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Lay leaders now eligible for Pilgrimage scholarship

Lay leaders now eligible for Pilgrimage scholarship

Tourists entering the rectory of John and Charles Wesley in England
The General Commission on Archives and History is making scholarships available for lay leadership interested in joining a pilgrimage to England to visit the birthplace of Wesleyan theology and practices. Photo from Discipleship Ministries.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The addition of the General Commission on Archives and History as a sponsor of the annual Wesley Pilgrimage in England will result in financial help for United Methodist lay leaders who want to immerse themselves in the Christ-centered leadership of John and Charles Wesley.

Steve Manskar, director of Wesleyan leadership at Discipleship Ministries and pilgrimage co-leader, said Archives and History will cosponsor the pilgrimage July 11-21, along with Discipleship Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

“The mission of the pilgrimage is to ground people in the history, theology and practices of Wesleyan missional leadership,” Manskar said. “It's great to now have Archives and History on board and to make a connection with another agency of the church.”

Rev. Fred Day, general secretary of Archives and History, said his agency is delighted to provide support for the pilgrimage and to help people “get excited about what it means to be United Methodist and what United Methodist ethos and tradition is all about in shaping their path to discipleship, whether that be as a clergy person or as a lay person.”

“At the Commission on Archives and History, we're the enthusiastic promoters and storytellers of the denomination. We're keepers of the denomination's family album and we want to get that family album pulled off the shelf and to use all the resources we have to get people excited about what it means to be United Methodist,” said Day, who plans to join the pilgrimage himself this summer.

United Methodist lay and clergy leaders who participate in the 2016 Wesley Pilgrimage in England will learn how their shared ministry leads to making disciples. Pilgrims will learn, pray and explore places where the Wesley brothers lived and served during the 10-day journey. They will reflect and make new friends in small groups and will make connections between their Wesleyan heritage and the missional leadership the church needs today.

Commissioned provisional elders and deacons and licensed local pastors have been eligible to apply for a reduced scholarship registration fee, thanks to the sponsorship of Higher Education and Ministry. With the sponsorship of Archives and History, that same financial assistance will be extended to lay leaders, Manskar said.

“With this additional money, we'll be able to provide scholarships for 10 lay people – lay servants, lay speakers, certified lay ministers and others, including elected lay leaders of congregations like the chairs of the worship, mission and evangelism committees,” Manskar said.

The pilgrimage registration fee is $2,195, and the reduced scholarship registration fee for qualified lay and clergy is $1,095. The fee includes 10 nights’ lodging, most meals, coach travel to pilgrimage sites and the program. The fee does not include airfare to England.

Registration deadline for the 2016 pilgrimage has been extended a month to Feb. 15 to accommodate lay leaders who might want to participate. Register online at

To apply for the reduced fee, download the Scholarship Application Form at, and send the completed form to Manskar at before Feb. 15.

The pilgrimage will be led by Manskar and Dr. Paul Chilcote, academic dean and professor of historical theology and Wesleyan studies at Ashland (Ohio)Theological Seminary. Pilgrims will explore:

•Epworth:  the Wesley birthplace
•Oxford:  where John and Charles Wesley were students and led the Holy Club
•Bristol:  the home of the class meeting and where Methodism became a movement
•London:  where both Wesley brothers experienced assurance of salvation and John Wesley built the center of British Methodism
•Salisbury: home of  a vital Methodist congregation once served by Bishop Francis Asbury

To make a donation to the Wesley Pilgrimage Scholarship Fund, go to