Education & Training

EPC Financial Support for

Candidates for the Ordained Ministry

Financial Support is available for college and seminary students that have been approved by an Eastern Pennsylvania congregation or District Committee of Ordained Ministry or Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Students must be attending an accredited college or seminary. The grants are contingent upon a candidate being ordained by and serving within the bounds of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. If an individual received a grant and fails to be ordained or serve within the conference bounds, the grant (s) shall revert to a loan and be paid back over a five-year period of time unless other arrangements have been made. To be eligible, an application must be completed and sent to the treasurer of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Mr. Clifton Hubbard 717 Edgewood Road King of Prussia PA 19406 (H) 610-265-1923 email: chub21@aol.com Att: Clifton Hubbard.  Grants shall be given based upon need and the following guidelines:

College Student per semester:

Quarter time up to $750

Half time up to $1000

Three Quarter time up to $1,125

Full time up to $1250

Applicants must maintain a 2.5 grade point average to receive continued funding

Seminary Student per semester:

Quarter time up to $750

Half time up to $1500

Three Quarter time up to $1750

Full time up to $2000

Applicants must maintain a 2.8 grade point average to receive continued funding.  To download this information as a pdf file for printing, click here.

Other Financial Support for

Candidates for the Ordained Ministry

There are funding scholarship possibilities through a number of other sources.

Several of these sources are:

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, http://www.gbhem.org

The Fund for Theological Education, http://www.thefund.org.

[You can also look at the Eastern PA Conference site for more information: http://www.epaumc.org/BfScholarGrants.asp]

 Continuing Education Policy

Continuing education is to further develop the knowledge and skills of clergy for ministry. All active clergy (elders, deacons, local pastors, commissioned, etc.), who are members of and/or serving within the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, are expected to acquire four Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) within each quadrennium. No one event may count for more than two CEU’s toward the required four within a quadrennium.

One CEU is accrued for 10 contact hours of continuing education (a contact hour is actual time spent in a workshop, lecture or group session). It does not include lunches, breaks or recreational activities. For activities less than 10 hours, we offer .1 CEU’s per contact hour.

Click here for Advanced Sexual Ethics 2017 Workshop – July 2017

Click here for Advanced Sexual Ethics 2017 Workshop – October 2017

Individuals Requesting Continuing Education Units

Individuals who attend events that do not offer CEU’s and would like CEU credits may write to Rev. Robin G. Fisher 1439 Main Street Bath PA 18014 570-243-1247 probgfisher@yahoo.com. If granted, the Board of Ordained Ministry will issue a certificate. The following information about the event is to be included with the request (one page is sufficient, two pages maximum):

  1.  Name, address, phone number and email address of the person making the request
  2.  Relationship to the Annual Conference (elder, deacon, local pastor, commissioned, etc.)
  3.  Date
  4.  Location
  5.  Sponsor
  6.  Leadership and instructors
  7.  Purpose
  8.  Content
  9.  Number of contact hours (number of hours for lectures and workshops)
  10.  How the information will be used in the practice of ministry in the present appointment or in preparation for a future appointment.

Financial Support for Clergy

Active clergy, who are members of and/or serving within the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, including retired clergy under appointment, may receive up to $400 a year for continuing education. (Commissioned clergy may receive an additional $400 which may be used in part or in total during their probationary period) Clergy participating in a post master’s degree program may receive up to $600 per year for up to four years. Support for sabbaticals of $1,000 to $5,000 is also available for continuing education. [For information on financial support for “educational leaves,” click on the following link to download the pdf file Formational & Spiritual Growth Leave, Renewal/Study Leave, or Sabbatical Leave Funding For Clergy, or see the current Board of Ordained Ministry policy below.]

To be eligible for financial support, it must first be determined whether or not the continuing education event is consistent with the Board of Ordained Ministry’s Policy for granting CEU’s whether or not CEU’s are being requested.

There must also be some support from the clergyperson and the congregation.

To be considered for financial support, an individual must send the following information to Rev. Robin G. Fisher 1439 Main Street Bath PA 18014 570-243-1247 probgfisher@yahoo.com:

 

  1.   Name, address, phone number
  2.  Email address
  3.  Social Security number (in its entirety)
  4.  Relationship to the annual conference (elder, deacon, local pastor, commissioned, etc.)
  5.  Amount requested. (If commissioned, designate whether or not the amount requested is from the additional $400 mentioned          above)
  6.  Amount provided by the congregation
  7.  Amount provided by the pastor
  8.  The name of event, date
  9.  How the event will relate to present and/or future ministry
  10.  Address where funds should be sent if different from above

Once eligibility has been determined, the request for financial support will be forwarded to the treasurer of the Board for consideration.

Continuing Education Units and financial support will not be offered for the following experiences:

Work camps, mission trips without formal instruction, independent studies that are not overseen through a formal institution or instructor, spiritual retreats, counseling sessions, vacations abroad, ministry/pulpit exchanges and book studies.

 

[To download this policy as a pdf file for printing, click here.]

Click here to download the application as word document

Formational & Spiritual Growth Leave /  Renewal /Study Leave or Sabbatical Leave

 Funding for Clergy

DESCRIPTION / DEFINITION

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Board of Ordained Ministry administers a fund for clergy for the following “organized educational and spiritual growth activities”:

A formational and spiritual growth program, which according to the 2012 Book of Discipline Paragraph 351.3 may be up to six months while continuing to hold an appointment, and available to clergy who have held full time appointments for at least six years and who have received the approval of the Committee on Staff-Parish, the Church Council, and the District Superintendent.

