Applications for the 2015 grants for theological education in Africa, Europe and the Philippines are open through September 30, 2014.
The Central Conference Theological Education Commission expects to award an additional $1 million to theological institutions, Boards of Ordained Ministry, and agencies integrally related to training United Methodist Pastors.
See the full list of 2014 grants awarded for Central Conference theological education.
In 2014, 57 grants totaling more than $1 million were awarded for theological education in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The money will be used for curriculum development, training of local pastors, continuing education for clergy, faculty development, e-readers, and a unique project of $50,000 for the solar electrification of the Banyam Theological Seminary in Nigeria, according to the Rev. Rena Yocom, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s assistant general secretary for Clergy Formation and Theological Education.
The Commission on Central Conference Theological Education, elected by the Council of Bishops to oversee the use of the fund, will review the grant requests and make awards during a meeting in Liberia in December.
Once the grants are disbursed, the commission requires progress updates in six months and again at twelve months.
The fund was approved by the 2012 General Conference. Half of the funds, or about $500,000 a year, will be distributed to grant applicants based on the number of episcopal areas in a Central Conference. However, these grants are not guaranteed and will go to the best proposals.
The commission agreed that 25 percent of the funds (about $250,000 a year) would be distributed based on the number of churches and active clergy. The delegates from Europe asked that their portion of those funds be distributed to the other Central Conferences because they believe the needs are greater in Africa and the Philippines.
The remaining $250,000 a year will be available for proposals that go beyond one Central Conference. Examples would be proposals by language groups, production of contextual materials, organizations related to theological institutions, or new and innovative proposals such as online education that might affect more than one region.
While General Conference approved the fund at $5 million, the money comes from the World Service Apportionment Fund. World Service is budgeted for an 85 percent pay out from conferences, which would mean the actual dollars available to Central Conference Theological Education is really about $4.2 million for the quadrennium, or about $1 million a year for each year of the 2013-2016 quadrennium.
View the applications online.
Brown is associate editor and writer, Office of Interpretation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.