The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) opened grant applications for initiatives and programming designed to recruit, train and retain ethnically diverse United Methodists in leadership positions in every level of the church and its ministries. The Ethnic In-Service Training Grant (EIST) awards up to $10,000 for innovative minority training programs; the application is open now through March 1, 2017.
The EIST grant is open to local churches and organizations associated with The United Methodist Church. Minority-focused partnerships and collaborative efforts within campus ministry, chaplaincy and institutions of higher education are encouraged to apply. Creative programs in ministry settings like children and retirement homes, camping and retreat centers and hospitals will also be considered for the grant.
The grant is funded from the World Communion Special Sunday, observed on the first Sunday in October, or any day designated by local churches. World Communion Sunday is one of the six church-wide Special Sundays. The offering also provides graduate scholarships for domestic and international students and undergraduate scholarships for racial-ethnic students within the U.S.
“The Ethnic In-Service Training Grant is a wonderful opportunity to gain the financial support to ensure success in our service to the recognized minorities in the church,” said Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, assistant general secretary of the Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns at GBHEM. “Supporting minority-focused initiatives supports the diversity of our church, which, in turn, enriches our lives and our service. These grants give the denomination the opportunity and capacity to significantly impact our neighbors and the world through meaningful outreach projects – for that we are grateful.”
Proposals will be reviewed and selected in April by the GBHEM Board of Directors. Funding will be disbursed by May 15, 2017. To be considered, applicants must complete the EIST grant application and provide all supporting documentation by March 1, 2017.