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Dakotas Conference distributes $86,000 for seminary scholarships

Close to $86,000 will go to seminary students this year, thanks to the Dakotas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation.  A joint committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Dakotas UM Foundation met earlier this summer to award ten seminary students and three students in the Kairos program.

The award money came from 21 different endowments and trusts from North Dakota and South Dakota which are managed by the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation.

Sheri Meister, executive director of the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation says, “It [the joint meeting] was one of the high moments of my job when I really felt the holy spirit moving within us, to do our best to help our students get off to a better start with their ministry. Through these scholarships, donors see a great opportunity to assist those who have been called to ministry, to reduce their burden of seminary debt, allowing new clergy to focus on the core of their new ministry and appointment.” Photo: A group of young clergy enjoyed an evening together during annual conference. Photo by Tory Stolen.

A committee of seven members including laity, clergy, university faculty members and conference leadership reviewed applications and awarded funds based on need and merit.

Photo: Conference staff had a ball with Dakotas seminary students during Annual Conference in Sioux Falls. Photo by Tory Stolen.

“We are thrilled to be able to distribute these dollars to students who are answering God’s call to ministry,” said Deb Kjerstad, director of leadership development for the Dakotas Conference.  “The committee spent a lot of time and effort placing the dollars where they are needed.”

Recipients of the scholarship dollars expressed extreme gratitude for the assistance through thank you notes.

“I’m so excited! This frees up some much-needed funds for childcare and travel as I continue on this seminary journey. Thank you for your generosity!”

“Wow! I am so grateful for the help! My family (a husband and two kids – 6 and 3) are so thankful for this gift which helps me on my called journey.”

“Previously, I have had to take out federal loans in order to cover the ever-rising cost of higher education, but I look forward to having a year when these loans can be relatively minimal.  I feel greatly encouraged to know my preparation for ministry is being supported!”  Photo: A group of young clergy enjoyed an evening together during annual conference. Photo by Tory Stolen.


Congratulations to these scholarship winners:

Sara Green, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Jordan Louks, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Valerie Hummel LaBounty, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Melissa Gall, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Autumn Krueger, Emory University - Candler School of Theology

Jeanne Sortland, Sioux Falls Seminary

Ben McKirdy-Wilsey, Iliff School of Theology

Thomas Carlson, Sioux Falls Seminary

Charlie Moore, Sioux Falls Seminary

Travis Waltner, Sioux Falls Seminary


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000