Applying for Seminary Scholarships
he United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas Seminary Scholarship Fund, which began in 2001, has surpassed its $3.5 million goal. Through the generosity of many United Methodists, we are providing grants for full scholarships to Arkansas students attending three-year United Methodist seminaries.
As scholarship recipients, the students pledge to return to Arkansas to pastor United Methodist churches. Now that the goal has been reached, the UMFA Seminary Scholarship Fund will be able to provide nine full scholarships for Arkansas seminary students each year.
If you are interested in applying for the Seminary Scholarship, complete both the Application and the Covenant.
Rev. Heather Spencer Clawitter left her corporate job to attend Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While exploring ways to meet the financial demands, her mentor and then pastor Bud Reeves suggested she apply for the United Methodist Foundation Seminary Scholarship.
“I had loans from undergraduate studies at Hendrix, and the United Methodist Foundation Seminary Scholarship enabled me to go to Perkins, take a full 12-hour course load, spend all my time on my studies and not have additional debt,” Heather said.
“I’ve felt the Spirit of God affirm and encourage my gifts for preaching,” Heather said. “Today I feel I am steadily becoming the woman God created me to be.”
Rev. Ben Crismon of White Hall United Methodist Church said the fact that people from his Conference loved him enough to provide for him during his seminary education makes him want to serve diligently, passionately and with gusto to return the gift he received back to the people of Arkansas.
“Because of the scholarship I was able to work in church ministries during my time at Perkins, and I did not have to take a secular job for expenses,” said Ben. “I didn’t have to wait until I was done with seminary to begin to apply the principles I was learning. Now in full-time ministry I constantly use the lessons cemented in real life experiences.”
Lynn and Nathan
When UMFA Seminary Scholar Lynn Cross met Nathan Kilbourne at Duke Divinity School, congregations in the Arkansas Conference received a double measure of grace. In 2009, Lynn and Nathan graduated from seminary, married and began serving local churches in Arkansas.
Rev. Nathan Kilbourne has served as associate pastor at Asbury UMC in Little Rock and now as senior pastor at Vilonia UMC. Rev. Lynn Kilbourne began her ministry as associate pastor at Bryant First UMC and is in her third year as Conway First UMC associate.
“The Foundation allowed me to go to the United Methodist seminary of my choice without the anxiety of taking on debt,” Lynn said. “Knowing people in Arkansas had invested in me and would welcome me back meant a lot when I was in seminary.”