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Congratulations to the 2014 Scholarship Winners 


In the 60th year of financial support to those preparing for ministry in the PC(USA), the Apollos Committee of the Foundation selected 17 individuals to receive scholarships from among the 56 who applied—four for $6,000 per academic year from named scholarships honoring former Foundation leaders, and 13 for $3,000 per year from Apollos Scholarships. 


Here is what they had to say on a variety of issues: 




Howard B. Dooley Scholarship winner Brian Douglas Beverly II 


Describing his sense of call: I have wanted to be a pastor since I was a child.  Over the years people have told me what [they thought] might be a potential career for me.  I have been told that I should be an electrician, fire fighter, psychologist, house appraiser, and many other occupations.  However, God has called me to be a pastor and I could not imagine myself doing anything else.




Brian Beverly




Brian Beverly is a Senior at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary 

and his Presbytery of Care is Scioto Valley


In his letter of acceptance, Brian said this: When my family and I knew that God called us to go to seminary, it was a daunting task.  We had to move from Ohio to Iowa, leaving behind our family, friends, and way of life.  Nevertheless, God has been faithful to us and this scholarship is another vehicle that God has used to bless our family.  Thank you so much! 





Eugene C. Dinsmore Scholarship winner Rachel Christine Hebert 



Describing her gifts for ministry and how they might be used in the Church: Gifts that I possess for ministry [include] the ability to listen, to encourage, to be patient, to teach, and to move seamlessly throughout various age ranges in ministry.  …I want to work towards mentoring and discipleship programs within the church, to create safe spaces for college students and young adults to come and not only explore questions about their faith, but to make their faith their own as they transition from the faith they’ve been taught into what they believe.   


 Rachel Hebert



Rachel Hebert is a Senior at Princeton Theological Seminary 

and is under the care of Grace Presbytery as she prepares for ministry. 



From her letter of acceptance: Words cannot adequately describe the elation I felt as I read the letter—it is a true answer to prayer.  I thank you for this scholarship.  It is a blessing.





Robert K. Adams Scholarship winner Caroline Alexandra Louise Newman 



Describing her sense of call: Youth ministry introduced me to God and changed my life as a teenager.  What draws me to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament is a deep desire to introduce youth to the same life-changing Love that was introduced to me.  Upon [entering] seminary in 2012, I began to discern a call not specifically focused on youth.  …Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean, one of my professors says, “The secret to youth ministry is that it is just ministry.”  Youth ministry is not ministry only to youth—it is ministry to parents, volunteers, and the entire church…. 



Caroline Newman 



Caroline Newman is a Middler at Princeton Theological Seminary 

and New Brunswick Presbytery has oversight of her preparation for ministry. 



From her letter of acceptance: This scholarship is an incredible blessing, greatly assisting me financially during my last two years of seminary.  Thank you for your commitment to seminarians. 






Silas G. Kessler Scholarship winner Lisa Schrott 



Describing her gifts for ministry and their use in the Church: I come to seminary education and ministry as one who has sat in the pews for many years.  I view empowering leaders—equipping individuals to bear witness to God’s word and work in their life—as a major challenge that faces the Church today.  …My leadership style, administrative gifts, and love of people combine the practical and pragmatic with nurturing and imagination to encourage, nudge, and maybe even embolden individuals to live out each of their callings to be disciples in the world. 



Lisa Schrott 



Lisa Marie Schrott is a Middler at Columbia Theological Seminary 

and her Presbytery of Care is The Pines. 



From her letter of acceptance: I am deeply indebted to the leadership of the former Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Omaha for their foresight in developing a fund for theological education and am appreciative that the Foundation continues to value the development of Teaching Elders by supporting the distribution of funds for seminary scholarships.  You are a blessing to the community of faith in the present and the future. 





Apollos Scholar – Chelsea Guenther Benham 



Describing the challenge facing the Church today: The Church in our age struggles to confront a culture of consumerism and greed which contributes greatly to problems of environmental destruction, global poverty and inequality….  At its root, the materialism of our society is a spiritual problem. 



Chelsea Benham 



Chelsea Guenther Benham is a Senior at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Presbytery overseeing her preparation for ministry 

is Mid-Kentucky. 



From Chelsea’s letter of acceptance: I am delighted to accept the Apollos Scholarship and am very grateful to the Foundation for this support during my final year of seminary. 





Apollos Scholar – Rebekah Beam Carpenter 



Describing her spiritual pilgrimage: My childhood church and home were places where people of all educational and socioeconomic backgrounds participated in worship and socialized together.  These early integrative experiences began shaping my current calling to create ministries that cultivate genuine relationships and partnerships with all people. 



