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Student Receives Prestigious National Fellowship

Award Supports Young Leaders Exploring Ministry

Elizabeth G. Singleton, a rising senior at Augustana College, has been selected to receive a 2009 Fund for Theological Education (FTE) Undergraduate Fellowship.

Singleton is majoring in religion and philosophy. This spring she was elected president of the Augustana Congregation and will chair meetings of the Campus Ministry staff in 2009-2010. She is the daughter of Cathy and Calvin Singleton.

FTE Undergraduate Fellowships recognize students who have gifts for leadership and are exploring the possibility of ministry as a vocation. As an FTE Undergraduate Fellow, Singleton will receive $2,000 for tuition, other educational expenses or a self-designed experience related to the exploration of ministry. She will also attend the 2009 FTE Conference on Excellence in Ministry, “Becoming Rich toward God: Pastoral Leadership and Economic Justice,” June 17-21 at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.

The Reverend Paul H. Rohde, campus pastor, nominated Singleton for the fellowship award, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

FTE Undergraduate Fellows are selected competitively from a pool of applicants from across the U.S. and Canada. They must be nominated by a professor, school administrator, pastor or campus minister; hold a minimum 3.0 grade point average; have an interest in exploring ministry as a vocation; and demonstrate leadership in a church or school community. The 2009 FTE Undergraduate Fellows were chosen by a national committee of theological educators and church leaders. FTE awards the fellowships to increase the number of highly capable young people exploring or preparing for ordained ministry as a profession. Fewer than seven percent of clergy in most denominations today are under age 35, and interest among seminary students in congregational ministry has declined over the past five years.

“In today’s economy, the need to support young people who aspire to serve the church and the common good is an essential investment,” said the Rev. Ellen Echols Purdum, director of FTE Ministry Fellowships. “Congregations and entire communities need the intellect, leadership gifts and compassion that these candidates will bring to local challenges, spiritual, social and economic.”

The Fund for Theological Education is an ecumenical advocate for excellence and diversity in pastoral ministry and theological scholarship. It awards$1.5 million in fellowships to gifted young people from all denominations and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Since 1954, FTE has awarded nearly 6,000 fellowships in partnership with those committed to the future of quality leadership for the church. For more information about FTE fellowships, visit www.thefund.org.