OneSpirit’s trustees have made £30,000 available from reserves to provide scholarships over the coming year, 2016-17, for students commencing their two-year training in October 2016 who would otherwise be unable to afford to train as ministers.

Funds will be allocated according to need. Last year, for the class that began in October 2015, we granted our first ever scholarship covering 100% of Year 1 fees, two more worth 50% of fees, and some smaller amounts too.

“If you’re passionate about training as a OneSpirit minister, but genuinely don’t have the resources to fund your own training, please feel very welcome to apply for help,” said faculty leader Jackie Amos Wilkinson.

(For more details on how to apply, see at foot of page on Course details & fees.)

Joy Gleeson pic

At the same time, trustees have launched an appeal to raise a further £30,000 which will be earmarked to fund scholarships in the following year, starting October 2017. “Our longer-term aspiration,” said chair of trustees Joy Gleeson (pictured), “is to be able to ensure that no student is prevented from training as an interfaith minister by lack of money.”

She said trustees had been inspired by the fundraising efforts undertaken by the Class of 2016 in the run-up to their Ordination in July — and especially their sponsored pilgrimages to mountain-tops in Britain and Ireland — to raise funds to meet their year-group’s outstanding student fees.

As a first step towards raising the £30,000 for 2017-18, trustees are asking for ministers “with energy, enthusiasm and/or experience in fundraising to join us in a fundraising team, to come up with action plans for a variety of initiatives in their own communities”.

Joy added: “I know that every day we hear of good causes that ask for financial support. So why, you might say, is OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation particularly deserving of support? I ask you to look around at the many different ways ministers are changing the world. What makes this possible?”

The answer, she said, was beautifully put in the Ordination Day programme: “Old dichotomies of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ do not serve the healing of our world. Thus our focus is on removing, within ourselves, the obstacles to unity.”

“If you feel moved to action,” said Joy Gleeson, “please contact me, and the work can take off.”

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