2020 selection complete, 85 candidates awarded LWF scholarships
A ‘commitment to develop knowledge and skills and promote our shared values’
(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has completed its 2020 scholarship approval process, with 85 new candidates from the communion’s member churches set to pursue degree and diploma courses in theology and different areas of diaconal work in 2021.
The new LWF scholarship holders were selected from a total of 150 applicants from 49 LWF member churches in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Central Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Scholarships for studies related to the church’s diaconal and development work had the highest number of candidates, representing 57 percent of the approved applications. Theological study for undergraduate, masters or doctorate degrees accounted for 43 percent of the scholarships.
While the fields of education and health remain popular, there is an increasing interest for expertise in human rights, gender justice, environmental care and food security, says Rev. Katariina Kiilunen, LWF program executive for Capacity Building and Leadership Development.
Kiilunen refers to the objectives that applicants and endorsing churches cite for the courses they propose. “It is encouraging to see not only the commitment by churches to develop knowledge and skills but also the enthusiasm to promote our shared values such as dignity and justice and inclusion and participation, which help to create a sustainable world,” she says.
It is encouraging to see not only the commitment by churches to develop knowledge and skills but also the enthusiasm to promote our shared values such as dignity and justice, and inclusion and participation.
The total budget allocated for the study programs is EUR 705,950. The 43 diaconal scholarships will take up EUR 349,500 and EUR 356,450 will go toward 42 candidates who will study theology. Funding comes from LWF partners Bread for the World (Brot für die Welt) and the German National Committee of the LWF.
LWF’s criteria for granting scholarships includes five requirements, key among which is a clear indication why the church needs the proposed training and how the candidate would serve the church afterwards in an area related to the field of study. At least 40 percent of the approved candidates are female and 20 percent are below the age of 30 in line with LWF’s gender and youth quota. The LWF Scholarship Committee also considers the location of study, preferring the more cost-effective programs in home countries or regions. A balanced representation of all the regions is also ensured.
Last year’s applications were the first to be screened under the new online application system aimed at streamlining the process.