Church communities have charitably created scholarships for students with strong religious convictions to afford secular or faith-based higher education.

The Pew Research Center reports that 84 percent of the world’s 6.9 million inhabitants identify with a religious group. In America, it’s reported that 42 percent of adults have switched religions since their childhood. College is an excellent time for young adults to mature their relationship to God, deepen their spirituality, and listen for their vocational calling.

Students may choose to attend top-ranked religious schools like Brigham Young, Emory, Pepperdine, Yeshiva, and Bethel, but most colleges have campus ministries. Whether your beliefs align with Christianity, Judaism, Buddhist, Islam, or Hinduism, religion can be one of the biggest backbones to a successful academic career. Congregants seeking a degree can begin searching for financial aid with these 25 great religion-based scholarships.

1. ARFORA Undergraduate Scholarship

Deadline: May 10th

Since 1994, the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America has offered the ARFORA Undergraduate Scholarship for $1,000 to religious women who have completed their freshman year of an accredited baccalaureate program. Qualified candidates must be communicant members of the Romanian Orthodox Church for 12+ months, actively participate in worship life, display strong moral character, and have scholastic merit. Don’t forget to attach a high-resolution photo, 300-word personal statement, and a Priest’s recommendation.

Contact

ARFORA Undergraduate Scholarship

2535 Grey Tower Road

Jackson, MI 49201

(517) 522-4800

scholarships@roea.org

Scholarship Link

2. Aziz Jamaluddin Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 1st

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) hosts the Aziz Jamaluddin Scholarship Program to present 10 one-time awards of $4,000 apiece to Muslim students who strive to communicate the true meaning of Islam in media careers. Declaring a major like journalism, broadcasting, digital media, communications, or political at accredited four-year U.S. institutions is required. Other Muslim American scholarships include the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Scholarship and Dr. Abdulmunium A. Shakir Scholarship.

Contact

Aziz Jamaluddin Scholarship Program

6555 S. County Road 750 E

Plainfield, IN 46168

(317) 839-8157

scholarships@isna.net

Scholarship Link

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3. Beta Sigma Psi Martin Luther Scholarships

Deadline: February 17th

Established in 1925 as the National Lutheran Fraternity, Beta Sigma Psi awards several Martin Luther Scholarships annually for $2,000 to college-age men who are dedicated to spiritual growth. Eligibility criteria includes being confirmed members of a Lutheran congregation, entering their first year at an accredited U.S. university, participating actively in Church activities, and writing a 500-word essay about what being a Christian gentleman means.

Contact

Beta Sigma Psi Martin Luther Scholarships

2408 Lebanon Avenue

Belleville, IL 62221

(618) 235-0014

grants@betasigmapsi.org

Scholarship Link

4. Beth E. Marcus Scholarship Fund

Deadline: April 15th

Named after the first female elected President of the General Synod, the Beth E. Marcus Scholarship Fund is managed by the Reformed Church in America to provide $500 to $1,000 religious awards. Interested RCA members must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree, pursue a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or related theological degree, sustain a cumulative GPA above 3.0, and show commitment to serving Christ in ministry. Preference is given to qualified women.

Contact

Beth E. Marcus Scholarship Fund

4500 60th Street SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49512

(616) 698-3943

women@rca.org

Scholarship Link

5. Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships

Deadline: April 1st

Future healthcare professionals with strong religious convictions could obtain the Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships, which were started by Bethany Hospital in 1958. Active Church members would receive $1,000 for LPN and $2,000 for RN or APRN training at CCNE or ACEN accredited nursing schools across the United States. Priority is given to nurses beginning the second year of an associate or third year of a baccalaureate degree.

Contact

Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships

1451 Dundee Avenue

Elgin, IL 60120

(847) 429-4313

rrowan@brethren.org

Scholarship Link

6. Daniel E. Weiss Fund for Excellence

Deadline: May 31st

Valued at $3,000, the Daniel E. Weiss Fund for Excellence is administered by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) to support seminary studies leading to a master’s degree in divinity, theology, Christian education, or similar vocations. Gifted college juniors or seniors must be Baptist disciplines of Christ, intend to attend ATS-accredited graduate schools, hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and possess ministry skills.

