United Church Funds (UCF) today announced that it has awarded a total of $174,000 to 32 scholarship recipients representing 17 United Church of Christ (UCC) conferences through the Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships. These grants will provide much-needed funds to these scholars as they pursue their continuing pastoral education.

Rev. Gwendolyn V. Kirkland, the Administrator of the Endowment, said: “We are delighted to invest in these highly committed scholars. We hope that this scholarship is an affirmation of their call to ministry.”

Charles Buck, UCF President & CEO, said: “UCF is honored to serve as the trustee of the Brown Endowment, managing the investment of the funds and administration of the scholarships. We share Helen and Richard Brown’s commitment to the UCC and are proud to help these future church leaders along on their educational and professional journeys.”

In the past three years, UCF has awarded over half a million dollars to 58 scholarship recipients, paving their way for higher education and enhancing ministry in the UCC.

Recipients of the 2022 Brown Scholarship expressed their gratitude and shared how the scholarships will impact their future goals.

Sophia Hayden, who attends Iliff School of Theology and is a Member in Discernment (MID) in the Heartland Conference UCC, said: “I am honored and grateful. This scholarship will help me along my path to graduation, UCC ordination and eventually chaplaincy.”

“Alleluia! Praise the Lord!” shared Mark Lindberg, a MID from the Central Pacific Conference studying at Eden Theological Seminary. “Upon receiving the news, I cannot begin to describe the burden I felt lifted. This scholarship feels like an affirmation of the path I am on. It happens to be the exact amount that closes the gap for our family. I am in deep gratitude for all gifts given.”

Click here to learn more about the Brown Scholars Class of 2022.

The Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships derive from a generous gift received in the 1990s, designated to support pastoral ministry in the UCC. United Church Funds serves as a trustee of the Brown Endowment, helping to ensure funding for pastoral education and development. Since its inception, the initial gift of $5 million now provides over $300,000 annually to UCC Conferences, seminaries and global partners, providing individual scholarships for seminarians, grants for continuing education for authorized ministers, and support for seminarians in UCC/Disciples global partner churches.

Click here to download the press release and click here to learn more about the Brown Scholarship.