Over the last few decades, the cost of educating rostered leaders was increasingly placed upon the person called to serve. Although taking out loans to pursue education is normal, tuition and cost of living increases over the last few decades were primarily shouldered by students. This resulted in some of our rostered ministers starting their work in the Church with an alarming level of educational debt. This is a great burden for effective ministry and wellness. Gifts of Grace offers a Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF) grant to help with educational loans. It is a recognition that the when the Church calls people to serve and asks them to complete a certain level of education, the Church should also share in the expense.
Rostered ministers who have college or seminary loans are encouraged to apply for the MEF Grant to Reduce Educational Loans for this year. Grants are available for up to $3,000 for 2020 per applicant in 2020. Past recipients are eligible to apply. Visit the SW MN Synod’s Grant web page for more information and to apply. Applications will be taken until October 15.
Eleven rostered ministered have applied to date for a 2020 Ministerial Excellence Fund grant applied to the principal of their educational loans. One of them was Pastor Dane Skilbred who has a word of encouragement for you here:
We also want to thank the donors – individuals, congregations and endowment funds of our synod who also make these gifts possible. If you are interested in learning more contact the synod office or staff.
+Rev. Andrew Hermodson-Olsen, Director of Gifts of Grace