Women Candidates for Ordination Encouraged to Apply for Harkness Award

October 31, 2008

Women candidates for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church are encouraged to apply to the Georgia Harkness Merit Awards program of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Ordained Ministry Division.

The program, which honors the life and service of teacher and theologian Georgia Harkness (1891-1974), grants a $5,000 award to those who are chosen as Georgia Harkness Scholars. The funding may be applied to tuition, fees, and room and board for the basic seminary degree leading to elder’s ordination. The award is not available for undergraduate, D. Min., or Ph.D. work, however.
 
The Harkness program was established to encourage women 35 and older to prepare for ordained ministry as an elder in The United Methodist Church, as a second career. 
 
In order to qualify for this award, a prospective candidate must be enrolled full time in the fall semester for 2009. The eligible candidate will be a woman older than 35 who has received a bachelor of arts or equivalent degree, is enrolled full time in a University Senate-approved school of theology in the master of divinity degree program, and who is a certified candidate for ordained ministry as an elder in The United Methodist Church. She must be a certified candidate at the time of application to be eligible for this award.
 
All United Methodist women students who meet the guidelines are equally considered for this award. Program administrators are looking for women who exhibit the qualities of Georgia Harkness: scholarship, spirituality, and social justice.
 
The scholarship program has a new emphasis on global leadership by women as related to global justice issues. Since 2007, recipients have been invited to take part in global experiences in other countries to learn about different women’s leadership styles, and to share their determination to respond to God’s call to ordained ministry.
 
Georgia Harkness scholars already have been an inspiration to many women in Latin American countries, where women’s ordination is still a foreign concept.
 
If you know of an eligible student, please encourage her to apply for this scholarship (or others offered by the Board). For more information and to download scholarship applications, visit the GBHEM website at www.gbhem.org. 
 
Applications and required documents for the Georgia Harkness Merit Awards must be received by March 1, 2009. 
 
Contact the Director of Continuing Formation for Ministry, the Rev. Dr. HiRho Park, at 615-340-7409, eoneal@gbhem.org, for more information. (Students also may send applications and supporting documentation to the eoneal@gbhem.org email address.)