Our Scholarships

Fund for Leaders has been offering scholarships for students at ELCA seminaries who are pursuing rostered ministry in the ELCA since 2000. In the 2021-2022 academic year alone, the fund will provide over $3.2 million in scholarships to 317 ELCA seminary students, empowering those whom God calls into ministry to go and serve as the church needs and the Holy Spirit leads.

Eligibility and selection criteria vary across the different types of scholarships available. Read on for more details.

  • The ELCA Fund for Leaders Direct Full-Tuition Scholarship is for students who are beginning a full-time degree program at an ELCA seminary and have begun the ELCA candidacy process in order to become a rostered pastor or deacon in the ELCA. Fund for Leaders Direct Full-Tuition scholarships are awarded to students in their first year of seminary and, as long as students remain eligible, funding is guaranteed for the duration of required seminary coursework.

  • The ELCA Fund for Leaders Federal Chaplaincy Ministries Scholarship is for students who are attending an ELCA seminary full-time and are preparing for ministry as a military, Veterans Administration or federal prison chaplain. These scholarships are awarded through ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Ministries.

  • The ELCA Fund for Leaders Mission Developer Scholarship is for students who are rising middlers or seniors or TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) candidates at an ELCA seminary, who are identified and nominated by their seminary and by ELCA Christian Community and Leadership (CCL) as mission developer candidates.

  • The ELCA Fund for Leaders Synod or Congregation Scholarship is offered to ELCA seminary students by synods and congregations that have established a scholarship endowment fund through Fund for Leaders. Students must be first nominated by a synod or congregation with a fund in order to apply.

Application periods for Fund for Leaders scholarships vary depending on the type of scholarship but generally take place in winter or early spring.

Interested in applying? Learn more here.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions? Email FundforLeaders@elca.org or call 773-380-2936.

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Select a set of guidelines to learn more about the Fund for Leaders scholarship requirements.