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We believe God is calling United to launch the Fresh Wind Campaign to grow the endowment, providing scholarships for students for generations to come. Scholarships make it possible for students to enter into and expand their ministry without the burden of debt.

Learn more about how your contribution to the Fresh Wind campaign can help prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders for ministry in the Church and in the world.

We believe God is calling United to launch the Fresh Wind Campaign to grow the endowment, providing scholarships for students for generations to come. Scholarships make it possible for students to enter into and expand their ministry without the burden of debt.

Learn more about how your contribution to the Fresh Wind campaign can help prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders for ministry in the Church and in the world.

On average, United students graduate with $50K in Educational Debt.

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4x

ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIPS

$ 150 K

ANNUALLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS

 

BREAKTHROUGH PRAYER

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven …
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.
~ Acts 2:2,4

We invite you to Join the United Community in Prayer, seeking an abundance of God’s presence and provision for the Fresh Wind Campaign.

“O God, the Bestower of every good and perfect gift, we ask you to open heaven and release to United the increase of your favor and the kingdom finances needful for the equipping of your people. We give thanks to your name and glorify you for the sudden outpouring you have worked: plans formed long ago with perfect faithfulness. Amen.”

James 1:17, Isaiah 25:1, Acts 2:2,4

FAQ'S

Have a question about the campaign?

Click here
for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

FAQ'S
Each year United calculates a Composite Score. This score was developed by the US Department of Education and is the metric used by DOE to measure stability and sustainability. United’s score for 06/30/2021 was 3.0 out of a 3.0 maximum. The estimated score for 06/30/2022 is 2.0-2.5. United’s biggest financial weakness is a lack of reserves and a small endowment for scholarships. This campaign will improve the endowment and United’s leadership is developing a strategy to increase reserves.
The Board of Trustees contract with President Dr. Kent Millard does not have a retirement date and Dr. Millard has indicated he will serve as long as the Board of Trustees feels he is an effective leader for United. When the Board of Trustees or Dr. Millard feels the time has come for a change the Board will conduct a nationwide search for a new President. The Governance Committee will begin to discuss the process for succession of Dr. Millard at their meeting in September and will monitor the situation going forward. It is the board’s hope that Dr. Millard will continue to be the visionary leader of United.
The Board of Trustees has decided that United will remain as one of the thirteen approved United Methodist Seminaries in the United States. United currently has students from 40 different denominations with a wide variety of denominational backgrounds and viewpoints and will welcome students from the Global Methodist denomination as well. United will continue to be an inclusive seminary accepting students who meet the educational standards and support our mission to prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The uncertainty about the future of the United Methodist Church has had a negative effect on recruiting new Master of Divinity students over the past few years. Students who may feel called by God to full time Christian service seem to be delaying seminary preparation until the conflicts in the United Methodist Church are resolved. It is anticipated that after the separation between the United Methodist Church and the Global Methodist Church is completed, there will probably be a decline in the amount of the apportioned funds United receives each year from the UMC. Currently United receives about $800,000 annually from the UMC which is based on the large number of UMC students educated every year and the number of faculty members from a Methodist or Methodist related denomination.
United received nearly $900K from the United Methodist Church (UMC) in fiscal year 2022, down from $1 million in fiscal years 2017-2021. United anticipates receiving $800K in fiscal year 2023. A decline in this funding will impact United’s ability to provide scholarships, which is the reason for the Fresh Winds campaign. Additional funding from Fresh Winds endowed funds will replace funds lost from the UMC.
At United, our mission is to prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe in the transformative power of the Holy Spirit that occurs as students grow in their faith and live into their God-given purpose. Our curriculum is rooted in the power of the Holy Spirit and the biblical tradition, exposing students to God’s transforming work in their lives. Faculty who are faithful Christians and scholars guide the way for the academic and spiritual growth of future leaders of the Church. We hope that through study at United students will become bold, Spirit-filled leaders who make disciples of Jesus Christ and in doing so make a difference in the world.
On an annual basis, United performs an analysis of its master’s tuition rates as compared to peer institutions and other United Methodist schools. Through this analysis, we find that United generally falls in the center of the total cost to graduate spectrum. While United’s Doctor of Ministry program is generally priced higher than industry average, its mentor and peer-based learning model provides a unique learning experience. With the support of United scholarships, tuition is reduced for students so they can graduate with lower levels of debt.
United currently recruits students through several channels. We recruit at established Denominational conferences, we recruit through referrals from alumni, faculty, and staff. And we recruit through marketing campaigns. Once we receive information of interest, the prospective student has to go through an application process that requires writing samples, background check, official transcripts from institutions, and letter of recommendations. Once the applicant completes the required documents. The admissions officer reviews documents to verify that prospective students meet the requirements that have been put in place by the faculty and enrollment team.

