The United Methodist Church is connectional in countless ways. One of those ways is the connectional nature of United Methodist higher education. At the Christmas Conference of 1784, Bishop Francis Asbury had a vision that Methodists could educate the masses, opening their minds and forging an educated and enlightened population of church and community leaders for generations to come. Bishop Asbury’s legacy lives on in the 21st Century through church agencies and over 120 United Methodist-related four year institutions of higher education.
Within the church are agencies such as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF), both of which offer opportunities for United Methodist students to earn scholarships toward higher education. These agencies offer programs of widely varying size and scope and focus on students from diverse backgrounds and situations. Both maintain an online presence and make the application process simple and streamlined. Visit www.gbhem.org and www.umhef.org for details.
Some of the funds offered are for students attending college anywhere, but many funds are for students attending United Methodist-related schools. The Western Pennsylvania Conference is fortunate to have relationships with UM-related schools like Allegheny College in Meadville and West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV. Plus, Western PA United Methodists are just a short drive away from a number of other UM-related schools throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and beyond.
It is not uncommon for UM-related schools to have institutional endowed scholarships for United Methodist students, and often those schools are very interested in maintaining a strong contingent of United Methodist students within the student body. If you or a family member are planning to attend one of the 120+ United Methodist-related institutions, make sure you make your presence known. Proudly mark “United Methodist” under the denomination field on your application. You never know what funding opportunities might present themselves!