Become a Student

Learn how you can become a student at MTS by requesting information from the Admissions Department.  

SCHOLARSHIPS

Welcome to Memphis Theological Seminary!  It is our hope that scholarship funds will be available to assist you in paying tuition and other fees.  Please take note of the information and look through our scholarships categorized below.

New Students Newly admitted students must have submitted a complete application by May 31 to be considered for the Fall semester and November 30 for the Spring semester. Turn in or request New Student Scholarship Applications: financialaid@memphisseminary.edu or 901.334.5887.

Current Students Current Students must complete the Scholarship Application Form each year, by May 31. Students will be notified by MTS e-mail of their scholarship awards. Annual Applications deadline is May 31. Turn in or request Current Student Scholarship Applications: financialaid@memphisseminary.edu or 901.334.5887.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR NEW, INCOMING STUDENTS 

African American Student Academic Scholarship | 40% Tuition Reduction 

Award for 3 new, incoming African American students who earned an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. Awarded for eight semesters contingent upon student maintaining a minimum semester and cumulative 3.5 GPA. Student must be enrolled for nine hours or more in each of the Fall and Spring semesters. Students receiving this scholarship are not eligible for the Dr. Henry Logan Starks Scholarship. 

Cumberland Presbyterian Honor Scholarships | 40% Tuition Reduction 

Award for two new, incoming Cumberland Presbyterian students who earned an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. Awarded for eight semesters contingent upon student maintaining a semester AND cumulative 3.5 GPA. Student must be enrolled for nine hours or more in each of the fall and spring semesters. Students receiving this scholarship are eligible for the Cumberland Presbyterian Service Loan. Students must apply at time of enrollment and submit a letter showing they are under the care of a Presbytery. 

Kemmons Wilson Foundation Scholarship | $3,750 ($1,875 for Fall Semester; $1,875 for Spring Semester) 

Award for 3 years for incoming, first-year students who have answered God’s call to ministry as a second career and can demonstrate a financial need and participate in personal interview with representatives of the Scholarship Committee. Student must maintain a 3.0 semester AND cumulative GPA and be enrolled for at least 9 semester hours each semester. Students must write an annual report to update the foundation on their ministry activity. 

International Scholarships | Varies 

Limited scholarships are available for International students. The scholarship cannot be continued to a second degree program. The student must be enrolled for nine hours or more in each of the fall and spring semesters. Apply to the Director of Financial Aid. Students must apply at time of enrollment. 

NOTE: Should a student fail to maintain the required GPA, the scholarship will be dropped for the semester immediately following. Should the student regain the required GPA, the student may re-apply. The scholarships cannot be continued to a second degree.

MTS Scholarships may be used to pay MTS tuition and fees only, unless otherwise specified, and are awarded on a full-academic year (two semesters), fall and spring semesters only. Please note, MTS Scholarships will be reduced if a student receives awards from outside sources that in combination exceed direct costs.

OTHER SCHOLARSHIPS

Through gracious donors we are able to offer the following scholarships. Students must maintain a semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.00 and be enrolled in six semester hours in a degree-seeking program in order to be considered for these scholarships listed. Unless otherwise specified, scholarships are awarded on a full-academic year (two semesters), fall and spring semesters only. Please note, MTS Scholarships may have to be reduced if a student receives awards from outside sources that in combination exceed MTS tuition and fees. 

Paul R. & Nancy R. Dekar Endowment for Immersion Studies | Varies 

Award for MTS students who wish to experience an immersion through a scheduled, approved credit course at MTS. 

Rev. Robert Lee Truax Jr. Award for Academic Achievement | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award is distributed each November to students who qualify. Recipients must have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above on a 4.00 scale with at least 24 undergraduate semester hours in Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology; must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 at MTS; must have completed 48 semester hours at MTS within the past 24 months; and must currently be enrolled at MTS for at least 12 semester hours.

