The 2023 Student Loan Repayment Program is closed until Fall of 2024.
The Southeastern District (SED), Student Loan Repayment Program, 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.
SED plans to announce the 2023 awards by the first week of December. 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 Sid Heetland at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 following SED Student Aid Program Application by clicking here.
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
The Broom Tree Fellows Program assists ministry workers, primarily in northern Virginia, with education-related debt. The program is especially interested in religious leaders who exhibit the highest levels of faith, commitment, and service to God. Over the past nine years, the program has provided over 250 loan forgiveness awards—exceeding $500,000—to ministry workers dedicated to expanding Christ’s reach. These Christian ministers represent 15 denominations from over 50 churches or religious organizations. It is our hope that in lightening the load of their education-related debts, ministry workers are able to flourish in their ministry.
Please visit our website at www.BroomTreeFellows.org to learn more about our program and to obtain additional copies of the application. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BroomTreeFellows.
Churches and ministry organizations are not limited in the number of Broom Tree Fellows applications that can be submitted, so please share this opportunity with others working in your ministry who may have student loan debt.
If you have any questions or would like more information about our program, please email us at Programs@BroomTreeFellows.org or give us a call at (703) 437-9720.
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.