By Annette Brill Bergstresser
ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) is doubling its dollar-for-dollar church matching grant from $1,000 to $2,000 per academic year, beginning in 2020–21. The grant matches contributions that congregations, conferences and regional churches make toward a student’s tuition costs for graduate-level study at the Elkhart, Indiana, seminary.
This increase is an expression of AMBS’s commitment to make theological and leadership education affordable and accessible for students across the church — and to partner with the wider church in investing in current and future leaders, noted Daniel Grimes, M.P.A., Vice President for Advancement and Enrollment.
“We believe that congregations birth church leaders, and we want to encourage congregations and conferences/regional churches to continue to call out the gifts of their members,” he said. “Doubling our matching grant for funds they provide to students is one way we can partner more closely with them to help individuals answer the call to ministry.”
Through the matching grant, full-time admitted students will be able to receive up to $2,000 per academic year (up to $1,000 per term for two terms), depending on the amount of need-based financial aid they are awarded. Part-time admitted students will be eligible to receive a 25-percent matching grant of up to $500 per academic year (up to $250 per term for two terms).
Grimes noted that since AMBS’s base tuition rate is lower than that of most seminaries, and most students receive a significant amount of financial aid, doubling the church matching grant makes AMBS “even more affordable.”
The seminary’s matching grant program has been in place since 2001; fellow Mennonite Education Agency graduate and undergraduate institutions offer such programs as well. AMBS’s change comes at a time when some participating congregations have called for an increase in the match amount. The seminary’s Administrative Cabinet approved the change on March 24.
“We see this added financial assistance paired with church participation as being especially timely, given the current pandemic and the financial uncertainty some current and prospective students are facing,” Grimes added.
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