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ELCA Fund for Leaders: Alumni Insight

"The ELCA Fund for Leaders scholarship program supports students of tremendous promise attending ELCA seminaries. By making seminary more affordable, the ELCA Fund for Leaders enables more future ministers to go to seminary and helps them graduate with less debt, empowering those whom God calls into ministry to go and serve as the church needs and the Holy Spirit leads."

Our Synod is home to a multitude of alumni recipients of the Fund for Leaders Scholarship. These scholarships have left tremendous impacts on these individuals and allowed them to launch into their role in ministry with minimal financial debt. Hear from one Sierra Pacific Synod Rostered Leader about the direct impact the Fund for Leaders scholarship had on her:

The Rev. Courtney Geibert

Messiah Lutheran Church, Redwood City, CA

"My name is Courtney Geibert (she/her) and I am a life-longer Lutheran. I discovered my calling to word-and-sacrament as a small child, where I would say the words of institution during communion. However, it was not until college that I met my first female pastor and saw myself step into this role. After college, I began as a youth & families ministry director at a lutheran church in Nebraska and felt drawn to ordination, but I kept putting it off as I wanted to spend more time watching my church's youth grow up. Finally, one day my pastor took me aside and said, "you need to go to seminary now, or you'll never go." Her gentle nudge was the Holy Spirit's way of telling it was time.

When applying for seminary, I prayed to God, asking God to make my studies financially feasible. I knew that without financial support, I would exit seminary with a lot of debt and financial limitations when it came to calls. (Ex. I am in a 3/4 call that I LOVE - without Fund for Leaders, I would not have been able to take this call) The Admissions Director recommended that I apply for Fund for Leaders.

Fund for Leaders allowed me to concentrate on my studies and nurture my faith without worrying about paying for tuition. This scholarship took an eno