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Agency offers to administer conference loans, scholarships

In an effort to further serve students and higher education partners, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Office of Scholarships now offers fund administration services to annual conferences. This includes oversight of the scholarship application and allocation processes for conference-based scholarships.

Your support of The World Service Fund apportionment supports program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church.

The North Carolina Conference of the UMC (NCCUMC) was one of the first to secure this service and the GBHEM office now administers their Ministerial Education Fund (MEF).

"Our office used to manage the MEF directly which called for significant leg work to receive all of the applications and subsequent required documentation," she said. "We reached out to GBHEM to see if they could help facilitate the application process on our behalf.

In administering annual conference scholarship funds, GBHEM is fulfilling an important part of its work to assist UMC students as they discover, claim, and flourish in God's calling on their life. The MEF in North Carolina was created to support theological education within the NCCUMC and its funds increase educational access for future church leaders.

"The MEF indicates an investment on a future promise of leadership and fruitfulness within the Church," said Stewart. "The funds are available to certified candidates and guide them through their educational formation, sending them forth into service with the understanding that they will remain active leaders in the time to come."

Carlos Castano-Mejia, a certified candidate studying at Duke Divinity School, is a MEF recipient who hopes to soon become an ordained elder. He believes that the relationship between GBHEM and NCCUMC through the Ministerial Education Fund has been invaluable to his education.

"Any person who has been called by God needs a holy boost," he said. "The MEF was that holy boost for me, it is a blessing from God that can turn lives around forever. I never would have made it (through school) without such help."

Castano-Mejia said that the MEF has assisted him in his education from beginning to end, offsetting all of his book requirements, and making money available for gas, food and other necessities.

"I feel a deep commitment with the NCCUMC to progress in ministry and spread the Good News," Castano-Meija said. "My way to thank God and the NCCUMC is to serve as a pastor in the rural Church and in the ministry of Jesus Christ. GBHEM and the NCCUMC are helping present and future leaders prepare for the higher ministry to come. We are all a big family paving the way."

If your annual conference or UMC group is interested in fund administration by the GBHEM Office of Scholarships, please contact Allyson Potts, Executive Director of Loans and Scholarships, at [email protected].

Students interested in applying for the North Carolina Ministerial Education Fund can find directions to do so here.

excerpt from a story on General Board of Higher Education and Ministry

The World Service Fund provides basic financial support to program-related general agencies, which are especially important to the common vision, mission, and ministry of The United Methodist Church. Through World Service funding, agencies support annual conferences and local congregations in living out God's mission for the worldwide Church. General agencies also provide essential services and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences through services and ministries that are highly focused, flexible, and capable of rapid response.

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