In the U.S., Mid-America Union Launches US$40,000 Scholarship

Initiative will support accounting, education, IT, and theology majors who wish to work for the church.

Hugh Davis, Mid-America Union Conference Outlook
In the U.S., Mid-America Union Launches US$40,000 Scholarship
The U.S.-based Mid-America Union Conference is offering scholarships for students who would like to major in several fields and attend Union Adventist University in Lincoln, Nebraska. [Photo: Brenda Dickerson, for Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists]

An eager employer is offering students at Union Adventist University up to US$40,000 in scholarships and a guaranteed job after graduation. That employer is the US-based Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

This new award will give a total of 10 first-year theology, education, accounting, and IT majors up to $40,000 toward educational expenses over four years — on top of the university’s existing need-based and academic merit scholarships — and it comes with a guaranteed career in full-time ministry in the Adventist church after they complete their degree.

“We know there areyoung people in our congregations who feel called to further the work of the gospel,” said Gary Thurber, president of the Mid-America Union and chair of Union Adventist University’s Board of Trustees. “Too few of them have the financial freedom to follow their passion for church service.”  

Some students feel caught in a financial trap when they consider college. If they forgo college, they won’t learn the skills the church needs. If they take out too many student loans, the pressure to repay prompts them to enter the corporate world rather than joining a ministry. 

Thurber believes the Seventh-day Adventist Church stands at a crossroads and needs to act now to ensure there are enough pastors, teachers, IT professionals, and accountants ready to serve in the coming years. “Funding this scholarship is an investment in the future of the Adventist Church,” he said.

Aerial shot of Union Adventist University, formerly Union College, in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. [Photo: Union Adventist University]

Up to 10 first-year students will be selected to receive the Mid-America Union Church Employment Scholarship in the fall semester of 2024. Applicants must agree to participate in a program of study leading to a degree in accounting, computer science, education, or theology. Also, they agree to work on campus and place a portion of earnings toward their school bill, intern at an Adventist organization in Mid-America, and agree to serve for at least four years at a Mid-America Adventist church, school, or regional leadership organization.

The Mid-America Union Conference oversees the church work in the US states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and San Juan County in New Mexico.

In all the fields that qualify for this scholarship, Union Adventist University, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, offers dynamic programs that prioritize real-world experience and service. For example, the university’s pastor preparation program integrates students into the ministry of local churches earlier in their training than most other universities. Each senior also experiences a dedicated semester as an associate pastor under the mentorship of a senior pastor, during which they are immersed in every aspect of leading a congregation. 

Education majors have the advantage of learning in George Stone School, an on-campus multi-grade classroom. University students observe and teach in the elementary school beginning their freshman year, ensuring their field experience begins long before their senior student teaching.

For accounting majors, taking shifts offering free tax preparation assistance at the Good Neighbor Center shows them the value of their academic skills and their potential for use in ministry.

“It’s exciting to meet with a future student who has a passion for ministry and service,” Ryan Teller, Union’s vice president for enrollment management, said. “This scholarship gives us a new way to connect the dots between their finances and their dreams. We are thankful for the Mid-America Union’s leadership as we train the next generation of church workers.”

The original version of this story was posted by the Mid-America Union Conference Outlook.

Hugh Davis, Mid-America Union Conference Outlook