ELCA Fund for Leaders


The ELCA Fund for Leaders scholarship program supports students of tremendous promise attending ELCA seminaries. By making seminary more affordable, the ELCA Fund for Leaders enables more future ministers to go to seminary and helps them graduate with less debt, empowering those whom God calls into ministry to go and serve as the church needs and the Holy Spirit leads.

We are church, and each of us has a unique role to play in furthering the mission and ministry of the church. Your gift to the ELCA Fund for Leaders ensures that highly talented individuals will be able to answer the call to leadership for this church and for our future.

Bishop Eaton’s Leadership Initiative

In November 2016, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton announced the Leadership Initiative to inspire ELCA leaders to seek out and encourage gifted people in their congregations, communities and networks to consider a call to the ministry of the gospel, supported by growing levels of scholarships for seminary tuition.

In conjunction with the Leadership Initiative, Bishop Eaton announced a $3 million gift to the ELCA Fund for Leaders, which provided full-tuition seminary scholarships for 60 additional students over three years. The Fund for Leaders has awarded these 60 additional scholarships in 2017, 2018 and 2019, alongside the scholarships funded by the general endowment of the Fund for Leaders.

The next opportunity to apply for Fund for Leaders full-tuition scholarships will be through an online process from Nov. 15, 2021, to Feb. 25, 2022. To be eligible, applicants must be planning to enroll at an ELCA seminary as first-year students (juniors) in the fall semester of the 2022-2023 academic year, with no more than one semester’s worth of coursework already completed. Applicants must also have begun the ELCA candidacy process with the intent of becoming a rostered minister of either word and sacrament or word and service.

Visit the Our Scholarships page for more information about these and other Fund for Leaders scholarships.

For more information, please send us an email or call 800-638-3522.

By the Numbers

See the impact of Fund for Leaders scholarships in the 2019-2020 academic year.

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Apply for a Scholarship

Get started with your Fund for Leaders Scholarship application.

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