Candler School of Theology at Emory University has announced major expansions to its scholarship offerings for students admitted to its master of divinity (MDiv), master of theological studies (MTS), and master of religious leadership (MRL) degree programs. The expanded offerings will be available to students who enter in Fall 2020.

With $5.92 million in financial aid distributed in the 2018-2019 academic year and 100% of master of divinity students receiving support, Candler is already known for one of the most robust financial aid programs in theological education. This expansion of the program, the most extensive revamp in nearly a generation, will allow even more students access to monetary support for seminary.

Candler Dean Jan Love calls the new program “unprecedented” in its scope. “Candler is doing something here that most of our peer institutions don’t: offering full tuition scholarships to every admitted United Methodist student who is a certified candidate for ordination. When you pair that with new targeted scholarships for under-represented groups and more scholarship money for MTS and MRL programs, the result is an unprecedented level of support for our students.”

Enhancements to the financial aid program include:

  • All certified candidates for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church who apply by January 15, 2020 and are admitted to Candler’s MDiv program will receive a scholarship covering full tuition for all three years of the program.
  • New merit scholarships covering 75% of tuition for three years for qualifying MDiv students who identify as pan-Wesleyan
  • New merit scholarships covering 75% of tuition for three years for qualifying MDiv students who identify as non-denominational
  • New merit scholarships covering 75% of tuition for three years for qualifying MDiv students who identify as Latinx
  • New merit scholarships covering 75% of tuition for three years for qualifying MDiv students pursuing chaplaincy through Candler’s new chaplaincy concentration
  • Two additional full-tuition scholarships for incoming MTS students, bringing the total to five
  • All incoming MDiv and MTS students will receive awards covering at least 50% of tuition
  • All incoming MRL students will receive awards covering 50% of tuition
Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Samuel Martinez says that the revamped program better supports Candler’s longstanding commitments to help reduce student debt and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“By increasing the baseline scholarship amount for MDiv, MTS, and MRL students from 25% to 50% of tuition, we’re eliminating a big part of the financial obstacle that can prevent folks from pursuing graduate theological education,” he says. “Removing this obstacle at the beginning of the journey translates to more diverse and inclusive leadership in the church, the academy, and society in the future.”

Candler also employs other financial aid practices designed to lower barriers to entry. For example, prospective students are automatically considered for Candler scholarships when they submit their application for admission—there's no additional scholarship application necessary. And, once awarded, a primary scholarship renews annually for the length of the degree program as long as the student remains in good standing and continues to meet the scholarship’s requirements.

Love says that policies like these along with the retooled financial aid program illustrate Candler’s continued commitment to making seminary a reality for the next generation of public theologians. “We are thrilled that these new opportunities will allow even more students to benefit from Candler’s mission to educate faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries throughout the world.”

Learn more about how Candler can help you afford seminary.