The McDonald Scholarship offered at Emory University's Candler School of Theology

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly McLendon at 404-727-4481

(Nov. 15, 2006) Answering a call to ministry in the United Methodist Church means more than raising one�s hand and saying, "Here am I." For those answering a call to ministry in the local church, it also means choosing a seminary, moving to a new place, and finding a way to finance theological education.

Candler School of Theology hopes to ease the transition for members of the Mississippi Annual Conference interested in ordained ministry. The McDonald Scholarship, established by W. I. and Emma Jean McDonald of Tylertown, Mississippi, provides assistance to full-time United Methodist students from Mississippi who demonstrate promise for ministry, academic ability, and commitment to serving local congregations. These full-tuition awards are renewable upon maintenance of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75.

The scholarship, begun in 1986, is one of the many ways in which the McDonald family has supported theological education. They are also members of Candler's Committee of 100 advisory board and have given major gifts to the Partnership for International Students. They find great joy in being able to support the education of promising pastors.

Rev. R. Mark Anderson 90T is a great example of how this scholarship has benefited the Mississippi conference. Now the senior pastor at Oak Grove UMC in Hattiesburg, Anderson said the McDonald�s generosity "was instrumental for me in opening the doors to my preparation for ministry." As a young and newly married student, the financial cost of theological education was "a major block," but the McDonald Scholarship allowed him to make it happen. "It made a difference to me," he said, "that's for sure!"

Candler School of Theology is 1 of 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States. Its mission is to education � through scholarship, teaching, and service � faithful and creative leaders for the church�s ministries in the world. Candler offers programs leading to master of divinity, master of theological studies, master of theology, and doctor of theology degrees.

Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. For nearly two decades Emory has been named one of the country's top 25 national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

The school of theology hopes that those in the Mississippi conference who have heard the call to ministry in their lives will consider pursuing it at Candler. Those interested in applying for the McDonald Scholarship should submit their applications to Candler School of Theology by March 1, 2007.

For more information, contact:

Rev. Shonda Jones
Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Candler School of Theology
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322