The Fund for Theological Education (FTE) offers Ministry and Doctoral Fellowships for students at the undergraduate, Master’s or doctoral level who are preparing for pastoral ministry or teaching. One of the larger fellowships, FTE’s Volunteers Exploring Vocation Fellowship, provides $10,000 to a Master’s student who volunteers for one year with one of Volunteer Exploring Vocation’s (VEV) partner organizations. FTE also offers a number of Doctoral and Dissertation Fellowships of $10 – $20K for African-American and minority students.
FTE offers some fantastic tips for preparing your fellowship application, including tips for writing the personal statement. They say:
Well-written and focused personal statements present that students case for admission into a Ph.D. program. They should clearly state the applicant’s educational and vocational goals, describe prior academic training and practical experience as the background for doctoral study, and articulate how they see their own plans fitting with the specific degree program.
What this means in a nutshell is don’t be wishy-washy about your goals. If you’re unsure what you want to do in your career long-term, that’s ok. But for the purpose of preparing a successful fellowship application, pick one potential path and speak about that path with confidence, and be sure to note how the fellowship will help you get there. Good luck!