Young Clergy Debt Assistance Program 2020

As many of you know, the Young Clergy Debt Assistance Program was created by the late Bishop Martin D. McLee in response to his dream and profound desire to provide financial support to clergy age 40 years or younger serving in the New York Annual Conference.

This fund, to which many have already generously contributed, is intended, in some small way, to help relieve the burden of accumulated educational debt.

I am pleased to announce that applications to the Young Clergy Debt Assistance Program are now being received for this year.

To be eligible for a grant, the requirements noted below must be met:

  1. Clergy must be forty-years-old or younger and appointed as a licensed local pastor, ordained or in the process of becoming an ordained deacon or elder in the United Methodist Church. All applicants must be under appointment or beginning an appointment in the New York Annual Conference and agree to provide five years of service for receiving this grant.
  2. Grants will be awarded based on current and active academic debt.
  3. The expectation is that clergy participating in this program will develop his or her own long- term financial plan, using the resources of the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits. In addition, the expectation is that clergy work with Sally Truglia, our Human Resources and Benefits  Administrator, to locate programs on clergy financial planning and other resources such as: Ernst and Young Financial Advisory Services, the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan, IRA or college savings programs for dependent children, and websites such as,

These grants will be awarded on a one-time basis. However, clergy with excessive academic debt may reapply in succeeding years.

The application and guidelines for this program are found here: YCDAP application 2020.

The application deadline is November 6, 2020. All applications will be reviewed by the committee, but those received after the deadline will not be considered.  Applicants who qualify according to the guidelines will be contacted within 30-45 days after the application deadline.

My prayer is that in some small way this program can relieve some of the pressure placed upon committed servants of Christ so that they may be able to focus more time and energy to the calling God has placed on their lives. 
Peace & Joy,

Thomas J. Bickerton
Resident Bishop