Emory Report

February 23, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 22

Theology scholarships can
now cover full tuition costs

Funding for Sherman Scholarships, a major multisource student aid program in the School of Theology, has increased to the point that it now can cover full tuition.

That's good news for 34 Candler master of divinity students who are new recipients of Sherman Scholarships in 1997-98 and for those who apply for the scholarships in the future. In two more years Candler will have more than 100 Sherman Scholars with full-tuition scholarships.

The Frank M. and Helen V. Sherman Scholarship program at Candler combines funds from the Sherman Scholarship Fund and the school, the students' United Methodist annual conferences, and their home districts or churches. Steady growth in the fund, coupled with an additional gift from the Shermans in their bequest, enabled the increase in scholarship dollars. That increase brings the total average award up to the cost of tuition when combined with the same level of conference and local funding.

The Sherman Scholarship Fund was established in 1984 by the Shermans, who lived in Jacksonville, Fla., until last spring when both died. The awards are for "students who are committed to a biblically based, evangelical ministry in the local church." The new group of Sherman Scholars represent 13 annual conferences of the United Methodist Church.

The partnership fulfills a key role in the school's aid efforts, said Candler Dean Kevin LaGree. "My top priority continues to be reducing or eliminating student debt. Through the notable generosity of the Shermans, and others who give matching funds under the Sherman program, more of our students graduate with less debt. Freed from the burden of repaying student loans from a pastor's salary, our graduates will be able to give their full energies and creativity to the ministry of the Gospel."

The scholarships are renewable for all three years of the MDiv degree program, the normal seminary course leading to pastoral ministry.

Elizabeth Gardner, a first-year Candler student and Sherman award recipient from First United Methodist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla., appreciates how the program unites people in accomplishing a goal. "It involves my local church in supporting me with matching funds,'' Gardner said. "That helps me stay connected with the local church and them with me. I have their prayers as well as the funds."

Kenneth Hamilton, another new recipient from McIntosh United Methodist Church near Gainesville, Fla., finds a benefit very close to home. "As a second-career person, it has enabled me to move my family with me to seminary,'' said Hamilton, who has a wife and two young boys. In the Florida Conference, the Shermans' foresight has already enabled more people with calls to ministry to answer that call, Hamilton added.

For more information on the Sherman Scholarship Program, call the Candler admissions office at 404-727-4403 or send e-mail to <candler@emory.edu>.

-Elaine Justice

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