Grants for Clergy
Course of Study
Clergy licensed and under appointment within the NC Conference are required to complete the Basic Course of Study (COS) program.
Here is some information to guide you in learning more about the educational resources, where to apply, and how the Conference assists with the costs of the registration.
Ministerial Education Fund
Ministerial Education Funds are an apportioned fund managed by the Office of Ministerial Relations. Of the portion retained by the NC Conference, certified candidates are eligible for scholarship funds – both for the final two years of undergraduate study as well as for basic theological degrees (Masters of Divinity, Masters of Arts in Christian Practice). Funding is not available for an MTS, ThM., DMin, or other degrees.
Continuing Education funds are for clergy currently under appointment. Applicants must be a member of the North Carolina Annual Conference.
Opportunities include Clinical Pastoral Education, Holy Land trips, and more.
The Clergy Care Committee provides financial assistance to clergy families of the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church who seek confidential counseling and therapy. Clergy Care funds are NOT to be used for career enhancement, but are limited to personal growth and well-being. Clergy Care is financial assistance, $400 a year per family, for clergy.
Ordained clergy within the NC Conference may apply for a matching grant to assist with the reduction of seminary debt. Upon confirmation of payments to one’s lender for seminary debt ONLY, the Office of Ministerial Relations will send a check up to the grant award directly to the same lender. Clergy must be Members in Full Connection.
Grants for Churches
Congregational Development Fund (CDF)
The Congregational Development Fund, Inc., was incorporated in 2000 with the stated purpose of receiving and investing property and funds, and then using those funds “… for charitable, educational, and religious purposes which are related to local church development, including new church extension.” Funds are available in the form of grants for a wide variety of needs to promote and enable local church development. A consultation with the District Superintendent is required.
Key Taylor Award
The Key Taylor Award is gifted annually and comes from The Rural Church Endowment. The award, sponsored through the United Methodist Foundation, is to call attention to the mission work of all rural churches by honoring the specific achievements of one rural church. Applications are typically posted online in the Spring and awarded in the Summer. Requirements are as follows:
- The church is in a community of less than 1,500 people, or RUCA eligible.
- The church has 250 members or less.
- The church is significantly involved in community mission.
- The church shows faithfulness in its stewardship of the mission and service commitments (apportionments) and supports Advance Specials.
- The church displays commitment towards growth in ministry and perseverance toward accomplishing their vision of ministry.
New Faith Communities Seed Funds
The office of New Faith Communities provides $7,500 in seed funds to new North Carolina United Methodist church planters who are working with their office to create a new ministry. These funds are only available to church planters currently appointed within the North Carolina Conference. Contact New Faith Communities to learn more.
Grants for Outreach
Mission Seed Funds
Mission Seed Funds are designed to facilitate and encourage United Methodist congregations of the NC Conference to engage in new ministry with people in their local communities who would not usually participate in the life of the church. Priority is given to new ministry initiatives that meet at least one of the five areas of emphasis of the NCCUMC: Healthy Congregations, Congregations for Children (C4C), Unity, Anti-racism, and Effective Leaders.
Board of Mission
The Board of Mission, Inc. is primarily a low-interest lending organization. Loan applications are considered on a cash available basis. As funds are repaid, new loans are originated. At a given point in time, funds may or may not be available to make new loans. Loans are also considered on a missional basis. Churches receiving missional priority are those in low-income neighborhoods and those needing more space to engage in cross-cultural and cross-racial programs. Some matching grant funding is available to churches needing repairs or replacement of vital building components. These grants are only approved after consultation with our contractor.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) exists to promote, encourage and enable Christians to exemplify “Christian Love In Action.” Our aim is to achieve the Great Commission by providing short-term mission opportunities, both nationally and internationally for everyday Christians. UMVIM, NC offers Team Leadership Training four times each year. Grants are available for UMVIM teams that have a leader who has been trained or recertified within the last four years.
Youth Service Fund
Youth Service Fund (YSF) grants are made by the YSF Committee of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries at their January meeting. Applications are available online with more information and specific due dates.
Golden Cross is a ministry that reaches out in love to the laity in our Annual Conference who are experiencing financial difficulty due to excessive medical expenses. Recipients must be active United Methodist members and be recommended for assistance by their pastor. For any questions or more information, call Bethany Reeves – Golden Cross Administrator at 984-207-6306.
One Who is Loved
United Methodist Foundation is trustee of a special endowment called the “One Who Is Loved Fund.” This permanent endowment makes possible, love gifts to benefit children under the age of 18 who have special needs such as specialized medical equipment or supplies/medicine, transportation to hospitals or treatment centers, or other special needs. Pastors of the NC Conference are encouraged to recommend children for the fund.
Grants for Racial Equity and Justice
Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness (CPI)
The project must relate to the Comprehensive Plan of Inclusiveness (CPI) and must be developed by one or more United Methodist local church(es) with priority given to ethnic churches. The project must address one or more chronic social problems or concerns that impact United Methodist ethnic local churches or ethnic persons. Priority is given to new and pilot projects.
CORR Action Fund
The CORR Action Fund (CAF) grant program is established by the General Conference of The UMC for the empowerment of diversity, inclusion, and racial justice work within and outside the Church.
Strengthening the Black Church
Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century is a program designed to assist United Methodist churches with predominantly black congregations to become effective in mission and ministry. It does this by linking successful congregational resource centers with congregations that are in search of new ideas and revitalization.
The NC Annual Conference offers funding to enable Pilgrimage participation by Hispanic/Latino youth.
