scholarships

 

THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM OF THE

  FREE METHODIST WORLD CONFERENCE

 

Purpose and Scope

 

The International Scholarship Program’s purpose is to assist the development of well-trained church leaders for the Free Methodist Church in the developing nations and mission areas of the world. It is administered by the World Conference Executive Committee. The program provides financial assistance to promising ministerial leaders for graduate-level education in Bible, theology, Christian education and leadership. In special circumstances, with the approval of the Executive Committee, awards may be made for undergraduate training in these areas. 

 

Role of the Area Fellowship

The Area Fellowships of Asia, Europe, East/Central Africa, North and South Latin America, Southern Africa, and West Africa identify and recommend individuals for financial assistance. The North America Area Fellowship is not eligible for the International Scholarship Program.           

Each Area Fellowship shall have a Scholarship Committee, composed of the Area Fellowship executive committee, Area Bishop(s), and the Area Director. This committee will identify potential recipients of support, collect and review applications and select the individual(s) from their area to receive financial assistance. 

The Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee shall provide to the Secretary–Treasurer of the World Conference Executive Committee the name of the recipient, the name and location of the school to which the recipient will be attending and a brief description of the study plans the student has chosen. This information is often useful when making application for grants from foundations and other donors.

 

Awards

The International Scholarship budget will be based on a total amount set each year by the World Conference Executive Committee. In general it will come from income received the previous calendar year but every attempt will be made to keep annual amounts level or increasing to assist in supporting students in multi-year programs.

The numbers of ministerial candidates and ordained ministers in the General Conferences of some Area Fellowships are much larger than others. Therefore, the total amount determined by the World Conference Executive Committee will be allocated among the Area Fellowships, excluding the North America Area Fellowship, according to the following plan:

a.       The total amount to be distributed will be divided by 9 equal shares.

b.      Shares will be distributed to the Area Fellowships as follows:  Asia (2), East/Central Africa (2), Europe (1), Latin America (2), Southern Africa (1), West Africa (1).

Awards are made on an annual basis only. It is expected that multi-year awards may be needed for extended periods of study but no promise can be made that funds will be available for any subsequent year. Multi-year awards must be confirmed each year by recommendations by the sponsoring Area Fellowship.

Area Fellowships may use all or part of their annual allotment in any year and may distribute it to one or more recipients as they choose. If more than one person is to receive funds, the Area Fellowship must identify the amounts to be awarded to each person. If an Area Fellowship does not use all its allotment in one year the World Conference Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the balance in reserve for up to the third year. After that period, unused allotments will be returned to the overall scholarship fund for distribution among all Area Fellowships in later years.

 

Recipients

Recipients of the scholarships are expected to receive their education within their own country or region. The World Conference Executive Committee must approve deviations from this.

 

Recipients are expected to report their progress annually to the Secretary–Treasurer of the World Conference Executive Committee. This should include a summary of the course of study followed, progress toward study-plan goals and any plans for succeeding work.

Individuals receiving assistance through the International Scholarship Program must be members of the Free Methodist Church. As a condition of the award of a scholarship or other assistance, the candidate must commit himself or herself to serve in a position proposed by the conference of the student’s origin and approved by the Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee for a period of time equal to the period for which financial assistance was received. Acceptance of financial aid from the program constitutes an agreement to repay the amount of the scholarship or other assistance to the Free Methodist World Conference if this service agreement is not fulfilled.

Funds

 

Funds may be awarded at any time in a calendar year. The World Conference Executive Committee will determine the amount to be allotted to each Area Fellowship by March 1 of any year. Funds will be available to recipients within thirty days of the allotments being announced.

 

Funds will not be released until the Secretary-Treasurer of the Executive Committee receives a paper or electronic directive from the chairperson of the Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee. Preferably this will include a copy of the minutes of an Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee recommending grants for specific students.

If at all possible, funds should be dispersed directly to the school attended by the scholarship recipient. When this is not practical, the scholarship grant will be sent to the sponsoring general conference to administer funds. As a last resort, funds may be sent directly to the student but the sponsoring general conference is expected to be accountable for the use of the funds.

Approved at Free Methodist World Conference, Sao Paulo, 2007


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