Grants and Scholarships for Clergy and Students

Clergy Grants and Scholarships

A variety of grants are available to Minnesota clergy. Here you can find the application for a specific grant or funding opportunity, as well as information about the grant and eligibility.

Clergy Emergency Support Request: Financial emergency support for urgent or crisis situations is provided to eligible clergy up to $5,000.

Clergy Well-Being Grant: We have been blessed to offer Clergy Well-being Grants in 2023. We have reached the limit on the funds budgeted for the grant and are unable to accept additional applications this year. We are excited to hear about the ways in which our clergy have utilized and benefitted from the grant. The opportunities in the future may look different, but our goal remains the same: to improve total well-being thus strengthening the resiliency of our clergy leaders. We encourage clergy to share stories about how well-being has improved as a result of this grant's funds with Diane Owen at!

Investing In Leaders Resource Grant (Student Debt Reduction): The 2023 application is now closed. First time applicants are considered first. Demonstration of completing personal financial education and working with a financial loan repayment counselor (at least one session) are both required. If you need more information about connecting with a student loan repayment counselor, please contact Area Director of Clergy Well-Being Diane Owen at

Long-Term Renewal Overview/Guidelines: The following applications and form are related to a long-term renewal leave request. Applications are due June 1 for those who wish to take a long-term renewal leave after Dec. 1, 2023.

  1. Long-term Renewal Application
  2. Long-term Renewal Formational Plan
  3. Pastoral Coverage Grant 

MEF Educational Grants and Scholarships

  • Seminary scholarships for certified candidates and licensed local pastors
  • Graduate and doctorate level scholarships
  • Continuing education course or event grant
  • Specialized ministry training grant

MEF LLP Educational Grants

  • Course of Study grant
  • Licensing School grant

Pastoral Coverage Grant (Formerly MEF Grants to Churches During Approved Clergy Leave)

Spiritual Direction & Coaching Financial Assistance

Counseling Resources and Financial Aid

Grant not sponsored by the Minnesota Conference or a United Methodist organization

This information is provided as additional sources of grant funds to look into.

Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program

Offered by the Center of Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary. Congregations can apply for grants of up to $50,000 each to support a renewal program for their pastor. Pastors will be considered eligible if they are ordained, currently serving in a ministerial role within a local congregation, in good standing with the Minnesota Conference, and have shown a commitment to education.

Student Scholarships 

Grants and scholarships for United Methodist undergraduate and seminary students can be found here.

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Scholarships

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) sponsors 70 scholarship programs using one general application under the categories of:

  • General Scholarships
  • Racial-Ethnic Specific Scholarships
  • Ministry as a Career Scholarship
  • Doctorate-Level Scholarship

Find more information about these scholarships and apply on the GBHEM website. Criteria for each scholarship program vary. The Dakotas and Minnesota Methodist Foundations and the Minnesota Conference are participating partners with GBHEM for the Excellence in Clergy Leadership scholarship, and we encourage full-time MDiv students to apply. Details can be found under the “Ministry as a Career Scholarship” section of the GBHEM webpage.

Scholarships sponsored by the Dakotas and Minnesota Methodist Foundations and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF)

Dollars for Scholars Scholarship for Minnesota United Methodist undergraduate students. Require matching funds from a student’s church.

Grannis-Martin Memorial Seminary Scholarship Application 

UMHEF General Named Endowment Scholarships Scholarships for Minnesota United Methodist undergraduate and seminary students. Do not require matching funds from a student’s church. One of these scholarships is the Bishop Bruce and Char Ough Scholarship for Hamline University.

Scholarship not sponsored by the Minnesota Conference or a United Methodist organization

This information is provided as additional sources of scholarship funds to look into.

Eastern Star Training Award for Religious Leadership (ESTARL)

The ESTARL scholarship is for individuals preparing for careers in religious leadership in any denomination. The individual needs to reside in Minnesota for at least one year and be a part-time or full-time student. The individual must demonstrate membership at a church. The scholarship(s) may not exceed more than $10,000. Scholarship awards are for tuition only. Application, recommendation, and transcripts are required by the Feb. 15 deadline. For more information, contact Judy Putnam, Chairperson, at or 651-653-5077.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058