Scholarships and Loans


Ministry Scholarships and Loans


McKendree University provides several opportunities for support for students planning to go into the ministry.  These include:  the Bothwell Scholarship and the Wagner Loan/Scholarship program.


Bothwell Scholarships


The Bothwell Scholarship program is named for Ms. Marian Bothwell, who created the trust that supports this endowed scholarship.  Bothwell Scholarships provide tuition assistance for full-time students at McKendree University who are preparing to enter some form of full-time Christian Ministry.  Formal ordination is not required, but the student must be working toward a career that involves serving others through a church of other Christian organization.  The scholarship cannot support students who intend to pursue an essentially "secular" career (business, teaching, nursing, etc.) in a "Christian" manner.


The amount of support available through the Bothwell program depends on the number of people who apply each year.  All students who qualify receive a minimum of $2,000 per year for their junior and senior years.  Additional funds (up to full tuition) will be allocated based on financial need.

To qualify for a Bothwell scholarship, students must have completed at least 60 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) by the beginning of the semester for which funding is sought.  Scholarship recipients must also maintain at least a 2.5 GPA at all times, and must pursue at least a minor in Religious Studies.

Application forms are available from the McKendree University Financial Aid office (618-537-6828).  Applicants are required to outline their plans for ministry and to obtain recommendations from denominational or local church leaders who are familiar with their plans.  Application materials must be received by May 15th for Fall enrollment, or December 1st for Spring enrollment.  Applicants must also complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form (also available from the Financial Aid office) by February 1st.  Failure to meet these deadlines will disqualify students from receiving scholarship funds.


Wagner Loan/Scholarship Program


The Clarence O. Wagner Endowed Loan Fund was established through the estate of Helen Smith Wagner.  The purpose of this fund is to provide financial assistance to students wishing to pursue ministry in the Christian or Jewish faiths.  Applicants must intend to pursue a career as a member of the professional clergy (pastoral ministry, education ministry, music ministry, or youth ministry).


Unlike the Bothwell program, the Wagner program is open to students at any stage in their undergraduate careers (including part-time students), with preference being given to freshman and sophomores.  No demonstration of financial need is required.  Applicants must give evidence of their intention to enter the professional ministry, and must maintain a 2.5 GPD at McKendree University at all times.

The Wagner program combines the features of a loan fund and a scholarship program.  Qualifying students may borrow up to the full cost of tuition plus room and board in any year they are enrolled at McKendree.  Loans accrue interest at the rate of 5% per year, with repayment deferred until graduation.  If the student enters professional ministry either immediately after graduating from McKendree or after attending seminary, all interest on the loan is immediately forgiven.  The loan is the scheduled for repayment over a ten-year period with no interest.  After five years of regular payments, the remaining five years of the loan (half the loan value) will be forgiven and no further payment required.  Students may apply for Wagner funds whenever funds are needed, but the usual time for applications is the beginning of each semester.  Application forms are available from the McKendree University Financial Aid office (618-537-6828).


Other Ministerial Scholarships


McKendree University administers several smaller ministerial scholarships (less than $1,000 per year) that are allocated among qualified students at the discretion of a scholarship committee.  Qualifications for these scholarships vary.  Students who apply for Bothwell or Wagner funds are automatically considered for these funds.  Other interested students should obtain a general scholarship application from the McKendree University Financial Aid office (618-537-6828) and enclose a letter asking to be considered.


Non-Ministerial Scholarships


McKendree University offers a wide range of scholarships for which any student (including ministerial students) may apply.  The most significant of these is the Presidential Scholarship program, which offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 per year to full tuition for freshman and from $1,000 to $2,000 per year for transfer students.  To qualify, incoming freshman must have earned a 3.4 high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or a score of 25 on the ACT or a rank in the top 20% of their graduating class.  Transfer students must have earned at least a 3.0 GPA at the college level.  Freshman are more likely to receive funds if they apply during the fall semester; transfers may apply at any time.  For more information about how and when to apply, contact the McKendree University Financial Aid Office (618-537-6828).


McKendree University also offers a matching funds program for students from United Methodist churches.  The John Wesley Scholarship program will add an additional 50% to any scholarship support that a United Methodist church provides for one of its students who enrolls at McKendree.  A letter of application (including a pastoral recommendation) is required.  Contact the McKendree University Financial Aid Office (618-537-6828) for details.


Other United Methodist Loans/Scholarship Programs


Other information regarding United Methodist loans/scholarships can be found at www.gbhem.org on the loans/scholarships tab.