2011-12 Georgia Harkness Scholarship Recipients

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June 24th, 2011

Eleven Women Receive Seminary Scholarships

The 11 scholars awarded the 2011-12 Georgia Harkness Scholarships have been invited to participate in the United Methodist continuing educators’ gathering in Miami, Fla., in July.

The Rev. HiRho Park, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s director of Continuing Formation for Ministry, said the meeting will provide scholars a chance to learn about issues that the church will deal with during the 2012 General Conference.

The $5,000 scholarships are for women over 35 who are planning to be ordained as elders. Second-career clergy are important to The United Methodist Church, Park said.

“One-third of male clergy and one-fourth female clergy who are serving churches with a 1,000 or more membership are second-career elders, according to the research that my office conducted in 2009,” Park said.

GBHEM increased the number of recipients who will get the $5,000 a year scholarship from 10 to 11 in 2009. This year, GBHEM hosted luncheons and a dinner for past Georgia Harkness scholars during the regional clergywomen’s consultations. The luncheons were part of the Board’s effort to build a network of Georgia Harkness scholars who can nurture other women entering ministry.

The Georgia Harkness Scholarship Program endowment is more than $500,000, and GBHEM hopes to build the endowment to $1 million with the help of the United Methodist Foundation for Higher Education. Park encourages local churches to invite current and former Harkness scholars to speak about their faith journey as women leaders of the church.

Harkness, the first woman theologian to teach in a Protestant seminary in the United States, dedicated her life to dismantling discrimination because of race and gender in The United Methodist Church and the world.

Harkness, who taught at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., died in 1974. She was instrumental in the 1956 decision giving women full-clergy membership in The Methodist Church.

The recipients of the scholarship named for her are chosen by a committee of United Methodist elders and GBHEM staff. Of the eleven scholarship recipients, two are from BUSTH:

Kim Kie of Pittsfield, Mass.; New England Annual Conference; First UMC of North Adams in North Adams, Mass.; Boston University School of Theology.

Mimi Mills of Biddeford, Maine; New England Annual Conference; Crossroad UMC in Sanford, Maine; Boston University School of Theology.

For a full list of recipients, click here.

For more information about the Georgia Harkness Scholarship Program, or to invite a Georgia Harkness scholar to speak at your church, visit www.gbhem.org/harkness or contact the Rev. HiRho Park at 615-340-7409.Date: 6/16/2011 12:00:00 AM