Contact

Daniel E. Weiss Fund for Excellence

588 N. Gulph Road

King of Prussia, PA 19406

(800) 222-3872 ext. 2394

Financialaid.Web@abc-usa.org

Scholarship Link

7. Diamonds in the Rough Ministry Scholarship

Deadline: March 25th

Each Spring, Diamonds in the Rough Ministry International empowers women from Texas who are discovering their self-worth in Jesus Christ. Offering $500 to $5,000, the merit-based program selects Christian high school seniors who will enter accredited U.S. colleges full-time with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Paper applications must include a transcript, minister’s recommendation letter, and signed, 500-word personal statement about God’s influence on their life.

Contact

Diamonds in the Rough Ministry Scholarship

4209 Samuell Blvd.

Dallas, TX 75228

(972) 288-0112

amoses@diamondsntherough.org

Scholarship Link

8. FEREP Graduate Scholarship Program

Deadline: February 12th

Through the Jewish Federations of North America, the Federation Executive Recruitment & Education Program (FEREP) provides the Graduate Scholarship for up to $40,000. Qualified U.S. and Canadian citizens must have earned an accredited bachelor’s degree, enter a master’s or PhD program, actively profess the Jewish faith, possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and agree to work at local JFNA Federations for two years post-graduation.

Contact

FEREP Graduate Scholarship Program

25 Broadway 17th Floor

New York, NY 10004

(212) 284-6500

FEREPScholarship@jewishfederations.org

Scholarship Link

9. Herbert W. and Corinne Chilstrom Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

The Herbert W. and Corinne Chilstrom Scholarship grants $600 to $1,000 yearly from the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to honor the first ELCA bishop. Eligible females must be U.S. citizens, have experienced an interruption in education for 5+ years, be entering their final year at ATS-accredited seminaries, prepare for ordained Lutheran ministry, and present endorsement from their synodical candidacy committee.

Contact

Herbert W. and Corinne Chilstrom Scholarship

8765 W. Higgins Road

Chicago, IL 60631

(800) 638-3522 ext. 2741

valora.starr@elca.org

Scholarship Link

10. Hindu Temple Educational Scholarships

Deadline: May 31st

Three scholarships for students with strong religious convictions in Hinduism are sponsored by the Hindu Temple in Canton, Michigan, for $1,000, $750, and $500 each year. Graduating high school seniors must plan to attend two- or four-year U.S. colleges full-time, be Temple members, attain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, and strive to positively contribute to society. The merit-based program requires a quality essay, volunteering record, official transcript, and two recommendations.

Contact

Hindu Temple Educational Scholarships

44955 Cherry Hill Road

Canton, MI 48188

(734) 981-8730

info@thehindutemple.org

Scholarship Link

11. Irene S. Wischer Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: March 3rd

Started in 2007 by Frost Bank, the Irene S. Wischer Foundation Scholarship honors the highly esteemed San Antonio philanthropist by providing up to $11,000 based on financial need. It’s intended for U.S. citizens who’ve resided in Texas for 12 consecutive months, been accepted at accredited colleges or vocational schools, achieved a minimum “B” average, and shown good moral character. Preference is given to Christians who regularly attend Church services.

Contact

Irene S. Wischer Foundation Scholarship

P.O. Box 1600

San Antonio, TX 78296

(877) 513-7678

Scholarship Link

12. Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships

Deadline: March 15th

For over five decades, the Italian Catholic Federation (ICF) has provided approximately $2 million in 6,000 scholarships for Roman Catholic students primarily hailing from California, Illinois, Arizona, and Nevada. Judges seek applicants who are graduating from public or Catholic high schools, gain admission at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions, have at least one parent or grandparent from Italy, complete charitable volunteer work, and excel academically with a 3.2 GPA or greater.

Contact

Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships

8393 Capwell Drive Suite 110

Oakland, CA 94621

(510) 633-9058

info@icf.org

Scholarship Link

13. J. Robert Ashcroft National Scholarship

Deadline: February 10th

Ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 apiece, the J. Robert Ashcroft National Scholarship is awarded by the Alliance for the Assemblies of God Higher Education to high school seniors entering AG-endorsed colleges in the United States. Acceptable schools include Global University, Northwest University, Vanguard University, Trinity Bible College, and Evangel University. Active members of Assemblies of God churches are selected based on academic merit, Christian character, and extracurricular service.

