Pillars and Pathways Residency Scholarship Established

Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, residential students at Bethany Seminary will be able to take advantage of a unique opportunity. The new Pillars and Pathways Residency Scholarship, now open for applications, will enable students to complete their seminary education with no additional educational or consumer debt.

Applications for the Pillars and Pathways Residency Scholarship in 2017-18 are due July 1. For more information and to apply, visit our Residency Scholarship webpage.

Designed as a cooperative effort between the student and the Seminary, this scholarship covers the gap between the cost of attendance for residential students and the combination of Bethany financial aid and work income the student receives. Recipients commit to living in the Bethany Neighborhood and must maintain eligibility for the Academic Excellence Scholarship. The amount to be contributed by the student, calculated for the current academic year, can be earned through a certain number of work-study hours and summer employment.

The Pillars and Pathways program has been made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.  The $249,954 grant, made to Bethany Seminary in 2013, is part of Lilly Endowment’s program entitled Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers. The Seminary is well aware of the factors that influence a student’s journey into graduate theological education, including decisions about career, family and work, where to reside, the amount of financial investment, and a time frame for completion. Using Pillars and Pathways concepts, staff seek ways to (1) support students’ goals and values through financial aid, student development, and faculty advising and (2) incorporate issues of finance into ongoing work with students.

Five pillars have been named to help students minimize debt while in seminary and to encourage a lifetime of sound financial practices: financial education, conscious consumption, financial aid, affordable housing, and employment assistance. All of these are incorporated into the new Residency Scholarship, which emphasizes student engagement along with academic standing. As residents of the Bethany Neighborhood, recipients will actively engage in community living and campus activities, meet for group reflection, volunteer a certain number of hours at a local nonprofit, and live within their means with support from the neighborhood community.

In fall 2016 Bethany received a second grant of $125,000 as part of the sustainability phase of Lilly Endowment’s economic challenges initiative. In addition to supporting the Residency Scholarship, this grant will help Bethany ensure the longevity of the Pillars and Pathways program. Plans are to incorporate the program’s concepts into strategic planning and curriculum redesign and to extend the benefits of the program to the wider denomination and the local community.