Financial Assistance

1.  Seminary Students

Through the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF) and other generous gifts, financial assistance is available for persons who are pursuing licensing or ordination.  This fund is available to any certified candidate for ministry from the Florida Conference who is attending an approved seminary.

Grants may be awarded for up to $600 per course each semester, with no maximum number of courses. This includes Spring, Summer, Fall, and J Terms.

It is hoped that those receiving these funds will serve in the Florida Conference.  If, for some reason, a person does not serve in the Florida Conference, or a conference in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, financial repayment may be required. 

*NEW* Application Due Dates: 

  • Fall: September 1
  • Spring: February 1
  • Summer: June 1

Failure to apply on time may result in your request for funds being denied. 

*Form works best on a computer, not a tablet.*

MEF Application Form for seminary students


2. Local Pastors - Course of Study 

Through the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF), licensed local pastors receive assistance with the cost of the Course of Study program. We pay $300 per COS course ($400 for ACOS) for each class in which the person is enrolled. This is reimbursed to the student upon submitting receipts to the Office of Clergy Excellence.


3.  Continuing Education

Ministerial Education Funds are also available for continuing education purposes for clergy who are members in full connection or associate members of the Florida Conference.  Each eligible clergy may request up to $750 a quadrennium.  These funds are administered as long as funds are available in a current calendar year.

Continuing Education Application Form


4.  Passing the Torch Fund

2020 Passing the Torch Fund: Renewal Leave Grant Application​
2020 Passing the Torch Fund: Student of Color and Culture Seminary Scholarship Application

The Passing the Torch Fund is a Florida Conference grant program begun in 2015 to provide training, financial assistance and leadership development support for conference clergy and those preparing for ordained ministry in the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.

It is administered by the Office of Clergy Excellence and funded by the Florida United Methodist Foundation and conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits. Funding is currently committed through 2020.

During each annual conference session, individuals ordained deacon or elder in full connection will receive $5,000 from this fund to help alleviate educational debt. Additional funds will supplement the Ministerial Education Fund assistance provided to clergy and cooperative grant efforts with Clergy Excellence.

Grants from the fund will also provide:

  • Financial assistance to help Florida Conference clergy in Full Connection take renewal leave, and 
  • A seminary scholarship to a qualified student of color and culture who is planning to enter United Methodist ministry.

Both the grant for renewal leave and scholarship are competitive grants. Applications for both are being accepted until May 31, 2020.


5.  McKeefery Seminary Scholarship Fund

Given by Dr. Ruth M. McKeefery, to honor her husband, Dr. William James McKeefery, and children, Dr. Virginia L. McKeefery-Reynolds, Carol A. McKeefery Banga, and W. James McKeefery.

CLICK HERE if you applying for scholarship for the first time.

CLICK HERE if you are reapplying for the scholarship.


Income from the McKeefery Scholarship Fund is to be distributed using the following criteria:

•       Individual is a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church or another United Methodist Church in the Florida Annual Conference.

•       Individual is accepted to attend or currently attending a Seminary.

•       Individual is planning to be ordained as Deacon, Elder or Seminary Certification in the United Methodist Church.

•       Individual demonstrates a personal faith and commitment to full-time Christian service.

•       Individual has actively participated in ministries of the church, and served as a volunteer in the community.

•       The Scholarship award will be used to pay for tuition, fees and books, and will be paid directly to the Seminary in the recipient’s name.

•       The minimum Scholarship award will be $1,000 to each person approved by the award committee.


The McKeefery Scholarship Fund Committee will be composed of no fewer than three persons appointed by St. Luke’s Lay Leadership Committee.  Each committee member will be a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, serve for a term of three-years and may serve another three-year term. 

•       The committee will announce the availability of the scholarship to the church congregation in January.

•       The committee will approve the scholarship application form, determine the application deadline date, and distribute the form.

•       The committee will review the applications, select the recipients and determine the amount of the award.

•       Each award will be for one academic year, commencing with a Fall Term.

•       Students may receive annual awards for four years if enrolled in Seminary.

•       The Seminary Scholarship Fund Committee chairperson will be notified by St. Luke’s Endowment Committee, or St, Luke’s Finance Officer of the total funds available for distribution each year.

•       The Seminary Scholarship Fund Committee chairperson will notify St. Luke’s finance office with the names of the individuals to receive the award(s).

•       The Seminary Scholarship Fund Committee will send a personal letter of their action to the award recipient(s) and other applicants.

•       The minimum scholarship award will be $1,000 to each award recipient.


The McKeefery Seminary Scholarship Committee must receive completed application with all attachments, requested letter and official undergraduate transcript by April 1. Applications can be mailed to the below address or emailed to

Letters of award decisions will be mailed by May 1.

ORLANDO, FL  32819
PHONE: 407-876-4991

Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011