Hope College senior Daniel Hinz of LaGrange, Ill., has been named a 2002 "Undergraduate Fellow" by the Fund for Theological Education (FTE).

Hinz was one of only 70 students nationwide to receive fellowships through FTE's "Partnership for Excellence Program." FTE awards the fellowships to college students who demonstrate superior academic achievement and exceptional promise for ministry, with the aims of introducing them to theological education and encouraging their vocational discernment.

The recognition includes a $1,500 award for educational expenses or for a special project to explore ministry, and the option of applying for an additional $500 stipend for a mentoring project for investigating ministry further. In addition, all of the 2002 Fellows attended the 2002 Summer Conference on Excellence in Ministry, "The Pastoral Imagination," held on Thursday-Sunday, June 20-23, at St. John's University School of Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, Minn.

Melissa Wiginton, director of the Partnership for Excellence Program, feels that the conference-stipend combination provides an essential engagement with theology and ministry for young people exploring their interest in the area.

"This fellowship offers a gift of relationships, time and money with which a young person can attend to and foster the pastoral imagination she or he already possesses," she said. "It enables him or her to be a steward of God's mysteries, perhaps nurturing them as gifts for ministry in God's church."

Established in 1954, the Fund for Theological Education seeks to attract the best and brightest students to the practices of ministry and theological teaching and scholarship. Through the years, the fund has awarded some 5,000 fellowships.

Hinz is a religion major at Hope. His activities have included the Campus Ministries Office's spring break mission trip program, Young Life, the Cosmopolitan Fraternity, and the traditional Pull tug-of-war between members of the freshman and sophomore classes.

He is the son of Richard and Deborah Hinz of LaGrange. He is a 1999 graduate of Lyons Township High School in LaGrange.