Through the application process the enrollment team is able to have conversations with prospective students to hear more about their current ministry. There are communication strategies put in place to stay connected with the prospective students and help the enrollment team discern if the student is capable of successfully meeting the challenges of the rigor of the programs. Through the recruitment and application process someone from the enrollment process is able to help prospective students choose a program that will enhance their ministry and spiritual journey.
Students must apply for United scholarships. These students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Student Aid Committee reviews all student applications. Students with the highest Expected Family Contribution calculated from the FAFSA receive additional consideration for United scholarship awards.

Through the application process the enrollment team is able to have conversations with prospective students to hear more about their current ministry. There are communication strategies put in place to stay connected with the prospective students and help the enrollment team discern if the student is capable of successfully meeting the challenges of the rigor of the programs. Through the recruitment and application process someone from the enrollment process is able to help prospective students choose a program that will enhance their ministry and spiritual journey.
God is using United to prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ. United graduates are overwhelmingly serving in ministry. 93% of alumni/ae are currently employed in or retired from ministry. As a result, United focuses on practical education with church and ministry applications to prepare students academically and spiritually for ministry. We believe investing in Spirit-led leaders will lead to a more Christ-like Church and ultimately a transformed world.
The Fresh Wind Campaign is focused on growing the endowment specifically for scholarships. All gifts will be invested for long-term growth and the income generated will be used toward student scholarships in perpetuity. Gifts to the Fresh Wind campaign will impact future leaders of the Church for generations to come.
  • In the lives of students

    Finances should never be a barrier for a student called to attend United. On average, United students graduate with an educational debt of $50,000.  This debt is often higher than the annual salary of pastors, becoming a burden for many years to come. Scholarships provided by United while students are in seminary can reduce or eliminate their debt while they are serving in ministry, freeing them financially to follow God’s call on their lives.

  • In the needs of society today?

    United’s vision is Spirit-led leaders, Christ-like Church, transformed world. We believe that investing in Christian leaders will help the Church reflect Christ’s love to the lost and least of these reaching out to the world. Most United students are already active in ministry when they come to seminary and begin applying what they are learning immediately in their ministry setting. One of the common themes is the empowerment of laity within the church to reach out to their community, transforming society around them.

  • In renewal of the Church?

    Many of United’s students are already pastoring churches and many feel God’s call to pastoral ministry. As students apply the practical skills they are receiving at United to lead the Church, renewal begins to take place. A recent graduate put her United education to the test in her church setting, and within a year, her rural church in West Virginia went from 0 to 30 professions of faith. The reason United’s tagline is “Spirit-led, Renewing the Church” is we have seen it happen through countless graduate testimonies.

  • And in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those in need?

    United is preparing leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Discipleship starts with the Gospel. It is continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in the world today.

United is committed to regularly sharing what God is doing through the real-life testimonies of students and graduates. Each one communicates part of the greater impact. Donors who give $20,000 or more to set up a named endowed scholarship will get information on the specific student receiving their scholarship and see the direct impact of their donation every year.

United’s endowment currently provides for a draw of approximately $200K.  An additional $10 million in endowed funds will provide an additional $500K in scholarships for students.  This additional scholarship funding will enable students to graduate with less debt and allow United to recruit additional students.
In 2021, the Board of Trustees engaged outside consultants to interview eighty donors, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni/ae to explore a $10 million endowment campaign for scholarships. Among the United community, there was a clear need and desire to support students by expanding the endowment.
The Campaign will be conducted over the next 24 months. First, lead donors will be approached for gifts. Then, the campaign will enter a public phase in 2023. At this time, the entire United community will be invited to pray and discern what they are being called to invest in support of leaders for the Church. Gifts and pledges may be made over a five-year period and/or through estate commitments.
The United board and leadership spent a year of prayer, discernment and study, interviewing donors, faculty, staff and alumni/ae. Having paid off the mortgage in October 2021 and seeing God move through the creation of new programs and partnerships at United, there is much excitement about what God is doing. When the feasibility study was conducted in the winter of 2021-22 there was some concern that it was too soon after the Burn the Mortgage campaign to begin a campaign, but the campaign will begin in Fall 2022 with lead gifts and will not extend to the broader United community until 2023. While there are typically different economic challenges during campaigns, the five-year timeline of campaign gifts and opportunity for estate gifts helps to even out some of the uncertainty.
A cabinet of faithful leaders from the seminary and its community is guiding the campaign. Serving as co-chairs of the campaign cabinet are Jim Tharp, chair of United’s Board of Trustees, and Jim Holsinger, United Trustee, with Vicki and Rick James from Fort Wayne, IN, serving as honorary co-chairs. President Kent Millard and Vice President for Development Callie Picardo lead the campaign alongside the cabinet. Transforming Christian Ministries has been engaged as campaign consultants.

Have another question about the campaign?
Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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