A renewal and study leave, according to the 2012 Book of Discipline Paragraph 420 is available to District Superintendents once during the time of his or her term as superintendent for the purpose of reflection, study, and self-renewal. This leave may be up to three months and the Bishop and Cabinet, in consultation with the committee on district superintendency, coordinates details pertaining to such leaves.

A sabbatical leave, which according to the 2012 Book of Discipline Paragraph 352 may be up to one full year, and available to clergy who have been serving a full-time appointment for at least six consecutive years (or in less than full time appointment for an equivalent of six consecutive years). This leave differs from the others in that the appointment to sabbatical leave is an appointment made by the bishop. (See 2012 Book of Discipline Paragraph 352 for details on requesting a sabbatical leave.) This leave is also different in that it effects one’s pension contributions.

PURPOSE

Clergy may do in-depth study in a particular ministry area in order to sharpen and strengthen their skills for congregational transformation. We are particularly interested in supporting clergy development in one or more of the following transformational areas:

Leadership development

Worship

Christian education

Effective congregational witness and action in the community

Action in the community may include community development, community organizing, economic development, community planning, or other ministries by the church to address issues within the community

Discipleship

Organizational development

Personal and congregational spirituality

Stewardship

Churches in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference may benefit from the strengthened skills of clergy

ADDITIONAL CRITERIA

In addition to the criteria mentioned in the definitions above, individuals requesting funds from BOOM must have:

Completed Healing the Wounds of Racism training

A commitment to serve at least eighteen months in the same appointment after the leave. It is recognized that clergy serve in an appointment from year to year, but to be considered, the clergy person must communicate to his/her district superintendent the desire to serve in the same appointment at least for the next eighteen months to share and carry out the new learning.

A portion of the expense for the leave is to be provided by the clergy person and the ministry that he/she serves

Time on the leave should be allocated so that at least 15% of the time is spent in Sabbath rest.

The necessary approvals as stated in the 2004 Book of Discipline or by other supervisory bodies

FINANCING

Funding for the “organized educational and spiritual growth activities” is from the Board of Ordained Ministry’s Ministerial Education Funds. These funds are received through Eastern Pennsylvania local churches’ connectional ministry giving.

Grants up to $5,000 will be made to individual clergy for expenses related to reasonable costs related to the leave. These expenses may include travel, lodging, registration fees and pulpit/pastoral care supply.

FOLLOW-UP

Each recipient who receives funding must complete the following within ninety days of the leave:

  • A plan for how the learning will be shared and used in the local church (a copy of the plan is to be given to the church council or appropriate body and Board of Ordained Ministry continuing education chairperson)
  •  An article submitted to the NewSpirit that describes the new learning for congregational transformation
  •  A workshop opened to Eastern Pennsylvania Conference clergy and laityA report to the Board of Ordained Ministry outlining the activities of the leave, learning and use of funds (accounting for the use of funds is to be shared in relation to the budget as originally proposed.
  • A letter from the Instructor/ Adviser to the Board of Ordained Ministry continuing education chairperson describing the relationship of accountability during your leave.

Ten percent of the grant will be held until the above items are completed. If the items are not completed within the ninety days, the remaining ten percent will be forfeited.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications must be received by May 20th for summer and fall “organized educational and spiritual growth activities”and October 20th for winter and spring “organized educational and spiritual growth activities” Applications are to include the following items (Please use the outline below restating the outline and the information requested.):

  1.  Personal information  –

 

a. Name, address, phone, and email address

b. Present appointment and number of years in this appointment

c. Previous appointments and years served

 

  1. Summary of the proposed “organized educational and spiritual growth activities”

 

  1. Proposed dates for the leave

 

  1.  Why the leave is critical at this time of the applicant’s ministry and the church’s ministry and indicate a willingness to serve eighteen months after the leave in the present appointment

 

  1. How the “organized educational and spiritual growth activities” will enhance congregational transformation (result in growth in one or more of the following – new disciples, new leaders, new people engaged in church and community ministry, worship attendance, giving, and confession of faith)

 

  1. Three to five objectives to be accomplished through the leave

 

  1. The activities and actions to reach the objectives

 

  1. Proposed follow-up plans to implement the learning

 

  1. A detailed budget that outlines both income and expenses; including whether or not you have applied for other sources of funding (e.g. foundations)

 

  1. A letter of support from the church council or other appropriate body, signed by the chair person of the council and Staff/Parish Committee chairperson or other personnel committee chairperson

 

  1. A letter of support from the district superintendent

 

  1. A letter from Instructor(s)/Adviser(s) to whom you will be accountable describing their role in your renewal/study leave.

 

Applications are to be sent to the Board of Ordained Ministry continuing education chairperson: Rev. Robin G. Fisher 1439 Main Street Bath PA 18014 570-243-1247 probgfisher@yahoo.com.

 

Applications will be reviewed and the funding determined by the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry.

 

[Click here to download this policy as a pdf file, click here.]

Click here to download the application as word document

Additional Sabbatical Funding

Sabbatical funding possibilities are also available through others sources.  While many of these sources are competitive funding programs, most clergy in the conference meet the criteria to at least apply.  Two such places are

The Louisville Institute  http://www.louisville-institute.org

Lilly Endowment   http://www.lillyendowment.org