“One of the core values of the Free Methodist church is learning. We also seek to invest resources strategically and mature those who desire to grow as part of our national church mission. It is the vision of The Free Methodist Church in Canada to see healthy churches within the reach of all people in Canada and beyond. Developing future leaders is a critical component to meeting the above goals and remaining consistent to our mandate. Embedded in our ethos and initiated by faithful visionaries through our Canadian existence as a church, are scholarships.” – from FMCiC website – Leadership Development.
At a recent Board of Administration meeting, Kim Henderson, FMCiC’s Director of Personnel, shared that every student who applied to the Leadership Scholarship Plan received full tuition. WHAT?! How was this possible? Does it happen often? Who gets to apply? I had so many questions for Kim!
So here is the scoop. There are basically two different scholarship funds.
The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP)
The LSP was initiated to provide financial assistance to students pursuing post-secondary educational studies in approved schools. The LSP program is funded jointly by Lorne Park Foundation and The Free Methodist Church in Canada and administered by the FMCiC.
As Kim explained, “These scholarships are available for those who are a member of an FM church and have felt a call on their life for pastoral leadership. We do ask that the board of their church recommend them for ministerial candidacy. This scholarship is also for pastors who want to pursue doctoral work.”
The amount of LSP funds available each year varies depending on the status of the foundations. Think of the LSP as a big pie: a fancy formula is used to determine how big a piece of pie an applicant will get. The funding formula factors the amount of money available, number of applicants, level of education and number of credit hours. The amount of the scholarship is always capped at full tuition.
Kim said, “We aren’t always able to cover full tuition based on the size of the pie, but when we can, it’s great.”
Kim also encouraged folks to read the LSP documents carefully, “One of the LSP documents is a promissory note which basically says at the end of receiving the money for their education, they will serve in some sort of capacity in a Free Methodist Church for five years. And the five years doesn’t start while you receive the money, the timeline starts when you stop receiving the money.”
Anyone who is a member of a Free Methodist church can apply for a special scholarship. Some of these scholarships are missions or ministry oriented and others are general. The dollar amount of these scholarships varies but every penny counts! Some funds are also available for those taking FM Foundational Courses.
“We encourage people to apply for as many scholarships as they can. They are there for people who fit the descriptions and who apply. If they are going to do the work and make the effort in doing the application then I’m not going to say you can’t have more money!”
Kim, Dan Sheffield, Director of Global Missions, and a Lorne Park Foundation representative meet to go through the applications and typically everyone who has applied has received something.
Most folks find out about scholarships when they enter tracking process with the Free Methodist Church in Canada or as they register for Foundation Courses. But if you are not one of those folks and want to know more you can read all about it here: FMCiC scholarships.
Kim’s final thoughts on scholarships, “I’m so thankful for all those who give to the Leadership Development Giving Stream. You are helping develop our future leaders. We would love to be able to do more but we are thankful for what we can do.”