Graduate degree support
Disciple Seminary Foundation is dedicated to supporting students at various levels of theological education. Our students are individuals who are either exploring a call to ministry at either the Certificate of Ministry Studies level or who are in the process of receiving advanced degrees in theological education at the Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, or Doctoral level.
DSF defines support in five significant areas: financial assistance, a strong tie to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), offering Disciples-specific courses taught by DSF faculty, opportunities for collegial relationship building and community fellowship, pastoral presence and advisement, and through adjunct and joint faculty appointments with partner institutions. DSF remains committed to creative involvement with our partner institutions, the general and regional church, congregations and individuals seeking to support students in their formation as leaders.
DSF is in partnership with the Pacific School of Religion, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology, and Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. DSF provides, in relations to these institutional partnerships, a distinct Disciples presence and community.
We, likewise, extend our welcome to United Church of Christ students as we envision a growing, faithful and effective leadership thriving in a supportive collegial and ecumenical community.
Disciples Seminary Foundation offers scholarships for seminarians and graduate students in order to help underwrite tuition and provide assistance for other education-related expenses. DSF is concerned, as is the whole church, that educational debt be reduced. Therefore, in partnership with schools, churches and donors, DSF seeks to offer scholarships to all eligible students as resources are available.
Students are awarded scholarships for differing circumstances including: tuition, books, academic merit, emergencies, and special opportunities for cross-cultural immersion and leadership formation.
Disciples of Christ student who are enrolled for six or more credit hours per semester in a degree program at any of our partner institutions are eligible for DSF scholarship assistance. United Church of Christ students, in Southern California, are also invited to apply for DSF book scholarships when meeting the above requirements for enrollment.
Strong Tie to Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
DSF maintains an historic relationship with the Christian Church (Disciple of Christ). DSF is a member of the Council of Theological Education of the denomination's Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM).DSF is related formally to the seven western regions of the church through their regional assemblies, regional boards, and committees on the ministry:Pacific Southwest, Arizona, Northern California/Nevada, South Idaho, Oregon, Northwest, and Montana. DSF also maintains a relationship with the United Church of Christ by virtue of the ecumenical partnership with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
DSF encourages students and congregations through field placement and first call internships. Further, DSF seeks to demonstrate partnership by intentionally connecting and supporting students as they become involved in events offered by both the regional and general church. DSF is dedicated to active participation in leadership in all aspects of the church: leading workshops and seminars at special regional or general events, preaching regularly in local congregations, and participating on committees at the general and regional level.
DSF also embraces the general vision and mission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) working in all aspects to strengthen the ministry of the church through leadership and pastoral formation. DSF holds the mission of partnership as central in ministries of wholeness in a fragmented world and thus maintains historic partnerships and invites new ones that will help us prepare fit, effective and visionary leaders to serve the church in the 21st century.
- General Church - For more information about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) please visit www.disciples.org
- Higher Education Leadership Ministries (HELM) website: www.helmdisciples.org.
Student support for general Church events
DSF is dedicated to serving the church through partnerships with the local, regional, general and ecumenical church. To this end, we intentionally seek opportunities to connect students with local pastors, regional assemblies and general church events.
DSF considers participation in the broad life of the church as a significant component in leadership formation. DSF, therefore, financially supports and encourages students to attend their local regional assemblies, women's retreats, spiritual formation events, pastor's retreats, leadership seminars, and other regional offerings that appeal to student interests.
Likewise, DSF sponsors students to attend the General Assembly, Quadrennial, Korean Convocation, Black Minister's Retreat and Convocation, Hispanic Convention and other general church offerings. DSF maintains that leadership is nourished through strong collegial relationships and thus invites opportunities for staff and students to be involved throughout the life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and in ecumenical relationships with the United Church of Christ.
Opportunities for fellowship/pastoral advisement
Fellowship is a critical aspect of collegial relationship building, personal growth, spiritual growth and a sense of identity and belonging. DSF offers opportunities for students to come together for social and educational events with faculty, denominational leaders and pastors.
DSF maintains a yearly "DSF Community Calendar" which invites students, first call pastors and interested clergy to attend DSF breakfasts, dinners and social events as well as opportunities for interaction with denominational and ecumenical leaders. Additionally, through the DSF E-Connect, students are able to network with each other and communicate regularly with DSF related faculty and staff. DSF maintains an intentional "pastoral presence" for students and first call pastors. To this end, DSF staff consists of persons who are either lay leaders within their own congregations or are ordained ministers within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
DSF considers the ministry of education as a spiritual and vocational "calling" — and as such, DSF makes staff available to students as much as possible. DSF considers personal and spiritual growth a priority and offers opportunities for students and first call pastors to engage in spiritual direction. Spiritual Direction programs are available for students who seek to be under the care of a Disciple spiritual director or for students who seek spiritual direction from an ecumenical director.
DSF vision is to offer a holistic approach to leadership formation which includes the critical aspects of fellowship, pastoral advisement and spiritual direction.