H.W. Durham Foundation Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for students over the age of 55, enrolled in at least 9 hours for each of the Fall and Spring semesters, exhibit strong promise for excellence in ministry, are able to articulate faith in a compelling way, and demonstrate financial need. Priority is given to those who are incoming, first-year students who have little, if any, denominational support. Students must write an annual report to update the foundation on their ministry activity. 

PRESBYTERIAN SCHOLARSHIPS (CPC, CPCA, PC USA)

Bernice A. Humphreys Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for Presbyterian students. Preference is given to students under the care of a PCUSA Presbytery and seeking one of the Master degrees. 

Cardelia Howell-Diamond Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for a female student from a Cumberland Presbyterian church in the Lubbock, Texas, area, a Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Presbytery del Cristo (to the presbytery which includes the Lubbock, Texas, area), or in the absence of a student fulfilling those requirements, a female student in any presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

Gadsden Area Churches Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for a Cumberland Presbyterian student from the Gadsden, Alabama, area. Student must maintain a 2.5 GPA to receive scholarship. 

Margaret M. Dirks Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for Master of Divinity student who is a member of PCUSA and seeking ordination. Student must supply a written and signed verification from a PCUSA denomination official. Also required is a cumulative GPA of 2.5 from an undergraduate degree and the completion of one full semester at MTS with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 may re-apply in subsequent years if continued eligibility is maintained. 

Missouri-Arkansas PC (USA) | Varies 

Award for students from any of the First Presbyterian Churches of Piggott, AR, Pocahontas, AR, and Doniphan, MO.  If none qualify, it is available to an international student.  Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA.   

Mississippi Area Churches Trust Fund | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for a Cumberland Presbyterian student from the former Mississippi Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

METHODIST SCHOLARSHIPS (UM, CME, AME)

Henry Clay and Alfreda Gibbs Bunton Scholarship | $500 ($250 for Fall Semester; $250 for Spring Semester) 

Award for Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) student enrolled in at least 9 semester hours for the Fall and Spring semesters and demonstrates financial need. 

Cora Hawkins Crutchfield Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester; $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for married Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) pastors attending MTS. Scholarships are awarded to qualifying students in after the drop date. 

Dr. David Hilliard Scholarship | Varies 

Those eligible to apply as a Hilliard Scholar shall be enrolled at Memphis Theological Seminary seeking a Master’s degree; shall have completed and earned a minimum of twelve credit hours; shall have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better; shall be a current member in good standing of a United Methodist Church within the Memphis Conference; and shall have held membership in that same United Methodist Church for at least two consecutive years before submitting an application. Recipients may re-apply for this scholarship; however, preference will be given to applicants who have not been previous recipients. 

Richard M. and Martha Carol Barker Scholarship | Varies 

Award for a United Methodist student from the Memphis Annual Conference after successful completion of the student’s first semester. 

Rev. John Edgar Meeks Memorial Scholarship | Varies up to 50% tuition and fees 

Award for a United Methodist (with priority given to the Memphis Annual Conference), incoming first-year students on the Elders track, enrolled in a minimum 9 semester hours, and with demonstrated financial need.  Each student is eligible to retain the scholarship in the second and subsequent semesters until graduation, as long as a minimum 3.0 GPA is maintained, continue on Elder track, and continue full-time status,  9 hours for Fall and Spring Semesters. Must supply verification that they are a part of the Memphis Annual Conference and on the Elders track. 

Dawson Ministerial Scholarship | Varies 

Award for a United Methodist student of the Memphis Annual Conference who is a deacon candidate and has completed at least one year of seminary studies and who meets the criteria of the grant. Details and applications are available from the Director of Financial Aid. 

Margaret I. Gunn Memorial Fund | Varies 

Award for United Methodist students currently under the guidance of the Board of Ministry of the Memphis Annual Conference. 

Tri-Mu Bible Class Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for the Fall Semester; $500 for the Spring Semester) 

Award for a United Methodist student who has plans on becoming a pastor. 

