UMC Scholarship Recipients Named



Twenty-two students from Western PA United Methodist congregations have been awarded a total of $23,000 in college or seminary scholarships for the 2015 school year from the UMC’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministries (GBHEM).

They are among 2,200 students in the denomination who received a total of $4.5 million in financial assistance this year thanks in part to congregational support for United Methodist Student Day (Nov. 29, 2015), World Communion Sunday, and Native American Ministries Sunday. Other funds for these awards come from gifts, annuities and endowments.

Recipients of $1000 Rev. Dr. Karen Layman Gift of Hope Scholarships are:

  • Becca Bowser of Trinity UMC in Brackenridge, who attends Slippery Rock University
  • Katelyn Hancock of Christ UMC in Bethel Park, attending Penn State's Behrend
  • Emmale Johnston of Harmony-Zelienople UMC, who attends Mount Union University
  • Bonny Miller of Christ UMC in Bethel Park, who attends Slippery Rock University
  • Dylan Parson of Slippery Rock UMC, attending Denison University
  • McKenna Phipps of Harrison City Community UMC, who attends Asbury College
  • Alexandra Polash of Calvary UMC in Windber, who attends the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
  • Jonathon Beranek for First UMC in Greenburg, who attends Grove City College
  • Lily Formosa of Ingomar UMC, who attends Juniata College
Recipients of $2000 Special Seminary Scholarships are:
  • Hannah Pratt of Harrisville UMC, who attends Wesley Theological Seminary
  • Anais Hussain of First UMC in Pittsburgh, who is a student at Claremont School of Theology
Other seminary scholarship recipients are:
  • Nicole Crouch of Christ Church in Erie, the John Q. Schisler Scholarship of $2500 to attend Wesley Theological Seminary
  • John Mize of First UMC in Blairsville, who received the $2000 E. Criag Brandenburg cholarship and attend United Theological Seminary
Four Allegheny College students received $1500 Elvina Jane Owens Scholarships:  
  • Jeannie Choi of Bentleyville UMC 
  • Stormie Hockenberry of Harmony-Zelienople UMC
  • Laura McClain of Jefferson UMC
  • Kristi Sestak of Grace UMC in Grove City.
Receiving United Methodist General Scholarships of $1,000 or $800 are:
  • Adam Dotts of Coalport First UMC, a student at United Theological Seminary
  • Joel Peterson of Trinity UMC in Ridgeway, a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • Jillian Schweigert of Black Lick UMC, who attends Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Receiving the Baxter Roelfson Sands Scholarship of $1000 was Tiffany Choi of Houston UMC, a student at Allegheny College.

Receiving the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference Merit Award was Shaun Phillips of Irwin First UMC.

Students who are members of The United Methodist Church may apply for a Fall 2016 GBHEM scholarship online between January 4, 2016 – March 1, 2016 at Student loans are also available at interest rates as low as 3.75 percent (lower than federal educational loan rates) with a credit worthy co-signer.  Learn more about UMC scholarships and loans at


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