Peace with Justice
Grant must address one or more of four objectives. Applications may be submitted throughout the year. Funding decisions are made through the Peace with Justice Committee of the NCC Board of Church and Society at the Board’s regular meetings.
Restorative Justice & Mercy Ministries
The Committee on Restorative Justice and Mercy Ministries of the North Carolina Conference is committed to providing services and opportunities for United Methodists in the North Carolina Conference to achieve and maintain an understanding of prison ministry and the importance of prison reform based on Christian principles. The Committee seeks to relate in a Christian manner to the individual offender and his/her family and to victims and their families.
Refugee & Immigration
The Refugee & Immigration Committee is streamlining the process for individuals and organizations who wish to apply for funding. Churches can now complete one of three short Google forms to request monetary assistance to assist refugees and immigrants.
Grants from General Agencies
of The United Methodist Church
SEJ Renfro Trust Fund
The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The income from the Fund is to be used for the purpose of establishing and supporting United Methodist churches in rural areas of the United States within the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The term “rural areas” shall be interpreted to mean towns of less than 10,000, villages, and open country. Situations described as unusual and challenging and for which insufficient funds are available from other local sources shall be considered eligible for grants from the Renfro Trust Fund. Contact Rev. Bill Haddock for more information about the application process.
Intentional Growth Center
The Intentional Growth Center is an agency of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. The IGC seeks to fund educational events or programs that increase pastoral and congregational effectiveness in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
United Methodist Communications
United Methodist Communications offers marketing services and promotional grants to United Methodist congregations active in their communities and need support and guidance in reaching new people in new ways.
General Board of Church & Society
The General Board of Church and Society awards grants to United Methodist congregations and groups related to The United Methodist Church through the Ethnic Local Church, Human Relations Day, and Peace with Justice programs.
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
The GBHEM scholarship application opens in January of each year. You can only submit one application per year where it will be screened for all possible eligible programs. Scholarship programs are divided into three categories: General Scholarships, Racial-Ethnic Scholarships, and Ministry as a Career Scholarships.
United Methodist Committee on Relief
UMCOR offers grants for Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation, Relief, Recovery, and Migration. UMCOR’s core values of equality and justice, respect with dignity, and good stewardship are reflected in UMCOR’s grant-making priorities.
United Methodist Voluntary Service
The General Board of Global Ministries will offer Community Engagement Grants to congregations and annual conferences through the United Methodist Voluntary Service (UMVS) program. The United Methodist Voluntary Service (UMVS) serves as a resource to volunteer-based groups and programs that challenge unjust political, social, and economic systems which threaten the livelihoods of people of low socioeconomic status, as well as racial/ethnic communities.
Community Engagement Grants can be used for short-term (less than 1 year) community-based outreach programs and events. The UMVS provides financial resources of up to $15,000 per congregation, annual conference, or mission partner. Applicants must provide a financial contribution of at least 10% of the requested amount.
The Foundation for Evangelism
The Foundation for Evangelism Equipping the Local Church grant initiative seeks to empower pastors, laity, and smaller local congregations to dream, take risks, and partner with God in the transformation of lives and communities. Grants for $5,000 or $10,000 will be awarded to small and medium church congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. The grant focus is to launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel, tell their faith stories, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus.
Grants from North Carolina Organizations
NC Council of Churches
NCCC partners with congregations across the state to engage faith communities and their larger communities in living happier, healthier, more abundant lives. They have done this for years through the Partners in Health & Wholeness Collaborative Pledge and PHW Mini-Grant program. The mini-grant must be used to support your congregation’s health ministry and its mission. The funds must be used for a project that fits into one of the six focus areas of the PHW program: tobacco cessation and prevention, healthy eating, increased physical activity, mental health advocacy and education, healthy aging, or the overdose crisis/substance use.
BIPOC Mental Health Grant
Thanks to The Duke Endowment, Partners in Health and Wholeness is able to offer this new grant opportunity of $5,000-10,000 for faith communities of color to apply towards COVID-19 mental health efforts. In mid-2022, we plan to award 50 grants in this funding range throughout the entire state. Later this year, there will be an opportunity to apply for a large grant, up to $50,000, to establish or expand a mental health resource hub in your region. This application period for this grant opportunity will be rolling, with quarterly reviews, from May 2022 until May 2023.
Resourceful Communities’ small-grant program, the Creating New Economies Fund (CNEF), provides direct investment in community-based efforts. Seed money supports a range of projects: eco- and heritage tourism, youth conservation programs, farmers’ markets, alternative energy production, and more. A portion of CNEF funds are available to help rural United Methodist Churches (UMCs) strengthen food ministries. All UMCs are encouraged to contact Faith and Food Coordinator Aaron Hayworth (email@example.com), Matthew Rouse (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Dave Walker (email@example.com) to discuss potential projects. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
NC Rural Center
The Faith in Rural Communities initiative at the NC Rural Center engages congregations in developing missional engagement ministries that are relational, strategic, and asset-based. Rural churches play a crucial role in helping their communities to thrive. Connect coaching builds capacity and leadership in rural, United Methodist churches through nine coaching sessions with a team a church leaders and additional training. If you are interested in learning more, contact Heather Kilbourne.
RAFI Come to the Table
United Methodist churches in rural North Carolina can apply to receive funding to purchase food from a local farmer of color. Churches must use these funds to purchase food from a designated farmer of color to distribute to food-insecure community members. Because of RAFI-USA’s long-standing relationships with farmers, farmers markets, and faith communities throughout North Carolina, Come to the Table is uniquely situated to connect these groups in mutually beneficial relationships.
To apply for any of the grants above, choose “Learn More” below the grant description for further instructions.