The Southeastern District (SED), LCMS is pleased to announce its 2020 Student Loan Repayment Program, which provides grants to rostered church workers, both full and part-time, to help them repay college and/or seminary education loans. All rostered or roster-eligible synodical graduates who are currently working in the Southeastern District are eligible to apply for this grant. Preference will be given to those who have worked within the Southeastern District for 10 or more years of continuous service.
Grants will be awarded based on need, an individual’s personal financial contributions and commitments, special circumstances, and availability of funds. The minimum debt balance eligible for a grant is $3,000.
It is the policy of the SED that grants be applied to any (educational) debt that rostered workers have incurred, whether in the form of federally subsidized loans, commercial loans or even credit card debt for books needed to enter ministry (please see full definition below). The grant is sent directly to the lender to be applied to the principal to help reduce total indebtedness, not to make payments in advance or to reduce the amount of currently scheduled payments.
The Student Loan Repayment Committee will review and make recommendations on grant awards. It reserves the right to determine what indebtedness is appropriate and what grants will be given but seeks to keep its definition of indebtedness as wide as possible. Not adhering to this policy may jeopardize the worker’s opportunity to receive a grant.
Applications for the 2020 Program are now available. Complete applications are due by October 31, 2020 and should be received in the Southeastern District Office by this date. Applications and all requested accompanying documentation should be sent to the attention of the Student Loan Repayment Program via email to . Fill out the application form and attach the most current loan statements from each of the lenders listed on the application. These statements should show the name of the borrower, the outstanding loan amounts, loan account numbers and the name and address of each lending institution. If educational debt has been incurred on a credit card or through another vehicle, include similar documentation detailing the qualifying expenses, amount and purpose.
In addition, if an applicant’s congregation/school agrees to provide funding toward its worker’s loan repayment, the District will match this gift up to an additional $500 beyond the original award amount. Once awards are announced, the congregation/school will be responsible for providing the gift outlined in the application so that matching fund may be released for this purpose.
SED plans to announce 2020 awards by the end of November. Payments will be sent to lenders shortly thereafter. Grant recipients will be notified after the grant payment is made. Recipients are responsible for verifying that the grant amount is credited properly to their lending institution.
For questions about the Student Loan Repayment Program, contact Michelle Guilfoil at .
This program is for individuals who have completed their synodical training and are currently serving LCMS in the SED. If you are currently a student, please refer to the SED Student Aid Program here: http://se.lcms.org/resources/tuition-assistance/.
Note: The SED defines indebtedness for the purposes of this program as any educational debt at the undergraduate or seminary level that a professional church worker serving in the Southeastern District has incurred, whether in the form of federally subsidized student loans, commercial loans, or credit card debt for tuition, books, room and board, or housing in the case of married students, and fees while attending an LCMS-affiliated seminary or university. This does not include post-graduate work or that beyond an MDiv or Deaconess certification through one of the LCMS seminaries.
For the purposes of this program, eligible colleges, universities, and seminaries include:
· Concordia colleges nationwide or in Canada
· Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC
· Seminaries in Fort Wayne, IN and St. Louis, MO
· Valparaiso University, IN