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 oneï¿½s 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 Florida Annual Conference interested in ordained ministry. The Sherman Scholarship Fund, established by Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Sherman of Jacksonville, Florida, provides full-tuition awards to United Methodist students who demonstrate academic ability and commitment to biblically-based evangelical ministry in local congregations. Preference for these awards is given to students from the Florida Annual Conference. Recipients' annual conferences and congregations are encouraged to provide an additional $2,600 to support their promising candidates for ministry.
Established in 1984, the Sherman Scholarship Fund has supported over 600 students in their study at Candler, allowing them to pursue their education unburdened by the cost of tuition. In any given year, a quarter of Candler's incoming Masters of Divinity class receives a full-tuition Sherman Scholarship. By using the matching fund method, the Shermans have been able to help local churches and annual conferences do more to help their promising young pastors.
Matthew Kern, a first-year Sherman Scholarship recipient, confirms that the scholarship has assisted him academically as well as financially: "It really does help me focus on school, because I donï¿½t have to worry as much about how I will repay loans when I am done. It frees me to concentrate on my work." Kern, a Florida resident and graduate of the University of Central Florida, says he knows "he's a Florida boy at heart" and plans to return to the Florida conference after graduation to serve a local church.
Rev. Elizabeth Anderson 06T, who serves Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Virginia, agrees. Now that she is in a local parish, Anderson says her Sherman scholarship is still helping: "I am thankful that I am free of great financial fears and I am able to be immersed in my ministry as a pastor."
Candler School of Theology is 1 of 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States. Its mission is to education ï¿½ through scholarship, teaching, and service ï¿½ faithful and creative leaders for the churchï¿½s 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.
Candler hopes that those in the Florida conference who have heard the call to ministry in their lives will consider pursuing it at Candler. Those interested in applying for the Sherman Scholarship should submit their applications by March 1, 2007.
For more information, contact:
Rev. Shonda Jones
Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Candler School of Theology
Atlanta, GA 30322