 Rebekah Carpenter



Rebekah Carpenter is a Junior at Columbia Theological Seminary 

and under the care of Greater Atlanta Presbytery. 



From Rebekah’s letter of appreciation: Six years ago, God called me to make a career change.  I began working with the underserved, poor and oppressed.  During the past six years, I have been given a priceless education about how to grow a church and its outreach ministries.  This scholarship helps to make up for the finances I had to give up in order to prepare to fulfill God’s call on my life. 





Apollos Scholar – Sarah Elizabeth Chivington-Buck 



From an email to the Foundation: I have attached a photograph of myself …with my late grandmother, Emily Buck.  She moved from the East Coast to New Mexico in 1939 to work at a Presbyterian mission school.  My relationship with her nurtured and influenced the call I now seek to answer…as a pastor who desires to know God deeply and to help others grow in meaningful relationship with their Creator. 



Sarah Chivington-Buck 



Sarah Chivington-Buck is a Middler at San Francisco Theological Seminary 

and Santa Fe Presbytery guides her preparation for ministry. 



From her letter accepting the award: I am so thankful and honored to be a recipient of the Apollos Scholarship.  I would like to thank the Board of the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation for the wonderful work you all do to invest in future church leaders like myself. 





Apollos Scholar – John Kirby Craft 



Describing his leadership style: I believe in leading by example…in the midst of making decisions, whether they be everyday or life-changing, we must always remember to seek God’s leading through prayer and discernment.  This challenges us to admit our weaknesses, rely on each other, and—most importantly—listen for God’s voice in the middle of life’s challenges. 



John Kraft 



John Craft is in his final year of Distance Education at 

the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary 

and his Presbytery of Care is Shenandoah. 



From John’s letter accepting the Scholarship: I am so grateful that I have the privilege of writing to you today to accept the financial blessing of an Apollos Scholarship.  Thank you for your support, and I ask for your prayers as this journey [preparation for ministry] comes to an end and the next chapter is revealed by our magnificent God. 





Apollos Scholar – Brittany Lynn Fiscus 


Describing her sense of call: The church community that I grew up in, and am continuously inspired by, is a group of people who love and care for one another.  …Though what we do is often on a small scale, we are a force for good in our community, and I believe that affects peoples’ lives in big ways.  …Even if what I do is small, I feel called to be a force for good through God. 


 Brittany Fiscus


Brittany Fiscus is a Junior at Columbia Theological Seminary 

and the Presbytery of Arkansas has oversight of her preparation for ministry. 


From her “thank you” letter: This scholarship money not only makes buying textbooks, groceries, and gas a possibility for me, it also reminds me of the great amount of love and support that I have received from my brothers and sisters in the Presbyterian Church.  I promise that I will work and study hard, and do everything that I can to grow into a better servant of the church and of Christ during my three years at Columbia.  Please know that your generous gift is appreciated, and will be used with a grateful and humble heart. 






Apollos Scholar – Carolyn Louise Grice 


Answering the question, What draws you to ministry? : During my teens my parents said, “Enjoy Saturday night activities, but choir rehearsal is at 10:15 and church starts at 11.”  I have willingly been involved in church ever since as an ordained deacon and ruling elder, serving on most committees of the church, as the youngest person ever to serve on a pastor nominating committee at my home church, and as Clerk of Session.  …I want to serve the Lord with all my heart, mind and strength in whatever capacity I am needed.  (No picture available.) 


Carolyn Grice is beginning her first year as a Distance Education student 

at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary 

and an Inquirer with Missouri River Valley Presbytery. 






Apollos Scholar – Patrick K. Kiptum 


Describing a major challenge facing the Church: The Church faces a crisis of a diminishing church body.  My goal is to give people a reason to return to the church.  People are yearning for spirituality.  The word of the Lord is unchanged in all these many years but the method and mode of delivery can evolve.  (No picture available.) 


Patrick Kiptum is a Middler at San Francisco Theological Seminary 

and his Presbytery of Care is Santa Fe





Apollos Scholar – Megan Colleen McCarty 



Answering the question, What draws you to ministry? : After graduation, I wasn’t sure what direction to go.  I majored in photography, but after a semester-long magazine internship, I realized I no longer felt led to work in journalism.  I decided to join the Young Adult Volunteer program and ended up serving a year in Miami, Florida.  That year radically changed my life….  I learned that service, living simply, caring for others, and learning to live in community were much stronger values than needing to make a large salary or have many possessions. 



