministerial Education Fund is to assist in providing adequately trained ministers for our churches by:
- Relieving some of the pressure of limited means, where such pressure may well prevent a ministerial candidate from obtaining the necessary education.
- Reducing the necessity for too much employment while in school, thus allowing more time for study.
Funding is $200 per credit hour with a maximum of $600 for a 3 credit or more course. Grants may be awarded for up to $600 per course each semester, with no maximum number of courses. This includes Spring, Summer, Fall, and J-Terms.
It is hoped that those receiving these funds will serve in the Florida Conference. If, for some reason, a person does not serve in the Florida Conference, or a conference in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, financial repayment may be required.
*NEW* Application Due Dates:
- Fall: September 1
- Spring: February 1
- Summer: July 1
Failure to apply on time may result in your request for funds being denied.
*Form works best on a computer, not a tablet.*
Local Pastors - Course of Study
Through the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF), licensed local pastors receive assistance with the cost of the Course of Study program. We pay $300 per course for each class in which the person is enrolled. For ACOS, the reimbursement is up to $400. This is reimbursed to the student upon submitting receipts to the Office of Clergy Excellence.
Ministerial Education Funds are available for continuing education purposes for appointed clergy who are members in full connection or associate members of the Florida Conference. Each eligible clergy may request up to $750 a quadrennium. These funds are administered as long as funds are available in a current calendar year.
2022 Renewal Leave Grant
The 2022 Renewal Leave Grant is a Florida Conference fund in the amount of $40,000 generously provided by The Preacher’s Relief Board. The fund is designated to provide financial assistance for Florida Conference clergy in full connection who have held full-time appointments for at least six years, to take a renewal leave according to ¶350.3 of The 2016 Book of Discipline. See the Florida Conference website at https://www.flumc.org/how-to-take-a-leave for more information on how to take a leave. The Grant Award team are two members of the Preacher's Relief Board: Rev. David Dodge and Rev. Clare Chance with staff support from Rev. Sara McKinley, Director of the Office of Clergy Excellence.
Up to $10,000 per grant may be awarded. This annual grant process is competitive and requests should be made only for the amount really needed, allowing more clergy to benefit from the grant. The grant may be used to fund pulpit or pastoral supply while the clergy person is on leave, continuing education or other spiritual growth opportunities, and the cost of travel for such. Creativity in the ways applicants seek renewal is encouraged!
The Renewal Leave Grants were previously funded by The Passing of The Torch imitative of the Florida United Methodist Foundation. Articles about previous award recipients can by found at:
The Clergy Renewal Leave Grants
The application deadline is April 30.
Young Students of Color Seminary Scholarship
We are pleased to announce that we have received new funding to support our students of color seminary scholarships in recognition of David H. and Dean C. Lockwood from The Marcy Grant in the amount of $40,000 . We will have up to $60,000 in funds available to be distributed in the 2022-2023 academic year. Students must be certified candidates for ministry in the Florida Annual Conference, enrolled in one of the 13 United Methodist Seminaries in preparation for a career in ministry and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above. These scholarships are merit and need based. The Grant Award Team is Rev. Tiffania Willets, Rev. Andrew Kim and Rev. Debbie Daley-Salinger in consultation with Rev. Sara McKinley, Director of the Office of Clergy Excellence.
The application is due April 30, 2023.
McKeefery Seminary Scholarship Fund
Given by Dr. Ruth M. McKeefery, to honor her husband, Dr. William James McKeefery, and children, Dr. Virginia L. McKeefery-Reynolds, Carol A. McKeefery Banga, and W. James McKeefery.
CLICK HERE if you applying for scholarship for the first time.
CLICK HERE if you are reapplying for the scholarship.
CRITERIA TO DETERMINE DISTRIBUTION OF INCOME
Income from the McKeefery Scholarship Fund is to be distributed using the following criteria:
• Individual is a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church or another United Methodist Church in the Florida Annual Conference.
• Individual is accepted to attend or currently attending a Seminary.
• Individual is planning to be ordained as Deacon, Elder or Seminary Certification in the United Methodist Church.
• Individual demonstrates a personal faith and commitment to full-time Christian service.
• Individual has actively participated in ministries of the church, and served as a volunteer in the community.
• The Scholarship award will be used to pay for tuition, fees and books, and will be paid directly to the Seminary in the recipient’s name.
• The minimum Scholarship award will be $1,000 to each person approved by the award committee.
MCKEEFERY SCHOLARSHIP FUND COMMITTEE
The McKeefery Scholarship Fund Committee will be composed of no fewer than three persons appointed by St. Luke’s Lay Leadership Committee. Each committee member will be a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, serve for a term of three-years and may serve another three-year term.
• The committee will announce the availability of the scholarship to the church congregation in January.
• The committee will approve the scholarship application form, determine the application deadline date, and distribute the form.
• The committee will review the applications, select the recipients and determine the amount of the award.
• Each award will be for one academic year, commencing with a Fall Term.
• Students may receive annual awards for four years if enrolled in Seminary.
• The Seminary Scholarship Fund Committee chairperson will be notified by St. Luke’s Endowment Committee, or St, Luke’s Finance Officer of the total funds available for distribution each year.
• The Seminary Scholarship Fund Committee chairperson will notify St. Luke’s finance office with the names of the individuals to receive the award(s).
• The Seminary Scholarship Fund Committee will send a personal letter of their action to the award recipient(s) and other applicants.
• The minimum scholarship award will be $1,000 to each award recipient.
APPLICATION AND AWARD DATES
The McKeefery Seminary Scholarship Committee must receive completed application with all attachments, requested letter and official undergraduate transcript by April 1. Applications can be mailed to the below address or emailed to email@example.com
Letters of award decisions will be mailed by May 1.
ST. LUKE’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
MCKEEFERY SEMINARY SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE
4851 S. APOPKA-VINELAND ROAD
ORLANDO, FL 32819