Through the Kern Scholars Program, a limited number of generous scholarships are awarded to new Master of Divinity students committed to lifelong service in pastoral ministry or church planting. Kern Scholars graduates will eventually become preaching and teaching pastors with pulpit responsibilities. When selected to be a Kern Scholar, these students join a learning community in which students progress together towards achieving their academic and ministry goals.
In order to qualify for the Kern Scholars Program, applicants must meet the following criteria
Prior to enrollment:
- Acceptance into the Master of Divinity program
- U.S. citizen
- 27 years of age or younger in the year in which the student enrolls in seminary
- Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university
- Participate in Kern Scholars activities that promote learning in community
- Complete the Master of Divinity degree in four years
- Serve in full-time pastoral or church planting ministry following graduation
- Commit to not incur educational debt while enrolled in the Master of Divinity program
Once accepted as a Kern Scholar, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA throughout the course of the program. Additionally, Kern Scholars will submit to the Kern Family Foundation an annual, signed reaffirmation of commitment to pastoral ministry. Although Kern Scholars intend to eventually become senior preaching and teaching pastors with pulpit responsibilities, many Scholars begin as youth or associate pastors and later move into senior pastoral positions.
Kern Scholars Application
- Complete the full Application for Admission to the Master of Divinity program
- Applicant Information Form
- Applicant Profile
- Statement from Applicant's Spouse (if applicable)
- Ministry Leader References (2)
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Interview with Kern Scholars Program Team
Admission to the Fall 2013 Cohort is now closed. The application priority due date for the Fall 2014 Cohort is March 31, 2014.
Click here for an outline of the courses a Kern Scholars student would take to complete the M.Div. degree. If students have already taken Greek, they may take an Advanced Standing exam to test out of Greek I & II at GRTS. Click here for an outline of the courses a Kern Scholars student would need to take to complete the M.Div. degree with Advanced Standing credit for Greek I & II.
Kern Scholars Program Director
Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
About the Kern Family Foundation
Drs. Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern, founders of the Kern Family Foundation, created the Pastoral Ministry Program to assist in developing exceptional pastors to lead local churches in the United States. The Kerns believe that healthy churches led by capable, committed pastors transform the moral fabric of our society in unique and positive ways. For this reason the Kerns have also established the Kern Scholars Program, a scholarship initiative in which Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is a key participant.