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Merit Awards

PSR offers a limited number of merit awards to select entering master’s-level applicants regardless of financial need on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and exceptional promise for leadership and/or ministry. President’s Awards cover 100% of tuition costs, and Dean’s Awards cover 75% of tuition costs.


All accepted students entering in summer or fall who have submitted all application materials (including all transcripts, reference letters, application fee, personal or academic statement, resume, and GRE or TOEFL scores if applicable) by the February 1 priority deadline are considered for a select number of merit awards based on their admissions applications. (Applicants may, if they wish, submit additional materials that support their candidacy for these awards. MA applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a writing sample.) Recipients of these awards must be enrolled at least half-time.


Merit Scholars and Academic Progress
1. In order to retain a merit award, merit scholars must continue to make satisfactory academic progress.

2. If a merit scholar fails to make satisfactory academic progress and is placed on probation, they will receive a letter, warning that merit scholarship funds will be forfeited should the student remain on probation a second semester.

3. If a student continues on probation for a second semester, they will lose their merit scholarship. They may, however, be considered for need-based scholarships.

4. Merit scholarships are only available to students up to the minimum amount of attempted credits needed to graduate from their program. For example, a student in the Master of Divinity program needs to complete a minimum of 81 credits in order to complete their program. If the MDiv student drops a course and receives a grade of “W” or fails the course, this course will count against the student’s attempted credits because the student received a merit award for a course that was not completed, and the student will not be eligible to receive their merit award for this course again in the future.

5. Conditions for the merit award will be detailed in the original merit award letter. Additionally, merit scholars will be required to file a financial aid form each year.

Need-based Scholarships

Each year Pacific School of Religion distributes scholarships to qualified students with financial need. Students are eligible for a percentage of tuition, based on demonstrated financial need and availability of funds. International students are eligible for these scholarships. These scholarships are not available for DMin students.

Scholarships are available to eligible students who are enrolled at least half time (4.5 credits for MDiv, MTS, MAST, CAPS, CSS, CSSC, and CST students; 6 credits for GTU Common MA students). The half-time requirement does not apply to CSR students.

PSR is committed to increasing the racial/ethnic diversity of its student body. In addition to any other aid that they may receive, students from racial/ethnic minority communities are also awarded special scholarships. Recipients of these scholarships must be enrolled at least half-time.

Denominational Partner Scholarships

Check out these scholarship opportunities from our Denominational partners: The United Methodist Church, The United Church of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)!

We strongly encourage you to research these scholarships further to learn more and to find the most up-to-date information.

United Methodist Church Scholarships:

UMC Scholarship Portal

Here is a listing online where United Methodist students may peruse the denominational scholarships offered each given year. Applications for Fall UMC scholarships are made available on January 3, and applications close on March 1.

Ministry as a Career Scholarships

The UMC offers many different scholarship to seminarians pursuing United Methodist ordination as a career path.

Georgia Harkness Scholarship Award

The Georgia Harkness Scholarship Award is provided to encourage women over 35 to prepare for ordained ministry as an elder in the United Methodist Church as a second career.

Jeanne Audrey Powers Leadership for Change Scholarship

Leadership for Change- The Jeanne Audrey Powers Leadership for Change Scholarship is an innovative program for United Methodist seminarians studying at any one of the thirteen United Methodist seminaries in the United States or at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.

The Leadership for Change Scholarship provides assistance of up to $3,000 per year to students who are preparing for ordination as elders in the UMC and who are committed to promoting justice for gay and lesbian persons in the life of the UMC. Scholarships may be renewed for a maximum award period of three years.

Jeanne Audrey Powers“When the UMC changes its attitude about sexual orientation, I want to see pastors who are prepared to teach about this and other social justice issues informed by theology, ethics and scripture itself.”

Rev. Powers, one of the first women ordained in the UMC (1958), has long been engaged in national and international work in the Church. She was associate general secretary of the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns from 1972 to 1996. In her retirement she continues to be an advocate for ecumenism and inclusiveness in the life of the Church.

The application deadline for the Leadership for Change Scholarship is April 15th of each year. Click here to learn more

United Church of Christ Scholarships:

UCC Scholarship Portal

Here is a listing online where United Methodist students may peruse the denominational scholarships offered each given year. Applications for Fall UCC scholarships are made available on December 1 of the prior year and applications close on March 1.

The Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships

The Helen and Richard Brown Endowment for Pastoral Scholarships derives from a generous gift received in the 1990s, designated to support pastoral ministry in the United Church of Christ. Since its inception, the gift of $5 million has provided over $250,000 annually to UCC Conferences, seminaries and global partners, providing individual scholarships for seminarians and sponsorships for continuing education events

Adrienne M. and Charles Shelby Rooks Scholarsrhip Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Theological Students

The Rooks Fellowship was established to support the seminary education of members of the United Church of Christ from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in our church who are committed to serving the UCC and who are enrolled in a school of theology accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States. The Rooks Fellowship is available to members of the UCC who are African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American Indian or Pacific Islander. Grants are made to both full-time and part-time M.Div. students and may be renewed. Master of Divinity students are expected to be a Member in Discernment.


Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Scholarships:

Disciples Home Mission

Disciples Home Mission offers several different scholarships to qualified students affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). More details on these scholarships can be found here.

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

Since the its founding in 1961, the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund has awarded well over 1,200 scholarships to students who represent the spirit and commitment to the movement for peace and justice.

The fund provides need-based grants to students who are able to do academic work at the college level or are enrolled in a trade or technical program and are actively working for peace and justice. Davis-Putter scholars are both graduate and undergraduate students and must be living in the U. S. and planning to enroll in an accredited school. Grantees must receive college credits for the time period covered by their grant. Early recipients fought for civil rights, against McCarthyism, and for peace in Vietnam. More recently, grantees have been active in the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression; building the movement for economic justice; and creating peace through international, anti-imperialist solidarity.

Application deadline: Applications are made available each January and are typically due in April of each year.

Scholarships From Outside Organizations

Check out these scholarship opportunities from other organizations!

We strongly encourage you to research these scholarships further to learn more and to find the most up-to-date information.


The Reverend J.K. Fukushima Memorial Scholarship

The Board of Trustees of the Montebello Plymouth Congregational Church is accepting applications for the Reverend Joseph K. Fukushima Memorial Scholarship until May 31, 2018. Download the Fukushima Memorial Scholarship application. All students who are enrolled at or have been accepted to an accredited theological school are eligible, and students with a commitment to the Asian-American Community are especially encouraged to apply.


Scholarship Databases

LGBTQ Scholarship Database (via has a comprehensive listing of scholarships and grants for students who identify as LGBTQ, many of which PSR students can be eligible for.

Graduate Theological Union Scholarship Database

Whether you are seeking funds to offset the cost of tuition, support research interests, or subsidize your dissertation year, the GTU scholarship database is a great place to begin your search. There are nearly 500 different scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loan opportunities listed on this scholarship database.

The Forum for Theological Exploration’s FundFinder

The Forum for Theological Exploration’s (FTE’s) FundFinder provides information about financial resources beyond those offered by FTE and by individual theological institutions. Sources of financial assistance in FundFinder can be searched by keyword and by specific categories. FundFinder is a full listing of financial aid available for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral studies in theology and religion. Here you can find support offered by churches, denominations, individuals, and organizations.

Hawai’i Community Foundation Scholarships

Students that are residents of the state of Hawai’i are encouraged to peruse the various scholarships available to the, through the Hawai’i Community Foundation. In particular, the Juliette M. Atherton scholarships are made available to seminary students. Applications are typically made available each December, and applications are typically due in mid-to-late February.