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Higher education agency reallocates funds for 75 seminary scholarships

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The Rev. Jerome King Del Pino
August 2, 2005

NASHVILLE (UMNS) – Seventy-five seminarians will receive emergency scholarships from the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Rev. Jerome King Del Pino, the board’s chief executive, has reallocated $150,000 to provide scholarships to 75 qualified seminarians who initially did not receive money.

However, board staff warned the temporary funding was only a short-term solution.

“We must have a significant increase in congregational giving to Special Sunday offerings if we are to continue assisting ministerial students with educational expenses they are incurring to meet the requirements for ordination,” said Angella Current-Felder, executive director of the board’s office of loans and scholarships.

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Angella Current-Felder
Even after the reallocation, Current-Felder said no funds were available for 181 undergraduate applicants for scholarships because of a significant drop in receipts in 2004 for United Methodist Student Day and World Communion Sunday.

Giving to the three Special Sundays has dropped or remained flat while the number of scholarship applications has increased, she recently said and noted that the Office of Loans and Scholarships had to turn away 300 eligible applicants last year.

With the 75 new scholarships of $1,500 to $2,000 each, the Board has now awarded more than 550 scholarships to seminarians. In total, more than 3,500 scholarships worth more than $4 million has been awarded to undergraduates, graduates and seminarians.

Many of the seminarians receiving emergency scholarships are first-career ministerial students pursuing their master of divinity degree, Current-Felder said, and had participated in higher education and ministry events designed to nurture young people in their journey toward ordained ministry or other leadership roles within the church.

“These students are the future pastors of our churches,” she noted. In a recent letter to bishops, she urged them to support Special Sundays with offerings “to respond to the needs of this new generation of Christian leaders.”

*The above story was adapted from a release written by Vicki Brown, an associate editor and writer in the Office of Interpretation, United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or

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