Scholars from 50 Countries to Benefit From Mission Agency Study Grants
by Elliott Wright
Stamford, CT, April 13, 2011--Two hundred twenty-four students from some 50 countries will benefit from a total of $1.2 million in educational awards approved on April 13 by directors of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, meeting in Stamford, Connecticut.
Recipients for 2011-2012 academic-year stipends come from four continents and the Pacific area. They are 116 men and 108 women, who will study in centers of higher and professional education around the globe, being equipped for leadership roles in both church and society. Of the total, 51 are new to the several Global Ministries scholarship programs.
Slightly more than $452,000 of the grant total is for World Communion Scholars (formerly Crusade Scholars), who benefit from the annual World Communion Offering in United Methodist congregations. This program aids international and US racial/ethnic minority persons to attain master or doctoral degrees in fields including medicine, education, law, and theology. The other scholarship funds come from endowed trusts and the budget of Global Ministries, the denomination's worldwide mission agency.
World communion and other leadership stipends have educated generations of Methodist and United Methodist leaders, women, and men, from all parts of the world. The awards often make the difference in whether promising students can pursue higher education at all.
While renewed year by year, many support packages cover multiple years, providing a sense of stability in the completion of an academic program. Of the 224 students for the next academic year, 29 are candidates for the doctor of philosophy degree, seven for doctorates of divinity, and 62 for master's degrees. The others seek bachelor's degrees, licenciates, or certificates.
The scholarships are currently funded in four categories, corresponding to focus areas of the denominations. These areas, and the amounts designated for 2011-2012, are: Congregational Development, $574,255; Leadership Development, $243,050; Ministry with the Poor, $213,500; and Global Health, $170,020.
Sixty-nine of the international students are from Africa, 32 from Asia, 16 from Europe/Eurasia, and 66 from Latin America and the Caribbean, including 12 from Haiti. Of the racial/ethnic students from the US, 21 are African Americans, 10 are Asian Americans, and 10 are Hispanic/Latinos.
Among the new scholars are Solomon Chiripasi from Zimbabwe, pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Africa University in Zimbawbe; Jean Felipe De Assis from the United States, studying toward a master of divinity at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey; and Sirly Lahti from Estonia, a student at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary. Other new students are:
Nominations for new scholars come from church leaders and former scholars worldwide, and from Global Ministries' directors and staff who encounter likely candidates in the course of their work.
The stipends to scholars made up almost half of the total of $2,513,724 in grants approved by Global Ministries' directors in the four focus areas. Totals for the four were: Leadership Development, $619,121; Congregational Development, $923,405; Ministry with the Poor, $766,478; and Global Health, $204,720. The funds come from a wide range of sources, including endowments, Special Sunday offerings, designated contributions, denominational allocations, and program budgets.
Date posted: Apr 15, 2011