Forty-three Duke Divinity School students have received scholarships totaling $175,000 from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church. The students received the funds through the Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship, which was created to help United Methodist clergy avoid excessive educational loan debt, minimize financial stress, and build financial acumen.
Each recipient is awarded amounts ranging from $2,500 to $12,500. The scholarship is designed for full-time Master of Divinity students attending one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries or schools of theology. The recipients are also certified candidates for ministry (elder or deacon) or pursuing certified candidacy in The United Methodist Church. Excellence in Clergy Leadership is based on financial need, and the recipients must demonstrate how the scholarship will help them avoid additional student loans.
An additional benefit of the scholarship program is the required financial wellness curriculum offered through EY Financial Planning Services (formerly Ernst & Young). Scholarship awards are contingent upon the completion of a financial wellness curriculum, which includes assistance with cash flow, personal savings and debt management, retirement savings strategies, investment allocation decisions, understanding tax issues, and estate and insurance planning. Scholarship recipients will complete a financial wellness assessment, a comprehensive and customized financial plan, and a personalized guidance consultation with a licensed planner.
Scholarship applications are open between Jan. 3 and March 1 of each year at GBHEM.org/scholarshipapplication.