Churches and Foundations Give Scholarships to Make Students Successful
The decision to enroll in Northern, as in any seminary, comes after much prayer and consideration. Students enroll with the realistic expectation of making personal sacrifices. Often it requires time away from family or scaling back work schedules to make room for classroom and study time. The cost is measured in energy, commitment, time, and yes, dollars and cents.
While students handle the intangibles, scholarship opportunities can help mitigate their financial sacrifices. Among the many NS students who receive scholarship funds, two ministry-minded women, in particular, are making the most of their opportunities thanks to the gift of resources from forward-thinking foundations.
An educator from New York State, Janeane Forrest recalls, “In 2013 I had this yearning to know God on a deeper level and prepare for ministry. I shared my thoughts with Pastor Dr. Darryl T. Jenkins, an alum of Northern. He said, ‘Northern is the place you want to be.’”
Janeane applied and was accepted. She began taking out student loans. But in 2016 she was weighted down by the financial burden and in danger of giving up. Then she applied for the Baugh Foundation Scholarship.
The Baugh Institute for Women Pastors provides 50-percent seminary scholarships to women students, with a goal of placing 50 women in pastoral positions by 2023. “So far we’ve graduated nine women and will have six this fall. Seven already are in pastoral leadership positions,” says Bill Shiell, Northern’s president.
“The yes I received from The Baugh Institute for Women Pastors changed my destiny. They helped me continue my M.Div and gave me the push that propelled me forward. God has a way of sending angels to the rescue. I am forever grateful for the love and generosity of the Baugh family,” Janeane says.
She’s making good use of her studies. She has been teaching Bible at Belmont Village Senior Living and has been a guest speaker for churches and ministry groups. Two young women she’s mentored are entering ministry themselves.
“I’ve been on the pastoral team of a church in Milwaukee for eight years,” says Megan Westra. “When I decided to go to seminary, Northern was the obvious choice.”
But financial concerns crept in. “Attending seminary with a family means everyone makes sacrifices. My husband and daughter sacrifice every bit as much as I do.”
Enter a church many miles away, whose members Megan had never met: Bellevue Heights Church, Sun City, Ariz. The church’s Bellevue Heights Foundation, grants 40 seminary scholarships each year. Dr. Al Kurz, foundation president explains, “Our church is located in an age-restricted community, but we believe that God-touched men and women who proclaim the Bible as God’s Word are the greatest need in every generation.”
Kurz says to be on the list of approved seminaries, “presidents and other personnel visit our church, report on the recipients, and keep us informed about the students and the school.”
Megan applied for the Bellevue scholarship at the recommendation of Northern’s administration. “People I’ve never met are supporting me with their prayers and resources. What a gift! I started receiving the scholarship last year, and have been granted it again this year. Having the pressure off of financial concerns means that when I’m not working or studying I am more able to be fully present with my family.”
— Julie-Allyson Ieron
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Phone: (630) 620-2188