MEF – Seminary Debt Reduction

Through its grant from the Lilly Endowment National Initiative to address the economic challenges facing pastoral leaders, the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) is offering grants in 2018 to help designated seminarians alleviate their seminary educational debt. You are eligible to apply for this grant as you attended one of the Church Pension Group/Episcopal Church Foundation’s Success After Seminary regional meetings as follows:

  • September 17-18, 2016 in Short Hills, NJ
  • September 8-9, 2017 in Short Hills, NJ
  • September 22-23, 2017 in Austin, TX
  • March 9-10, 2018 in Berkeley, CA
  • September 28-29, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA

The grants must be used to make loan payments above and beyond the normal repayment/amortization schedule (i.e., principal) and will be awarded on the basis of financial need and the demonstrated capacity to manage debt, handle day-to-day finances and plan for the future. Grants will range from $3,000-$5,000 and will be paid in one lump sum.

To apply for a grant, applicants need to:

  • Submit an application on ECF’s website by October 12, 2018
  • Match the amount of the grant from your own finances or from family, friends, congregation or other sources and provide a letter from the source of the matching funds verifying the amount and date to be received. Letters can be submitted to Adriane Bilous at
  • Establish a relationship, if one does not exist now, with a financial planner/advisor or a Church Pension Group representative to review your financial planning and debt reduction plans

Grantees will be notified by October 31, 2018 if the application has been accepted and awards will be made the beginning of November 2018.

Feel free to share this announcement with your potential donors/sources for your matching funds. If you have any questions or would like support from ECF in discussing this opportunity, please contact Dr. Adriane Bilous, Lilly Project Coordinator, at or 212-870-2839.

For further information on ECF’s Lilly Endowment Initiative, please refer to