Despite recent financial issues at Episcopal seminaries, and recent changes in leadership at EDS, EDS Board chairman the Very Rev. Dr. James Kowalski has announced a major expansion of scholarships for students, including more financial assistance for seminarians of color:
Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) has announced that it will offer twenty additional student scholarships in the 2015–16 academic year. Of the twenty scholarships, ten will be full tuition scholarships for master’s degree candidates, five of which will be awarded to students of color. The remaining scholarships will be first year scholarships with a school commitment to meet all financial need through financial aid in subsequent years.
The new scholarships extend the school’s commitment to making seminary affordable to all and to reducing the burden of debt on seminary graduates who enter lay or ordained ministry. EDS’s residential and hybrid low-residence Distributive Learning programs offer highly flexible and customized learning options for students of all faith traditions and denominations considering lay or ordained ministry.
“We want people who would make good use of the extraordinary formational opportunities at EDS to take advantage of them without undue financial hardship,” said The Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “If EDS is the school that can best equip your ministry, financial barriers are not going to get in your way.”
The scholarships are open to all applicants to master’s degree programs and will be awarded to accepted students who demonstrate both a promising future in ministry or the academy and financial need. Students awarded a first year scholarship will work with the Office of Financial Aid to assemble an assistance package that spans students’ full academic tenure at the school.
“Too many students shy away from even considering seminary today because they believe they cannot afford it,” said EDS CFO William Judge. ““As a result of our generous financial aid and scholarships, including the twenty new scholarships we are announcing, most EDS students can afford a world-class seminary education.”
All of the new scholarships will be available to applicants to both the Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts in Theological Studies programs. They will be available to students applying for the residential Traditional Learning option, and to the low-residency Distributive Learning option.