Throughout General’s long history, the capacity to admit seminarians of academic excellence and gifts for ministry without regard to their financial resources has remained critical to our mission.
Thanks to generations of generous benefactors, a wide variety of scholarships are available. These are the stories of just a few of our inspiring seminarians and the crucial scholarships supporting their formation and leadership training.
Hershey Mallette comes to GTS from the Diocese of North Carolina with a degree in public history and a passion for engaging history to spiritual needs. She credits her decision to be formed and matriculated at General as a “true exercise of faith.” Although other institutions promised full tuition, after visiting General she felt “God was calling [her] to grow in this community, as there is a clear commitment to both learning and living the Anglican Tradition. “
Learning she was the 2012 recipient of The William Cooper and Kate Avis Pike Scholarship, Hershey felt her faith affirmed with funding that “allowed [her] to follow God’s call to the Close!” She states, “by their provision I have the leisure to study, volunteer, and explore all the opportunities New York City has to offer.”
The Rev. Stephen Holton received his M.Div. from General in 1988 and after 19 years as Rector of St. Paul’s on the Hill in Ossining, N.Y., has returned to “refresh and reinvigorate his ministry” with renewed theological discipline and scholarship. His STM project springs from a passion for bringing together different faiths around common worship and he believes the “history, theology, and liturgy of Anglicanism make the Episcopal Church the perfect place for Interfaith work, and General Seminary, the ideal foundation for that continued study.”
Fr. Holton is a recipient of a scholarship established by Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis in honor of its former Dean, The Very Rev. Robert Giannini, a 1967 graduate and Chairman of our Board of Trustees from 2001-2006. “It is exciting,” says Fr. Holton, “that a church can be responsible for re-inventing both a life and a ministry, and contribute to my future aspiration: gathering together a neighborhood for a program of common prayer, food, and ministry that will appeal not only to those of all faiths, but to many who have lost faith.”
Kathleen ‘Kat” Killian hails from the Diocese of Southeast Florida with a background as a modern dancer and life experience running her own studio in the practice of yoga and spirituality.
Kat also spent time in service as a lay chaplain to the homebound and in nursing homes. A call to the ministry grew quite naturally: “I saw that everyone who came for healing and yoga was seeking something deep,” says Kat, “and this moved me along in my spiritual journey.”
As a cradle Episcopalian, Kat came to General “for its history! I didn’t want to go anywhere else; I want to be immersed in the foundation and heritage of the Anglican tradition that GTS offers, as well as the variety of perspectives that illuminate future possibilities for our Church.”
Kat was thrilled and surprised when offered The Esther Morse Scholarship – “I felt called to be here, and then the money came, an unexpected but much needed support for my formation.”
Betsy Ivey is a Candidate in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, with a life devoted to social services, an ecumenical background, and a M.Div. already under her belt. As a former member of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas she taught Sunday school and brought her B.A. in History to service in St. Thomas' Historical Society.
With aspirations for the priesthood and greater historical scholarship, Betsy came to General to pursue an STM that would strengthen her Anglicanism and increase her knowledge of the history of the Episcopal Church. As the recipient of a scholarship honoring the Rev. Willett Nicoll Hawkins, a graduate of 1896, Betsy is delighted to join a heritage of scholars “more interested in what a person does, than in who a person is.” She looks forward to doing her diaconate in Harrisburg, PA, ministering in St. Paul's, a diverse urban church.
Matthew Welch is a junior M.Div. student from the Diocese of Washington where he worked for the U.S. Government for nine years. He served two years as a diplomat in Jerusalem, and the experience bound together the roots and history of his faith with the pressing need to live out the Gospel of Christ in a hurting world. Matt says, "If I was on the Mount of Olives watching someone's house be demolished by the local authorities, I never thought, 'I can't believe I'm on the Mount of Olives!' but rather 'How is the message of the man who descended this mount 2,000 years ago relevant to what I'm seeing here and now?'"
Matt chose GTS because he wanted to explore his faith and its application in ministry in an urban setting. "In New York City, there are a thousand opportunities on every street corner to see God at work." He is the recipient of the Martha Ferris Scholarship in honor of her husband, Fr. Eversly Smart Ferris, GTS Class of 1926. "There is absolutely no way I could honor God's call without this scholarship," he argues, adding "In this difficult economic climate, and at a time when most young people like me are 'spiritual but not religious', supporting new ministries, and particularly seminarians, is more critical than ever." He notes that he is particularly pleased to be receiving a scholarship named in honor of a woman, "because it underscores the vibrant contributions of all peoples in our church."
The Rev. Mary Julia Jett came to GTS from the Diocese of Montana, and will receive both her M.Div. and
STM with the Class of 2013. Jett is the current recipient of The Dr. Robert C. Dentan Scholarship, established by a member of the Class of 1970 in honor of the much admired former professor of Old Testament Literature and Learning. The scholarship is available to students excelling in Old Testament and Hebrew Studies, and provided Mary Julia with the opportunity to complete both degrees concurrently.
In her current post as an assisting priest at St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square, NYC, she enjoys exploring how people can relate to today’s church through its history. Most importantly, she points out “A sound knowledge of the Old Testament leads to better knowledge of our New Testament traditions and greater respect for other traditions and faiths.” She is committed to bringing academic excellence to pastoral and sacramental work, and has just been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Early Christianity at Union.
Leonard Scott Lipscomb hails from the Diocese of Virginia, finding his most genuine engagement with God through the Episcopal Church after a faith journey experiencing Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Quaker denominations. Seeking to continue his journey with [his] “feet planted firmly in both academic and liturgical worlds”, Scott chose General for its ability to “keep the core traditions and legacies of Anglicanism alive while being part of modern society.”
Scott's M.A. in Theological and Historical Studies is being supported by The Rev. Dr. Caleb R. Stetson Scholarship, established by the widow of the 1898 graduate who was rector of Trinity Wall Street from 1921-1932.
He looks to teach, write, and research, with the desire to “make theology authentic to tradition and accessible to the contemporary world,” so he may serve to “build bridges between clergy and lay people.”
As General looks forward to its upcoming bicentennial, we see a vigorous future firmly rooted in a robust heritage, with profound thanksgiving for the community that has partnered, and continues to partner, in the legacy of preeminent training for leaders for the Church.
No institution can fulfill their duty without a healthy scholarship fund, as well as the presence and growth of endowed scholarships established through legacy gifts. We are eternally grateful to those who came before us, and gave generously to support the continued availability of funds for superb candidates.