B.L. Holder & Jewel Looper Holder Endowment Fund | $400 ($200 for the Fall Semester; $200 for the Spring Semester) 

Award for United Methodist students from any Annual Conference. 

Bettye and Dick Hendrix Scholarship | $500 ($250 for the Fall Semester; $250 for the Spring Semester) 

Award to a United Methodist Student after successful completion of the first semester. 

Arkansas United Methodist Scholarship | Varies 

Award for a United Methodist student from Arkansas. 

Mary Guice Memorial Scholarship | Varies 

Award for United Methodist students from Mississippi. 

AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS

The James W., Mary and Margaret McCulloch Scholarship | $600 ($300 for the Fall Semester; $300 for the Spring Semester)

Award for an African American student preparing for ministry, or if none qualifies, must be a student with demonstrated financial need and promise in ministry who is a member of a minority group, such as Native American, Asian, or Hispanic/Latino. 

Dr. Gina M. Stewart Women in Ministry Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall Semester, $500 for Spring Semester) 

Award for 3 African American Women in Ministry seeking a Master level degree, enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours per semester, Fall and Spring, demonstrates financial need and maintains a 3.0 GPA. If a new student, GPA requirement is waived.

Memphis Inter-Denominational (MID) Fellowship | $500 ($250 for Fall Semester; $250 for Spring Semester) 

Book Award for a first-year African American female student pursuing a Master of Divinity degree and enrolled in a minimum of 9 semester hours each semester. 

Dr. Henry Logan Starks Scholarships | 5% Tuition Reduction

Awards available to African American students who have completed at least one full semester at MTS with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. To continue the award, students must maintain a minimum semester AND cumulative 3.0 GPA and enrolled for a minimum of six semester hours for each semester, Fall and Spring. Students receiving this scholarship are not eligible for the African American Student Academic Scholarship. 

FACULTY DESIGNATED SCHOLARSHIPS

Louisa Woosley Scholarship | $1000 ($500 for Fall semester and $500 for Spring semester)

Award for two female students, either a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts (Religion), who plans to graduate the following academic year, has maintained a cumulative minimum 3.5 GPA, and has demonstrated leadership in ministry, church or community.  The Woosley Scholar is chosen by the Women In Ministry faculty sponsor. No application is required. 

Women’s Issues in Ministry Endowment | $250 Cash Gift and write up in the MTS Lamp Magazine 

Award given to a student who presents the most outstanding research paper on women in professional ministry. Paper must be a minimum of 15 pages in length and due by Feb 1. The award is chosen by a committee that consist of: a designated faculty member, Women in Ministry sponsor and a MTS board member.   

DENOMINATIONAL LOANS/SCHOLARSHIPS

 Many denominations have programs of financial assistance for persons studying for the ministry or other church vocations. Students and prospective students are encouraged to investigate these sources of financial aid. The seminary will assist, if required, in processing applications. 

Here are some possible options: 

UNITED METHODIST STUDENTS

Ministerial Education Fund is for the preparation and education of clergy leadership for the United Methodist Church, Ministerial Education Fund was created to help offer funding to candidates for ordination who are pursuing a Masters level theological degree.

Here is information on the following conferences:

ARKANSAS CONFERENCE

Student must contact Arkansas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to find out requirements for MEF and to complete student application form.

Contact: Nancy Meredith, 501.324.8033 or arumc.org

MEMPHIS CONFERENCE

Student must contact Memphis Conference, Rev. Nancy Varden approves requests for students. You must apply and adhere to the requirements of the conference to receive funds. There is no document required to go to the seminary from this conference.

Contact: Rev. Nancy Varden, nancyvarden@gmail.com

MISSISSIPPI CONFERENCE

Student must contact Mississippi Conference for more information about MEF Funds. This particular MEF is a service loan. A student form must be completed and turned into the Financial Aid Director to verify registration.