Megan McCarty 



Megan McCarty is a Middler at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary 

and Mission Presbytery oversees her preparation for ministry. 



From Megan’s letter accepting the Scholarship: I am honored to be chosen by the Foundation to receive this award.  It is a great relief to have help with expenses so that I am able to focus more on my schoolwork as I prepare for ministry. 






Apollos Scholar – Aaron Thomas Neff 



Describing his leadership style: I know that one individual cannot and should not be the driving force behind everything, and I look forward to facilitating others’ use of their gifts and passions.  I believe that the primary roles of a pastor in this sense should be (1) to help discern a unifying vision for the church’s direction; (2) to facilitate respectful communication between individuals in the church in order to fulfill this vision; and (3) to encourage and empower congregants to take part in the work of the church. 




 Aaron Neff


Aaron Neff is a Middler at Princeton Thological Seminary and oversight of his preparation for ministry comes from the Presbytery of Western New York



From Aaron’s letter of acceptance: Since the Foundation was established to develop and support excellence in Christian leadership, I pray that I will be more effective in doing parish ministry because the financial burden of my seminary education has been significantly reduced by the Apollos Scholarship. 






Apollos Scholar – Keith Alan Phillips 



Describing gifts for ministry and their use in the church: The power of communications technology today is remarkable.  Nearly a quarter of the world’s population has access to the Internet….  The church must have a strategy to teach all its members the “language” of global communications so that each person can become a better communicator of God’s love.  My experience in communications [with a professional sports team] can help the church. 



Keith Phillips




Keith Phillips is a Middler at Columbia Theological Seminary and is guided in preparation for ministry by the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia



From his letter accepting the Scholarship: I am thrilled to accept this Apollos Scholarship.  Your financial support will allow me to focus more of my time and energy on preparation for ministry, and your prayers will buoy me through the challenges ahead.  To all who support the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation—thank you for walking alongside me as I pursue God’s call to ministry. 





Apollos Scholar – Jessica Lindsay Rigel 



Demonstrating commitment to Christ in and through the Church: My most meaningful Christian service experiences have come through my participation in the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program, where I worked as a land steward in Tucson, and an urban community gardener in New Orleans.  Through these experiences I have learned how to live within my means, to better appreciate the beauty of God’s creation, to explore meaningful work, and to trust in God for peace and sustenance. 



Jessica Rigel 



Jessica Rigel is a Junior at Princeton Theological Seminary 

and under the care of the Presbytery of New Brunswick



From Jessica’s letter accepting the Scholarship: I am delighted to accept the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation’s gracious award of $3,000 per academic year for three years bestowed upon me for my education at Princeton Theological Seminary.  The Foundation’s generosity will significantly assist with my expenses for books and room and board. 






Apollos Scholar – Zachary Carl Wooten 



Describing the ways he cares for himself: To take care of my body, mind, emotions and spirit, I make a daily practice of surrendering all of these to God.  For instance, when I run I pray during each lap, thanking God for something different each time I circle the gym.  This practice helps me take care of the body God has given me while simultaneously nurturing my spirit with gratitude. 



 Zachary Wooten



Zachary Wooten is a Junior at Princeton Theological Seminary 

and an Inquirer with Carlisle Presbytery. 



From Zachary’s letter accepting the Scholarship: It is with a grateful heart that I respectfully accept your generous offer of $3,000 per academic year for three years through the Apollos Scholarship.  Your encouragement and financial support is an affirmation of my call to seminary. 





Apollos Scholar – Fred Eugene Young III 



From his “Thank you for the Scholarship” letter: In the summer of 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer.  This diagnosis forced me to step away from my studies for the 2013 fall semester.  During that time, I completed a treatment program involving both chemotherapy and radiation.  My wife was also pregnant with our son, Preston, who was born two days after I completed my final day of cancer treatment.  This treatment, while painful and temporarily debilitating, has resulted in a recent cancer-free diagnosis, and our Preston is now a happy and healthy ten-month old baby. 





Fred Young


Fred Young is a Senior at Columbia Theological Seminary 

and under the care of the Presbytery of East Tennessee



From his letter of acceptance: I am honored to learn that I have been selected as a recipient of the Apollos scholarship.  This award will lighten the considerable financial burden associated with attending seminary and will allow me to be even more focused on my studies.  Thank you so much for your generosity. 

 2018 Events

 Winter Pastors' School

Feb 5-8, 2018

Hastings Chapel