Contact

J. Robert Ashcroft National Scholarship

1445 Boonville Avenue

Springfield, MO 65802

(417) 862-2781 ext. 3313

mabplanalp@ag.org

Scholarship Link

14. James Takeo Hashimoto Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: February 21st

Belonging to the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin offers six religious scholarships, including the James Takeo Hashimoto Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. It’s designed for Buddhist youth who are finishing their high school diploma or GED, registering full-time at accredited colleges, dedicated to academic achievement, believers of the Bodhisattva ideal, and active participants in Church programs. Also consider the Sadao Sakai or Ben and Kimie Sanematsu Memorial Scholarships.

Contact

James Takeo Hashimoto Memorial Scholarship

640 N 5th Street

San Jose, CA 95112

(408) 293-9292

sjbc@sjbetsuin.com

Scholarship Link

15. Jewish United Fund Merit Scholarships

Deadline: March 1st

The Jewish United Fund (JUF) grants several $1,000 Merit Scholarships for practicing Jewish high school seniors, undergraduates, and post-graduate students under age 23 who are entering an approved Israel Experience program. Appropriate applicants will legally reside in the Chicago Metro, attend accredited U.S. institutions, display leadership skills, study in Israel for 10+ days, participate in communal Jewish activities, and provide three recommendations.

Contact

Jewish United Fund Merit Scholarships

30 S. Wells Street

Chicago, IL 60606

(312) 444-2895

IsraelExperience@juf.org

Scholarship Link

16. Katherine J. Schutze Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 15th

Another of the scholarships for women with strong religious convictions is the Katherine J. Schutze Memorial Scholarship, which is gifted by the Disciples Home Missions to honor a Texas native who taught Hispanic children and served as a missionary in China. This $2,000 award helps female Disciples of Christ members cover unmet financial need to study full-time at ATS-accredited seminaries nationwide for ordained Christian ministry professions.

Contact

Katherine J. Schutze Memorial Scholarship

P.O. Box 1986

Indianapolis, IN 46206

(317) 713-2652

wlynn@dhm.disciples.org

Scholarship Link

17. Leonard M. Perryman Scholarship

Deadline: March 15th

To honor his 30-year writing career, the Leonard M. Perryman Scholarship offers $2,500 from the United Methodist Communications for college juniors and seniors who identify with racial minorities, including African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, and Pacific Islander. Qualified Christians must be involved in United Methodist life, attend U.S. universities full-time, pursue religious journalism careers in print or digital media, exhibit journalistic talent, and submit a communications faculty recommendation.

Contact

Leonard M. Perryman Scholarship

810 12th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37203

(888) 346-3862

uncom@umcom.org

Scholarship Link

18. Mary B. Rhodes Scholarship Program

Deadline: February 1st

Within the Southern Baptist Convention, the Women’s Missionary Union Foundation hosts the Mary B. Rhodes Scholarship Program annually to support the children of Baptist missionaries practicing worldwide. Eligible Baptists must distinguish themselves through academic merit and leadership character in accredited collegiate study for healthcare professions, including medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy. Other WMU funds include the Julia C. Pugh Scholarship and Charleston Heights Baptist Church Scholarship.

Contact

Mary B. Rhodes Scholarship Program

100 Missionary Ridge

Birmingham, AL 35242

(205) 408-5508

wmufoundation@wmu.org

Scholarship Link

19. National Presbyterian College Scholarships

Deadline: May 15th

Since the 1950s, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has sponsored the National Presbyterian College Scholarships for 25 to 30 religious high school graduates enrolling as full-time freshmen at one of 60 Presbyterian-related universities. Eligible first-year entrants must regularly attend Church service, participate in campus ministry, uphold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, demonstrate financial need, and answer essays about their God-given calling for up to $2,000.

