For lay ministers seeking graduate education
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has received a generous grant from the Faith in Our Future Foundation for the purpose of assisting lay ministers in their pursuit of graduate-level education in theology, religious studies, or pastoral liturgy/liturgical music. This grant provides some initial seed money, and we hope that over time, additional sources of funding will allow the Archbishop’s Scholars Fund to continue.
The Archbishop’s Scholars Fund is available to assist lay ministers within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who meet the criteria. Funds are not guaranteed, but are based on funding available. Funds are available to those who wish to study at the following institutions of higher learning:
- Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
- Cor Unum – Master of Arts in Systematic Theology
- Lumen Cordes – Master of Arts in Systematic Theology
- Cardinal Stritch University
- Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies
- Alverno College
- Master of Arts in Music and Liturgy
- Marquette University
- Master of Arts in Christian Doctrine
Other programs may be considered on a case-by-case basis. All degree programs must be consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.
- Applicants must be currently employed, at least 20 hours per week, by a parish or another Catholic institution within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
- Applicants must:
- Be accepted into the program of their choice
- Request the maximum amount of financial aid available from the educational institution
- Complete the Archbishop’s Scholars application process
- Submit a letter of recommendation from his/her pastor or supervisor, and two peers familiar with his/her ministry
- Submit a copy of last year’s tax return to verify financial need. Social security numbers may be redacted for security purposes
- Be a Catholic in good standing, able to partake in the sacramental life of the Church, and active in a parish community, as verified by his/her personal pastor
- Full and partial scholarships may be available. Preference will be given to those lay ministers who are ministering to underserved populations (i.e. urban settings, Black Catholic communities, Hispanic communities, rural settings, etc.), as well as to those with significant financial need.
- Awards will be typically made payable to the institution of learning for which they are sought, but with proper verification, payment may be made directly to the applicant. They are not to be applied to debts for education or academic programs previously undertaken.
- Applicants will be asked to meet with the Continuing Formation for Lay Ministry Fund Board (CFLMF), chaired by the Director of the Office of Lay Ministry.
- The CFLMF Board will make recommendations to Archbishop Listecki, who has the final decision on scholarship recipients.
- Changes in these guidelines can be made with the approval of the CFLMF Board when strong and sufficient reasons exist, and with approval of the Moderator of the Curia.
Applicant Contact and Follow-Up
- The Director of the Office for Lay Ministry will email each applicant within 7 days to verify that the application was received.
- The Director of the Office for Lay Ministry will mail each applicant a decision of their award within 30 days of Archbishop’s decision.
- The scholar is responsible for registering for coursework each semester, and carrying the load required by the institution at which they are studying.
- Scholars are expected to maintain a 2.75 GPA. At the end of each semester, the scholar will send a copy of his/her grades to the Director of the Office of Lay Ministry within two weeks of reception. Grades will be kept confidential.
- Scholars are expected to make an annual application to the CFLMF Board, and scholarship funds will be awarded on an annual basis. Preference will be given to prior applicants who are finishing degrees.
- Scholars are asked to take part in various Archdiocesan programs, where their studies may be highlighted, as well as take opportunities to share their learnings with others.
- Scholars are expected to take part in Office for Lay Ministry formation offerings, as their schedules allow.
- Upon completion of the program, with the awarding of the graduate degree, the scholar is expected to minister within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee – in diocesan offices, parishes, schools or apostolates – for a period of three years. If a scholar chooses to leave the area prior to three years, then repayment may be expected at the discretion of the Board.
- Continued active involvement in the sacramental life of the Church is expected.
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