The Fund for Theological Education

FTE is a leading ecumenical advocate for excellence and diversity in Christian ministry and theological scholarship. Our work supports the next generation of leaders among pastors and scholars. We provide fellowships and a network of support to gifted young people from all denominations and racial/ethnic backgrounds—encouraging those with gifts for leadership to consider vocations in ministry and teaching and nurturing them in their exploration and study.

We also help congregations and denominations find ways to nurture young men and women for ministry and teaching. The goal? To strengthen Christian ministry by strengthening the quality of its leadership.

The Fund was created in 1954, when leading educators, clergy and philanthropists joined together out of concern that the quality of those entering the ministry had declined and that the best and brightest students were choosing other careers. They believed this trend could lead to a crisis of leadership that would impact congregations and denominations across North America—and they set out to do something about it.
Over the past 50 years, FTE has awarded nearly 6,000 fellowships: recipients include some of today’s leading pastors, scholars and teachers, serving churches, theological schools and communities nationwide.

Hispanic Theological Initiative

In 2007 Drew Theological School joined the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium (HTIC), a consortium comprised of 18 Ph.D.-granting institutions seeking to support and advance the work of Latina/o scholars in order to address the needfor more representation of Latina/o students and faculty in higher theological education.  HTIC’s mission and purpose revolve around four major goals:

  1. To help identify and prepare highly trained educators and leaders who can articulate, model, and help teach values and ideas that will inform and make an impact in Latina/o faith communities and communities in general.
  2. To increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Latina/o Ph.D. students across the nation by uniting an leveraging institutional resources (human, financial, and infrastructural).
  3. To increase the presence of Latina/o faculty–especially tenured faculty–in seminaries, schools of theology, and universities.
  4. To provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices to address the needs of Latina/o faculty and students in theological and religious education.

Drew Theological School supports the mentoring and networking costs for HTIC scholars. Additionally, Drew Theological School recognizes that pooling resources and building communities are essential elements for securing a stronger and more diverse scholarly theological body.  Any Latino/a-Hispanic student who would like to apply for an HTI scholarship should submit to the Chair of the GDR a letter of application of approximately 600 words explaining how his or her scholarship relates to issues affecting Latino/a-Hispanics and/or articulates a Latino-a/Hispanic perspective.  This is in keeping with the above-stated mission of HTIC “to help identify and prepare highly trained educators and leaders who can articulate, model, and help teach values and ideas that will inform and make an impact in our Latino faith communities and communities in general.”  Applications will be reviewed by a faculty subcommittee.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Scholarship and Mentorship Program for Religious and Theological Studies

Beginning in 2010, HRC launched an annual seminary scholarship and mentorship program to nurture and promote promising religious scholars and theologians interested in LGBT studies. Working in partnership with participating seminaries, schools of divinity and universities we help build welcoming learning environments where intellectually and spiritually groundbreaking work at the intersections of religious studies, sexuality, gender identity and justice work can flourish.

By bringing financial resources, scholarly networks and mentorship opportunities to the next generation of LGBTQ and allied scholars, this project helps a new generation of scholars of religion and theologians promote and develop how LGBT issues and religion are discussed in seminaries and schools of religion. And, by extension, they will help recast the conversation about LGBT and religion in our congregations and communities.