Contact: Dorothy Ellis, dellis@mississippi-umc.org

CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN STUDENTS

Cumberland Presbyterian Service Loans | 60% Tuition Reduction 

Cumberland Presbyterian students may apply for financial assistance in the form of service loans. The note for the service loan contains a stipulation which calls for cancellation of the note after a period of service in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church as set forth in the service loan agreement. An exit interview with the Director of Financial Aid is required prior to graduation. Follow-up monitoring will be conducted following graduation on an annual basis in order to ascertain that recipients are fulfilling their service loan obligations. Students must submit a letter showing they are under the care of a Presbytery. 

Randal (Randy) Leslie Endowment | Varies (for cost of books and incidentals); Fall Semester ONLY 

Award for CP and CPCA students in the Master of Divinity degree program who are taking a minimum 6 semester hours, and is intended to help with the cost of books and other incidentals. No application is required. 

DISCIPLES OF CHRIST STUDENTS

Davis-Wolf Scholarship | Varies 

Award for Disciples of Christ students seeking a Master of Divinity degree and are under the care of the Tennessee Regional Commission on Ministry. Members of the former Faith Christian Church arrange a luncheon each November for recipients of the scholarship.  No application is required. Must turn in to the Office of Financial Aid a letter from TN Regional Commission on Ministry to verify denominational status. 

DOCTOR OF MINISTRY SCHOLARSHIPS

Rev. Dr. Loyce Estes Endowment | $500 ($250 for Fall semester and $250 for Spring semester) 

The Estes Scholar is a Doctor of Ministry student who has been a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for a minimum of 10 consecutive years.  Additionally, the student must demonstrate a strong commitment to the life and mission of the CP Church and have attended a graduate school judged by the selection committee to have a strong program in Presbyterian and Reformed Theology.  Student must acquire recommendation letters from the MTS President and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program.

It is necessary to report to the Office of Financial Aid any change in circumstances, including outside scholarship awards not considered in the offer of assistance. By law, the Office of Financial Aid must make adjustments to prevent or correct “over awards” that may result from the receipt of these outside sources of financial assistance.

SCHOLARSHIP POLICIES ARE REVIEWED ANNUALLY AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE FROM YEAR TO YEAR. MTS POLICY MAY PROHIBIT ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS TO EXCEED THE COST OF TUITION. MTS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO USE OUTSIDE SOURCES OF SCHOLARSHIPS IN DETERMINING IF ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS EXCEED THE COST OF TUITION. SCHOLARSHIPS WILL BE GIVEN AS FUNDS ARE MADE AVAILABLE.

ADMISSIONS DEPARTMENT

We appreciate your interest in Memphis Theological Seminary.  The MTS admissions staff is committed to supporting you in your theological journey.  We are here to help you while you are discerning your call, considering degree and certificate options, and supporting you as you do ministry in the real world.  At MTS we are committed to educating and sustaining men and women for ordained and lay ministry in the church and the world through shaping and inspiring lives devoted to scholarship, piety, and justice. Please don’t hesitate to ask how we can assist you along in your journey.

Rev. Felecia LaVant

Rev. Felecia LaVant

Admissions Associate

Felecia completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Fisk University in 1982, and MDiv at Memphis Theological Seminary in 2014. She serves as an Associate Minister and the Director of Christian Education at Central Baptist Church, Inc. Felecia also volunteers with Manna House, a place of hospitality in the Catholic Worker Tradition. She is the proud mother of two adult daughters, Andraea and Alexandria. Contact Felecia: frlavant@MemphisSeminary.edu 901-334-5804
Rev. Byron Forester

Rev. Byron Forester

Admissions Associate

Byron is a graduate of Bethel University (1974) and of Memphis Theological Seminary (2007). He serves as pastor of Hopewell Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Benton Co. MS and as Coordinator of Ministries for West Tennessee Presbytery. He participates and serves in several ministries to people who are unsheltered. Byron and his wife, Michelle Brown have three daughters. They live five blocks from MTS. Contact Byron: bforester@memphisseminary.edu 901-334-5841