Scholarships for ordained clergy

Information and eligibility

Disciples Home Missions (DHM) seeks to support ministers in their commitment to a process of life-long learning. Ministers who take advantage of available educational experiences often discover that there are benefits of such experiences for themselves and the people with whom they are in ministry.

Accordingly, DHM has continuing education funds available for clergy of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The following eligibility criteria for the funds were established initially by DHM Board of Directors in June, 1975, and have been updated in more recent years to maintain effectiveness of the program.

  • Each applicant must hold standing as an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
  • Applicants are to have completed basic or beginning theological education normally a B.D. or M. Div. degree.
  • Candidates for advanced professional degrees in ministry such as D. Min. are eligible for consideration, provided they have been in full time ministry for at least three years following receipt of basic or beginning theological degree.
  • Recipients are limited to a maximum of one grant in a 12-month period, and no more than three grants within any contiguous six years.
  • Occasionally, due to limited amounts of funds that are available to be awarded in any specific year, the number and more-recent nature of previous awards for each clergy applicant may be a factor that eliminates them from consideration, in favor of other candidates who’ve never before received such an award.
  • D.Min. students may receive grants up to three times during D.Min. matriculation.
  • Recipients of continuing education scholarships are encouraged to contribute to the cost of their educational experience. In all cases, demonstrated financial need will be a strong factor in determining the amount of the grant.
  • When requests exceed funds available, preference will be given to those with the greatest need, and/or for whom no other funds are known to be available.
  • Normally all the partners in continuing education …
    – the clergy applicant, as well as
    – the congregation, or other related employer, or sponsoring institutions or agencies,
    … are encouraged to invest financially in the proposed continuing education program in equitable amounts.
  • Each award is expected to be used for only the specific educational experience described in the application, and costs directly related to such (registration, travel, food, lodging), but cannot be used for personal items, electronic hardware/media/equipment, or supplies. All grant funds must be used within the calendar year for which the grant is awarded.
  • Currently, each applicant has the potential to receive a maximum $500 award in any one year.
  • No annual award is guaranteed until awarded, and a separate application must be made each year to be considered.
  • Applications will be received every year from September 1st through October 31st for grants awarded the following calendar year. Our goal is to send notification of the grant awards by mid-November and no later than the first week of December.
  • All questions on the application form must be answered before an application can be processed; be sure to print a copy of the completed application form for your own records should any document verification be required.
  • No application will be processed until DHM has received the required information from the minister’s regional office. Please send your regional minister the Web link address for the form linked here: regional online endorsement form ; ask your regional minister to complete this form. For non-Regional Ministers with standing through the General Commission on Ministry, any regional or area ministerial staff person from any region may be chosen to provide a regional endorsement. Senior Regional Minister applicants will need a reference from their Regional Commission On Ministry chairperson, General Minister and President, or the Chair of GCOM. Associate Regional Ministers can choose their Senior Regional Minister or Regional Commission On Ministry chairperson as their referent. All other applicants must have the form filled out by the regional or area minister of the region in which their standing is held. Regional endorsements may not be completed by the person submitting the application.
  • It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure their required materials reach the scholarship office of DHM before the application deadline.
  • Grants will be made only to those who propose to participate in a continuing education event recognized by an accrediting body beyond the sponsoring institution or organization; approved by a regional or general unit of the church; or endorsed by the regional commission on the ministry as a valid continuing education program. Denominational events such as General or Regional assemblies, fellowship meetings, and ecumenical assemblies do not qualify as continuing education events.
  • Grant recipients are responsible for submitting financial documentation (copies of itemized receipts, registration forms, etc.) to Disciples Home Missions, up to amount of grant award, following the completion of the education experience.  This should be done within 30 days after the completion of the event. Any unused or undocumented portion of the grant must be refunded back to Disciples Home Missions. Failure to comply with these requirements may disqualify a person from receiving future grants. An itemized list of expenses does NOT count as financial documentation without itemized receipts.
  • Grants can only be use for the expenses of the one who receives the award, and are not intended for costs related to guests, partners, spouses, or any other person.

You may apply by completing the online application form. If you have further questions, please contact the Clergy Continuing Education office at Disciples Home Missions.