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The Kern Scholars Initiative awards scholarships to evangelical men and women committed to lifelong service in pastoral ministry.

What's the Kern Scholarship?

Kern Scholars receive 90-100% tuition coverage for the duration of their time at seminary. Funding comes from 3 sources:

  • Kern Family Foundation. The Kern Family Foundation grant will cover 40% of a Kern Scholar's tuition over the 4 years of your program.
  • Bethel Seminary. Bethel Seminary will also provide 30% of annual tuition to all Kern Scholars.
  • Sponsorship of a Local Congregation. Candidates will be required to secure funding from a church that will support their education by contributing 20-30% of tuition each year the candidate is a Kern Scholar.

Who should apply?

To receive a Kern Scholarship, you must meet these criteria:

  • Age 27 or under at time of application
  • U.S. citizen
  • 3.25 GPA from an accredited undergraduate institution and maintenance of a minimum of 3.25 GPA in seminary
  • Attend Bethel Seminary St. Paul as a full-time, residential M.Div. student and plan to graduate in 4 years
  • Commit to entering full-time, lifelong pastoral ministry in the U.S. after graduation with the intention of becoming a senior preaching and teaching pastor with pulpit responsibilities (Most start out as youth or associate pastors or church planters; however, students who expect to remain youth pastors or to become pastoral counselors, chaplains, children's pastors, music ministers, or worship pastors do not qualify).

Why be a Kern Scholar?

Besides the financial benefits, you'll receive additional services and support to ensure your Bethel experience prepares you well for your pastoral call.

  • Preaching training - church-based preaching practicum and annual preaching competition
  • Academic support - annual check-in with an academic advisor or the seminary dean
  • Emotional and relational support - annual check-in with the director of student development and support
  • Professional and vocational guidance - annual check-in with the director of formation and supervised ministry
  • Counseling - licensed counselors on staff as needed
  • Marriage fortification - six sessions with a resident marriage and family therapist for Kern Scholars who are married to talk through the marital and family stresses they likely will encounter during their ministry
  • Community building - regular events planned just for Kern Scholars

How to Apply

If you think you're an ideal candidate for the Kern Scholarship, then we encourage you to apply.

After you complete these steps, our committee will review your application. If you're a finalist, we'll invite you to campus for a final, in-person interview. Contact our admissions team if you have questions or if you're traveling from a distance for your interview.

Deadlines to Apply

  • March 20:
    • All application materials for Bethel Seminary St. Paul Master of Divinity Program
    • Kern Nominator Form and Kern Application

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