Three students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) have been awarded full-tuition scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year by The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Fund for Leaders in Mission. They are among 22 recipients enrolled in one of the eight ELCA seminaries.
LTSP's 2010-2011 recipients are:
+ Karen Sease, Columbia, SC, Fund for Leaders Churchwide Scholarship
+ Marc Stutzel, Astoria, NY, Fund for Leaders Churchwide Scholarship
+ Floyd Blair, Baltimore, MD
Now in its 10th year, the Fund for Leaders is an ELCA initiative to build an endowed scholarship resource to provide tuition assistance to qualified candidates studying at ELCA seminaries. When fully endowed, the fund's goal is to provide full-tuition assistance for every ELCA seminary student committed to a future in parish ministry.
For the first time the fund awarded more than $1 million in seminary tuition scholarships in a single year, said the Rev. Paul N. Hanson, director, ELCA Fund for Leaders in Mission. He said the fund's value now exceeds $20 million.
In remarks to the scholarship recipients during an Oct. 1 banquet attended by members of the ELCA Conference of Bishops, seminary presidents, churchwide leaders and supporters of the Fund for Leaders, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, noted, "Tonight is really a celebration of all of you, the giftedness of this church and the work of the Spirit. On behalf of this church I thank all of you."
The presiding bishop told the ELCA leaders and scholarship recipients that he often hears members say they are ready to move forward with the church's mission and ministry. He said his sense of the ELCA is that it is "becoming a new church" being led by the Spirit "toward God's new promised future."
Cynthia S. Halverson, executive for ELCA Development Services and president of the ELCA Foundation, recognized organizations and individuals that have contributed significant gifts to the Fund for Leaders. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Minneapolis, contributed $1 million to help start the Fund for Leaders and gave another $1 million challenge grant, she said. The ELCA Mission Investment Fund contributed a $1.5 million challenge grant and awarded scholarships, she said.
In addition to the Fund for Leaders in Mission, LTSP students have many opportunities to receive scholarship funds to support their education as they prepare to be leaders in the church in today's world. Information is available online at www.Ltsp.edu/scholarships.
There is always a need for funds to support scholarships offered by LTSP. You can learn more, including how to give for this important need: www.Ltsp.edu/endowment-fund. Learn more about the Fund for Leaders in Mission on the ELCA website.