The Vocational Friendship Grant is available to leaders who are new to ministry. Eligible applicants are:
- Alumni/ae of the Undergraduate, Congregational, Ministry or Volunteers Exploring Vocation (VEV) Fellowship programs at FTE, in the first three years of post-seminary ministry;
- Past participants in the Christian Leadership Forum who are in their first three years of ministry post seminary;
- Alumni/ae of the Transition-into-Ministry (TiM) program in the first three years after the TiM program.
Ministry can sometimes be a lonely and an isolating profession. FTE believes that a community of peer support and life-giving friendships among pastoral colleagues is vital to a fulfilling and nourishing profession in Christian ministry. The Vocational Friendship Grant offers new pastors an opportunity to nourish those friendships and to be renewed in their pastoral roles. Applicants are encouraged to have fun and be creative and to use the grant funds for travel, lodging, food and recreation.
- Grants should not contribute to continuing education opportunities, denominational meetings or conferences associated with denominational requirements.
- Grant funds should not be used to purchase equipment or cover overhead costs.
- Proposed activities should encourage and cultivate friendships with peers who have supported the applicant’s ministry.
Applicants may apply for a Vocational Friendship Grant up to $1,000.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The deadlines for consideration are March 15 and September 15. Please submit applications before midnight Pacific Time on these dates. Applicants will be notified within two weeks after the application deadline. In instances where there is a holiday involved, please allow additional time to receive notification.
Grant recipients are required to provide a final report on their activities within 12 months after receiving their award.
Click here to submit an online application. Applicants are required to answer the following questions within the application:
- With whom will you be connecting (provide the names)?
- When will you get together? (frequency)
- What do you intend to do when you get together?
- What do you hope will be the outcome of this effort?
FTE will evaluate applications using the following criteria:
- Friendships to be nurtured. Applications must provide a brief description of the individuals accompanying the applicant.
- Time spent together. Applicants should include brief details of when and how often the group will gather.
- Activities for nourishment. Applications should provide a description of activities that nurture friendships and allow for renewal and retreat.
- Anticipated outcome. Intended outcome must deepen friendships that support applicant’s ministry.
- Use of funds. Applicants must include how funds will be used.
- Applicants are welcome to develop an activity involving a large group; however, FTE will only fund up to five (5) eligible applicants.
- Applicants can apply either as an individual or as a group.
- Eligible applicants may apply for two consecutive grants up to $1,000 per grant. Applicants must reapply to be considered for each grant.
- If applying as a group, individual group members must have given their consent to have funds disbursed in their names. If members of the group change plans after the funds are disbursed, the applicants will need to negotiate the return of the funds from their group and inform FTE, as well as craft a revised proposal for the use of their portion of the grant.
- Reports are due one year from receipt of funds, or at the time of application for consecutive grant applicants.