Five theology students receive Dempster fellowships
3/27/2003 News media contact: Linda Green ∑ (615) 742-5470 ∑ Nashville, Tenn
Tenn. (UMNS) - Five students preparing for careers in theological
education have received Dempster Graduate Fellowships from the United
Methodist Church for the 2003-2004 academic year.
$10,000 for single students and $11,000 for married students, are the
largest offered by a Protestant denomination, according to the United
Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville. The
scholarships are given through the board's Division of Ordained
The annual fellowships have helped graduate students
move toward careers in theological education for the past four decades
and represent the United Methodist Church's strong commitment to
excellence in theological education, according to the Rev. Robert
Kohler, a staff executive in the division.
fellowships are named for John Dempster, a 19th-century Methodist
preacher who helped establish three denominationally related seminaries.
for the Dempster award is based on intellectual competence, academic
achievement, promise of usefulness in teaching careers, personal
qualities, and clarity of spiritual purpose and commitment.
The 2003-2004 recipients are:
Esther L. Chung, a candidate for ministry in the Greater New Jersey
Annual Conference and graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and
Drew University. She is enrolled at Duke University in Durham, N.C.,
where she is focusing on the history of Christianity in the area of
¬∑ Hannah Little Friday, a member of the North
Alabama Annual Conference and graduate of Emory University and Agnes
Scott College. She is enrolled at Emory University in Atlanta, where she
is specializing in 19th century theological and religious thought and
its influence on current theological trends.
¬∑ Brett Michael
Opalinski, an elder in the Florida Annual Conference and graduate of
Emory University and Samford University. He is enrolled at Iliff School
of Theology in Denver, with a concentration on the New Testament and
early Christian history.
¬∑ Christoph Norbert Raedle, a lay preacher
in the Germany North Annual Conference and graduate of Martin Luther
University Halle-Wittenberg. He is specializing in historical,
systematic and ecumenical theology at the United Methodist Seminary in
¬∑ Susanna Weslie Southard, a member of the
Kansas East Annual Conference and graduate of Perkins School of Theology
and Washington University. She is attending Vanderbilt Divinity School
in Nashville, where she is specializing in the Hebrew Bible and New
The Dempster fellowships are funded through the
Ministerial Education Fund, which is supported by the apportionments
paid by local churches across the denomination.
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