Ministerial Education Fund

What is the Ministerial Education Fund?

MEF is a service loan offered to candidates for ordination who pursuing a Masters level theological degree.  MEF is funded through the generosity of United Methodist people across Mississippi and around the world through mission shares and special offerings.

Who is eligible for Ministerial Education Fund?

  • Certified candidate for ordained ministry in the Mississippi Conference; AND
  • Enrolled in a University Senate approved seminary; AND
  • Full-time student (as defined by seminary – minimum of 9 semester hours, may be more for some seminaries). 

            Note:  Nine hours is considered full time, with the exception of summer, J-terms, and ExL
                        programs. If a person fails a course, they will be responsible for paying to take the
                        course again.
How much does Ministerial Education Fund cover?
Mississippi MEF allocations are 50% of tuition each semester. (Tuition costs are based on tuition at United Methodist Seminaries. MEF is award up to 50% of highest tuition at a United Methodist seminary. At institutions where tuition is less, MEF is awarded for 50% of tuition costs at that institution).
What are the requirements for MEF for candidates in seminary?
The application procedure for scholarships has the following three requirements:

  1. Certified candidates in seminary must submit an application requesting a loan each semester (fall, winter, spring or summer) indicating current student classification, their seminary, their district superintendent, their date of certification as a candidate and their current mailing address.
  2. Certified candidates in seminary must request their district superintendent’s confirmation of their status as a certified candidate for ministry (see The Book of Discipline 2012, ¶304-305) be reported immediately after their initial certification as a candidate during the conference year and annually, thereafter, by September 1. 
  3. Certified Candidates in seminary must request their accredited seminary’s registrar office to certify and report the number of hours for which they are registered each semester (fall, winter, spring and summer) after the add/drop date.  Make certain this report indicates the number of registered hours. 

These three items should be sent to the Mississippi Conference Office of Spiritual Leadership, 320 D Briarwood Drive, Jackson, Mississippi 39206.
What is “the catch?”
MEF is a “service loan.” The loan is repaid with service to the annual conference.  In receiving the service loan, you agree to serve under appointment in The United Methodist Church for four years following the completion of your theological education.  Each semester you will sign a service loan agreement when you receive your allocation.
When and how do I apply for Ministerial Education Fund allocation?
MEF application is accessible on the conference website ( and in the financial aid office at your school. An application must be submitted EACH semester that you desire to receive an allocation. Applications should be received from the school you are attending in the office of spiritual leadership no later than September 15 for summer and fall allocation and February 15 for J-Term and spring allocation. 
When can I expect to receive my Ministerial Education Fund allocation? 
MEF checks are mailed directly to the seminary each semester.  Summer and fall semester allocations are mailed between October 1 and 15.  J-Term and spring semester allocations are mailed between March 1 and 15.  *Checks will not be mailed to seminaries until after the “add/drop” date each semester. 
What if I receive Ministerial Education Fund allocations but decide not to be appointed in Mississippi?
 MEF is a service loan.  If you choose not to serve under appointment in the Mississippi Conference, you are responsible to provide evidence of appointment in The UMC (another conference) or it becomes a low-interest (4%) loan repayable of date of severance of conference membership.

Click here to download the MEF application.