Baptist associations and colleges offer many scholarships and grants to Baptist college students. They generally have a requirement that applicants be practicing Baptists. Students also may have to be a member of a Baptist church that is associated with a wider Baptist association. The Baptist denomination has about 32 million adherents in the United States and about 110 million worldwide, so many opportunities exist for Baptist students to get financial assistance from their religious brethren, according to the website CollegeDegrees.com (as of March 2011).
Colleges affiliated with the Baptist denomination offer scholarships to attending students. For example, California Baptist University offers the Minister’s Kin Scholarship worth $2,750 each year. It is available to students who have a parent that is employed in a ministerial role full-time in an evangelical church. It is also available to students who have a parent employed full-time with a Baptist missionary organization or other Baptist agency.
Many Baptist organizations offer scholarships to ethnic and minority students. One example is the Mary Hill Davis Ethnic/Minority Scholarship Program, which provides grants worth a maximum of $6,400 paid over four years. It is funded through the Mary Hill Davis Offering for State Missions. It is sponsored by the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas. Pastoral recommendation must be provided for all applicants. Students must also be from ethnic/minority cultures and want to receive a Christian education.
Baptist associations also offer college scholarships to students who are affiliated by membership in a church that is of those associations. One example is that American Baptist Financial Aid Program. This program is administered by the National Ministries’ Office of Financial Aid for Studies. The program offers financial aid to college students and seminarians. Undergraduate scholarships require that the student be a current member of an American Baptist church. They should be members of such a church for at least a year before applying for the scholarship. They must also want to enroll as a full-time freshman for the upcoming school year in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. They also must be U.S. citizens.
The amounts of the scholarships vary, and are paid to the school for the student’s tuition. Students must keep a minimum grade point average of 2.75. Graduate students must also be American Baptist church members for a year before applying, be enrolled in an accredited school in Puerto Rico or the U.S. and be U.S. citizen. Doctoral grants are awarded for $3,000 to Ph.D. candidates who have finished a year of Ph.D. level study. They should also plan to teach at the college or seminary level in an area connected to educating American Baptist ministerial leaders. Doctor of Ministry students cannot apply for this grant.
Baptist students who are studying specific majors may be able to get a scholarship related to their majors and to being Baptist. These scholarships may be offered by associations, colleges or churches, for example. One includes the Dorothy Rapp Music Scholarship Fund, which was created by the First Baptist Church of Evansville, Indiana. It is administered by the Vanderburgh Community Foundation (See Reference 5.) It is worth up $200 to a student attending an Indiana Baptist church and who is majoring in music. (See Reference 1.)
Vanderburgh Community Foundation: Family of Funds College Degrees: Find Baptist Scholarships
California Baptist University: CBU Resources for Pastors
Scholarships.com: Mary Hill Davis Ethnic/Minority Scholarship Program
Scholarships.com: American Baptist Financial Aid Program