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More Than a Scholarship*

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*Technically it’s a grant!

Applying for scholarships and bursaries is a process that savvy students embrace as an annual ritual. Even though completing these applications is not usually described as an exhilarating experience, receiving a financial award can sometimes be the determining factor that enables a student to continue their education. 

Financial incentives are important, but there are other parts of the equation that are critical for students to balance, such as work responsibilities, family priorities, and energy restraints. If students wish to succeed, they need much more than personal ambition and sufficient finances. They need a community that supports them with affirmation, discernment, and enriching opportunities. This is a scenario that Jesse Wilson, Pastor of Community Groups at Northview Church in Abbotsford, B.C., has experienced while working toward his Master of Theological Studies at MB Seminary. “It was helpful to receive financial support and to know that my church leadership (which at that time was at Central Heights) was behind me in my studies. Continuing education for increased ministry effectiveness was a value for both me and our church.” 

Supporting a student through graduate studies is a community effort. The newly approved Leadership Development Partnership Grant (LDPG) is designed to provide value that goes far beyond tuition dollars. The program is a part of a national strategy to strengthen the development of leaders who are called into ministry-related work. It combines local church discernment with a pathway of equipping and supporting leaders within the MB denomination. 


The LDPG is initiated by local churches who identify suitable candidates and make a commitment toward their ongoing development. The church agrees to fund 25% of the candidate’s tuition costs and provides opportunities for ministry service while benefiting from the LDPG. But it’s more than discernment… 


Candidates who have been affirmed by their local church will be eligible to enrol in courses at a participating LDPG graduate school (MB Seminary, MB GTE Track at CMU, or ETEQ), provided they meet the institution’s requirements and are accepted into a graduate program. These courses will equip students with biblical and theological training and strengthen their ministry skills, enabling them to increase their effectiveness at their local church. The student will also benefit from regular interactions with faculty, staff, and denominational leaders. But it’s more than partnership… 


Once a candidate is admitted into a graduate program at a participating school, the student will receive an additional 50% toward their tuition costs (25% from CCMBC and 25% from the school), providing them with a total of 75% of their tuition funding. But it’s more than funding… 


The LDPG marks a turning point in the life of our national conference. Leadership development is regularly cited as an essential component of a healthy denominational foundation, but an investment in this value has been delayed by financial limitations. The launch of the LDPG is a cause for celebration—it sets a directional course for equipping leaders across the country, and it also highlights the financial stability of our national conference.  

You can learn more about the Leadership Development Partnership Grant by visiting mennonitebrethren.ca/ldpg. 

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