Lutheran Ordained Ministry

Essential information for ordained ministry scholarship


The purpose of this scholarship is to provide assistance to Lutheran women who are second-career students entering their final year at an ELCA seminary.

  • This scholarship was established in 1996 to honor the first bishop of the ELCA, Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom, and his wife, the Rev. Corinne Chilstrom.
  • It was intentionally begun during the 25th anniversary year of the ordination of women in the predecessor ELCA bodies.
  • The average award has been $1,000.

Eligibility and Guidelines

The applicant must:

  • be a citizen of the United States of America.
  • hold membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • have experienced an interruption in education of at least five years since college graduation.
  • be endorsed by her synodical candidacy committee.
  • be preparing for ordained ministry in the ELCA.

Additional Scholarship Committee Considerations

  • Involvement in Women of the ELCA

Recipient Commitment

  • Women of the ELCA must be notified in writing of any change in education plans.
  • Scholarship funds must be used within the academic year awarded.
  • Scholarship funds must be returned if the educational program is canceled, or if it is terminated by the recipient’s personal decision.
  • If requested, the recipient will be interviewed for Women of the ELCA print and/or electronic media.

Application Process Time Line

December 15

Women of the ELCA begins accepting scholarship applications online. Link to materials becomes available on this day.

April 5

All applications must be submitted online on or before this date.

July 1

Scholarship recipients are notified.

Please Note

  • The average award is $1,000.
  • Women of the ELCA reserves the right to not award scholarships in any given year.


The following form must be mailed directly to Women of the ELCA from the individuals providing the references:

  • Academic Reference Form (A letter of recommendation from a faculty member who has taught the applicant within the last three years; disregard if out of school more than three years.)

Apply now