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Graduating Debt Free

Emily Carroll sent a Skype message to a church in her home state to promote United Methodist Student Day. She would have thanked them in person, but it’s a long way from Georgia to Alaska.  Emily is a 3rd year student at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, while her home is in Wasilla, Alaska, over 4000 miles away.

The video message stressed the importance of scholarships and financial support from a variety of sources, such as individual churches (including St John UMC, Anchorage, AK) and funds provide through Student Day offerings. 

“Every dollar matters. When I investigated seminary and living in Atlanta, I didn’t think about the associated costs like going to the doctor, flying home occasionally, and every-day living expenses,” said Emily.  “Though I worked while taking seminary classes, scholarships filled the gap between my income and expenses so that I will be able to graduate debt free.”

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for all seminary students.  Emily knows fellow seminarians that have significant financial issues. Some of her friends don’t know where their next meal is coming from or have actually been evicted from their apartments and are essentially homeless. But these friends are no less called by God and to the path to ordained ministry.
Ms. Carroll has used these incidents as reminders to consider her own situation and how relieved she is to start her own ministry without a burden of debt from her seminary education.  Seminary is at the intersection of faith and knowledge, and Emily reminds us that we all have the opportunity to share gifts to make seminary possible.

How many more of our future clergy leaders could benefit from your generosity?

Emily concluded her video message with a word of thanks, “I am grateful to the community of people who have walked through this journey with me and for the funds through the United Methodist Church that have provided me this opportunity.”

To make a donation to the Ministry of Scholarships, go to

For questions, please contact Bruce L Blumer,

For information on Student Day, go to