The Seminary Debt Repayment Endowment was established in 2015 in order to address the growing seminary debt load among pastors in the North Carolina Conference. This endowment seeks to bring about wholeness in regard to our pastors’ fiscal stability and stewardship, thus allowing them to be the most effective clergy persons they can be.
Who Can Apply?
All ordained clergy, Elders and Deacons, who are serving in full-time appointments as members of the North Carolina Conference, are eligible to apply.
When Can You Apply?
Disbursement will begin in September.
- have been ordained and elected as members in Full Connection by June 2022, either as Deacon or Elder, and be in good standing with the NC Conference
- be serving full-time appointments as members in full connection of the North Carolina Conference
- complete application, which will request information about debt from seminary, current budget (using template provided), activities while in seminary (work-study, field education, etc.)
- participate in a financial literacy program prior to submitting their application in July 2022. This program, completed either in person or online, must result in some type of 3rd party certification or proof of completion. Must be completed within the previous two years (date of completion must be as of June 2020 or later)
- provide an annual updated budget to demonstrate ongoing financial growth, stability, and continued debt reduction
All applications will be reviewed by the NCC Endowment Team each year.
Other Sources of Funding
After one cycle of grant offerings is completed (five years), we will ask graduates of the program to serve as ambassadors, inviting them to offer testimonials regarding the benefits of the program upon their personal finances.
- The NCC Office of Clergy Life will coordinate. Contact Beth Hood with questions.
- The maximum amount that one person can receive will be a matching grant of up to $20,000 (can include both tuition debt and living expenses as long as the debt is carried through an educational lending institute). For those with full tuition scholarships, the maximum grant allowed is $10,000.
- Once accepted into the program, grant recipients will make payments directly to his or her lending institution. The Office of Clergy Life will request matching amount be sent to that lending institution, on a yearly basis (proof of payment from the pastor will be due to the OCL in order for matching funds to be applied). For example, if a pastor makes debt payments for five years to her lending institution, the Office of Clergy Life will match no more than $4,000 from the Endowment for the same five years. The maximum matching amount per year from the Endowment will be $4,000 (for example, a recipient cannot pay $3,000 one year and $6,000 the next).
- Payments will be made over 5 years total (rather than 5 consecutive years). Should a pastor go on leave for a year, their participation would be suspended but could re-apply when he/she was once again under full-time appointment in a local church.
- The grant period is from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Matching payments will be sent to the identified lending institution as soon as proof of payment is received, beginning September 1, 2022. Payments made by pastors after June 30 will not be considered for this grant cycle.
- No other forms of debt are eligible for repayment through this program (home equity loans, credit cards that were used toward tuition or living expenses while in seminary). Matching grants will be paid directly to the lending institution.