Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the ELCA Fund for Leaders will award 375 scholarships to students attending the seven seminaries of the ELCA for the 2022-2023 academic year.

This year the ELCA Fund for Leaders will distribute around $3.5 million through several types of scholarships, including direct full-time scholarships, federal chaplaincy ministries scholarships, mission developer scholarships, and synod or congregation scholarships.

A new category this year will award $400,000 through 80 scholarships for Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) candidates who are identified by their synods. TEEM is a certificate program, not a full-time degree, and the candidates go through the same candidacy process as other rostered ministers. TEEM candidates usually end up serving the congregations that nurtured their call.

“TEEM is doing theology in a fine balance of action and reflection, study and ministry at the same time,” said Moses Paul Peter Penumaka, director of TEEM at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif. “TEEM is not only transforming the face of the ELCA but the heart and mind of the Lutheran church. When TEEM candidates go to seminary, the whole congregation goes to seminary. TEEM is a practical way of making congregations vital, vibrant and viable.”

Marissa Krey, director of ELCA Fund for Leaders, emphasized the need for scholarships across all categories of rostered ministry. “We think it’s vitally important to provide support to all leaders answering God’s call to serve in a variety of ways,” she said.

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