The "Christian Research Journal" reported in 2004 that African-American ministers have not always been welcome at seminaries as students. Fortunately, blacks now have much greater access to seminary degrees, even though they may face financial challenges. But several scholarships are available to help pay for tuition and other costs.
African-American Scholarship Fund
Formerly known as the Negro Student Scholarship Fund, the African-American Scholarship Fund was established by the Executive Committee of the United Christian Missionary Society to provide financial assistance to deserving African-American seminary students who are Disciples of Christ. Candidates for the scholarship are black men and women who wish to be involved in Christian service and earn a college degree. References from the candidates’ pastor, a staff person, and advisor are included in the application packet. The award amount varies.
Michelle Jackson Scholarship
Female African-American seminary students are eligible for the Michelle Jackson Scholarship. Named for a woman who had just received her Master of Divinity degree and then died suddenly, the Michelle Jackson Scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to African-American Disciples women who are seminary students in pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree. Additionally, African-American women who are interested in applying for the scholarship should possess spiritual charisma and church leadership.
Star Supporter Scholarship/Loan
African-American seminary students who are Disciples, and who are working towards becoming ordained pastors in ministry, are eligible for the Star Supporter Scholarship. Established by Reverend Lorenzo Evans and Alfred Stone, the Star Supporter Scholarship provides financial assistance for seminary training to future African-American pastors. Candidates should be under the care of a minister in the Disciples Ministry, and must provide references from their pastor, a staff member, and advisor. The amount of the award varies, with a minimum value of $2,000.
Burr/Martens Minority Scholarship
Fuller Theological Seminary offers more than 60 scholarships to its students, one of which is the Burr/Martens Minority Scholarship. Established by Larry Burr in memory of his parents, the Burr/Martens Minority Scholarship is specifically for African-American students at Fuller Theological Seminary who are age 30 or older and pursuing careers in ministry.
Laurel Harper began writing and editing professionally in 1989 and her work has appeared in various publications. Currently, Harper is an online adjunct business professor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from Wharton, a Master of Business Administration from Eastern University and is pursuing a Doctor of Instructional Technology at Duquesne University.