Contact

National Presbyterian College Scholarships

100 Witherspoon Street

Louisville, KY 40202

(800) 728-7228

info@pcusa.org

Scholarship Link

20. Olympia Brown and Max Kapp Award

Deadline: April 15th

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) confers several scholarships for students with strong religious convictions, including the Olympia Brown and Max Kapp Award. This $2,500 scholarship fulfills unmet financial need for full- or half-time graduate students sharpening their ministerial ability in a Master of Divinity program to lead the Unitarian Universalist faith. Priority is given to U.S. and Canadian citizens of color or meager economic means.

Contact

Olympia Brown and Max Kapp Award

24 Farnsworth Street

Boston, MA 02210

(617) 742-2100

mcoadministrator@uua.org

Scholarship Link

21. Rev. Dr. Hector E. Lopez Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

Founded in 2006, the Rev. Dr. Hector E. Lopez Scholarship awards $1,000 to $3,000 annually to honor the first Latino ordained in the United Church of Christ. Hispanic Americans must be enrolled at an ATS-accredited seminary, belong to a UCC congregation for 12+ months, display leadership in Church activities, maintain a minimum “B” average, and proclaim the Gospel’s message of unity and social justice. Also check out the William R. Johnson Scholarship and Harold H. Wilke Scholarship.

Contact

Rev. Dr. Hector E. Lopez Scholarship

700 Prospect Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44115

(216) 736-2166

scholarships@ucc.org

Scholarship Link

22. Rosalie Bentzinger Seminary Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

Worth $5,000, the Rosalie Bentzinger Seminary Scholarship is granted by the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) to outstanding ordained deacons. Eligibility criteria requires belonging to a UMC congregation for 3+ years, enrolling full-time at approved seminaries, pursuing a PhD in Christian Education or similar degree, and carrying an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. Submitting a resume of employment, estimated budget, pastor’s reference, and transcript is involved.

Contact

Rosalie Bentzinger Seminary Scholarship

1001 19th Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37212

(615) 340-7342

aallen@gbhem.org

Scholarship Link

23. Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: February 1st

Named after the Choristers Guild’s founder, the Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship gifts $1,500 to full-time, religiously active students who are preparation for music ministry vocations. Qualified applicants must hold at least 60 credits for junior standing, register as music majors, attend NASM-accredited universities, display musical talent with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and be committed to Church music, especially children’s choirs.

Contact

Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship

12404 Park Central Drive Suite 100

Dallas, TX 75251

(469) 398-3606 ext. 229

eyost@mailcg.org

Scholarship Link

24. SVS Balaji Temple Scholarship Fund

Deadline: May 15th

The SVS Balaji Temple of Greater Chicago manages the Scholarship Fund to award $10,000 to active Sri Venkateswara Swami members of the Hindu faith who are enrolling full-time at accredited U.S. colleges to complete their first baccalaureate degree. Applications must include a Student Aid Report (SAR), letter of recommendation, transcript showing a minimum “B” average, federal tax return, and typed, single-spaced essay before the finalist’s interview.

Contact

SVS Balaji Temple Scholarship Fund

1145 Sullivan Road

Aurora, IL 60506

(630) 844-2252

balajiauxiliary@yahoo.com

Scholarship Link

25. Young Christian Leaders Scholarships

Deadline: August 30th

Daniel P. Buttafuoco & Associates PLLC provides two Young Christian Leaders Scholarships of $1,000 apiece to graduating high school seniors or current undergraduates who are endorsed by their religious leaders. Interested candidates must be attending members of any Christian church, pursue their first bachelor’s degree, attain a 3.0 GPA or higher, and demonstrate unmet financial need for tuition or room and board. Applications are reserved for permanent residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Contact

Young Christian Leaders Scholarships

144 Woodbury Road

Woodbury, NY 11797

(516) 746-8100

info@yclscholarship.org

Scholarship Link

Funding opportunities are often searched for by major, region, ethnicity, and interests, but there are some scholarships based on religion too. Churches endow scholarships to provide much-needed assistance for following God’s calling into higher education. That’s helpful because The Washington Post reports that college tuition has increased by roughly 3.6 percent annually. Average net prices, including room and board after aid, are $9,650 at public and $26,100 at private universities per year. Fortunately, saving yourself from ballooning loan debt is possible with free financial aid and work-study jobs. If you’re worried about tuition spikes, these 25 scholarships for students with strong religious convictions could answer your prayers.