Ministerial Education Fund
The Ministerial Education Fund (MEF) is one of the apportioned funds of the United Methodist Church. MEF provides financial support for the education of:
- Certified candidates for ordained ministry:
- Seminary students:
- Local licensed pastors;
- Associate members;
- Provisional members;
- Elders; and
- Diaconal ministers in our Conference.
The New York Annual Conference (NYAC) receives money for the MEF through apportionments (Ministerial Education). From the total amount received from our Conference churches, 75% is remitted to the General Conference on Finance and Administration to distribute to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).
The New York Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is responsible for the 25% which remains in the conference. Within the NYAC Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) there is a MEF Committee who reviews all applications, grants or denies the request, maintains records of applications, and receives a report from applicant upon completion of request. In addition this committee tracks the income to these funds. The funds are fluid depending on the strength of the individual church submission of apportionment payments.
Funds are available in three categories (see below). Applications are required for each of these resources.
Seminary Scholarships are granted as a loan which is automatically forgiven after three years of full time appointed ministry in New York Conference. If the individual leaves the New York Conference before the three years, funds needing to be returned will be prorated based on the amount of time completed.
To qualify for funding, a seminary student must be a certified candidate for ministry. Full time students who are certified candidates can receive up to $3,000 per semester. There is a cap of $18,000. Part time students who are taking 8 credits or less per semester can receive $250 per credit up to $2,000 per semester with a cap of $12,000.
A new application is required for each request with stated deadlines for submission. If an application is incomplete it will be returned.
Local Pastor’s Licensing School and Course of Study Grants
The Local Pastor Licensing School (LPLS) is required for those desiring to become local pastors or ordained clergy in the New York Annual Conference. The school is offered one weekend a month over 4 months usually beginning in September. Go here to download the LPLS application.
Most of the New York Conference Local Clergy who attend Course of Study do it during the summer. Others attend the weekend program. The Course of Study (COS) is a five-year program for those on track to become full - or part-time local pastors. Funds are provided at 40% of cost. Go here to download a Course of Study Grant application.
MEF funds are available for currently serving licensed, commissioned, consecrated and ordained members of the New York Conference to assist with Continuing Education. These funds would be used in partnership with the individual’s own funds, local church/parish funds and other funding sources.
Expenses that qualify for Continuing Education funds are quite broad; classes, trips, retreats, conferences, seminars, and other continuing education activities. A reminder that the awarded program funds must be directly applicable to the ministry setting. Funds are not paid for travel expenses, meals and lodging except when they are included in the cost of the training.
An application for Continuing Education funds must be made 30 days prior to the event. Any application received less than 30 days must include a written reason as to why it is late. No requests will be accepted after an event. Go here to download the current MEF Guidelines and Application for completion. Please read carefully and answer all questions. If an application is incomplete it will be returned.
Submitting Your Application
Applicants should be aware of the status of apportionment payments of their church. Go here to download the current MEF Guidelines and Application for completion. Completed applications should be emailed to MEF Committee Chair Rev. Lori Miller, who is also available to provide additional information and answer questions about the MEF via email.
Please go here to download and read about changes to the MEF, provided to ensure the proper submission of your application for these funds.
Please read carefully all of the details relating to these funds as requirements have been revised and updated as of January 2020 and the application has been updated in October 2021.