posted June 9, 2010

Hope Students Receive Undergraduate Fellowships to Explore Ministry

Hope College juniors Andrew J. Peterson of Orange City, Iowa and Jordan K. Walters of Austin, Tex. have been selected to receive a 2010 Fund for Theological Education (FTE) Undergraduate Fellowship, which recognizes students who have gifts for leadership and are exploring ministry as a vocation.

As FTE Undergraduate Fellows, Peterson and Walters will each receive $2,000 for tuition, other educational expenses or a self-designed experience related to ministry. They will also attend the 2010 FTE Leaders in Ministry Conference at Boston University School of Theology.

The Reverend Trygve D. Johnson, Dean of the Chapel, nominated Peterson for the fellowship award, while Dr. Mark Husbands, Leonard and Marjorie Maas Associate Professor of Reformed Theology, nominated Walters. The 2010 FTE Undergraduate Fellowship is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

FTE Undergraduate Fellows are selected by a national committee of theological educators and church leaders. Students must be nominated by a professor, school administrator, pastor or campus minister; hold a minimum 3.0 grade point average; have an interest in pastoral ministry and demonstrate leadership in a church or school community. FTE awards the fellowships to help ensure quality leadership and inclusive excellence in pastoral ministry. Fewer than seven percent of clergy in most denominations today are under age 35, and interest among seminary students in congregational ministry has declined in recent years, underscoring the need for leadership development among students from diverse backgrounds.

"These exceptional students see ministry as a compelling path to serve others, to renew the church and to create change in the world," said Kim Hearn, director of FTE Ministry Fellowships. "They bring intellect and compassion to community challenges of every type - spiritual, educational, social and economic."

FTE supports the next generation of leaders among pastors and scholars, annually awarding $1.5 million in fellowships and offering a network of support to gifted young people from all denominations and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Since 1954, FTE has awarded more than 6,000 fellowships; its alumni serve congregations, schools and communities around the world. For more information, visit www.fteleaders.org.