|'World Communion' Scholarships Continue Tradition of Venerable 'Crusade' Scholars|
New York, NY, July 22, 2008--"World Communion Scholars" continue the venerable tradition of a United Methodist scholarship program that has educated scores of leaders for church and society over a 64-year period.
The "Crusade Scholarships" were renamed by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, meeting in April and acting on the recommendation of the directors of the General Board of Global Ministries. The international mission agency manages the program for advanced studies launched in 1944.
"World Communion" was chosen as the new name because the scholarships are funded by a special offering made in churches on World Communion Sunday, the first Sunday of October. This observance stresses the global nature and unity of the church. The scholarship program is designed to develop leaders who can contribute to bridge-building and peacemaking among the diverse peoples of both church and society. Priority goes to those who will work in situations of spiritual and physical need.
"The World Communion Scholarships are substantial grants to outstanding students in a wide range of fields," said the Rev. Jorge Domingues, interim deputy general secretary of the mission board unit that includes the scholarship program. "There are currently 80 World Communion Scholars--men and women who are training in fields that will enable them to significantly affect the quality of life through professions ranging from public health work in Africa to poverty alleviation in the United States to congregational development in Eastern Europe and many other places."
Some $650,000 is invested in World Communion Scholars each year. The program is open to persons related to mission partner churches outside the United States and to racial and ethnic candidates within the US. The grants are adequate to allow students to complete masters or doctoral-degree programs as long as they maintain academic standards.
Rev. Domingues stressed that the World Communion Scholarships and their predecessor grants constitute more than a grants program. "These stipends support critical leadership development, and the church has a responsibility to itself and to God's people to educate men and women of faith, vision, courage, and goodwill."
Some 4,000 persons have been educated under the "Crusade Scholarship" banner since the program was launched near the end of World War II. It was part of a Methodist initiative to move swiftly in repairing the devastation of the war and in moving toward a more just and peaceful world.
The program has undergone various revisions in scope and eligibility over the years but has retained a strong emphasis on equipping men and women for careers in life-changing ministries that serve God and humanity.
Scholar of the Month: Podcast and printed interviews of individuals who have received a World Communion Scholarship.
Date posted: Jul 22, 2008