The first six Doctor of
Ministry (D.Min.) scholarships were awarded in the spring of 2015. Two awards were given to D.Min.
candidates at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary with four additional
awards to D.Min. candidates at
McCormick Theological Seminary. All of the recipients are active pastors of congregations in our 13-state
service region. We're very excited about this pilot program and the support and encouragement we are
able to offer pastors in our area.
Thank you for your award on June 3, 2015 from your pilot program toward my D.Min. studies at McCormick
Theological Seminary. The gift was a complete surprise and most welcome, as my professional development
allowance and personal funds have been stretched in this second year of studies. My D.Min. focus is in
Parish Revitalization, and I take your generosity as a great encouragement both of my own development
as a pastor and also as a sign of your faith in the important work of God that happens
within the local congregation.
I will share news of your generous gift with our Session at its next
meeting. Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your financial assistance for this time of renewed
study and learning in my vocation and ministry.
May God continue to bless you and your work
of encouraging excellent leadership for Christ's church.
Rev. Leah R. Hrachovec
Here are some thoughts on why this is important to
I serve two small rural churches which are not in a position to increase
their monetary support of my continuing education. Thus, a significant portion of my D.Min. expenses
will be covered by my family. That is, they would have been, if not for the generous gift from the
Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation. Your gift will make funding this endeavor much easier and I
truly appreciate it! Your work is a blessing to me and I thank you for helping as my education is
furthered and as God continues to use me in God''s service!
Peace and blessings!
Rev. Loren Shellabarger III
I would like to first extend a huge "Thank You" to the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation for
their generous gift for my D.Min. education. There's nothing like receiving a check in the
mail the same day you are praying and discerning how you are going to pay for an educational
endeavor that, while transformational and life-giving, is not exactly easy to fund.
And low and behold: prayer answered!
So, please know that I am extremely grateful.
The focus of the D.Min. program I have begun at McCormick Seminary is
in what they have titled: Church Revitalization. My hope and my goals for the program involve
exploring ways to be Church today in an ever changing culture and seeking to be in community in
ways that continue to build up the Body of Christ.
The grant I have received from OPSF literally has enabled me to
afford this educatinal opportunity that I would have struggled to finance as the pastor of a small
town, rural church community. Being a parish pastor is a difficult vocation that quite often
involves minimal financial compensation in comparison to other professional careers. Being a
parish pastor requires a strong sense of call, sacrifice, unconditional love, and a strong faith in
Jesus Christ. And when God
provides in an unexpected way such as this gift, I am just
Blessings to the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation in this new
endeavor, and for their continued commitment to the ministers of Word and Sacrament of the Church of Jesus Christ.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Rev. Adam Smith
Today I received a gift from you for my D.Min.
program at McCormick Seminary. The money was a complete surprise and a huge blessing! Thank you for
your generosity and your continued commitment to education within
I give thanks for each one of you today!
Rev. Holly Smith
What a surprise and blessing to open Friday's mail and find a check from the Foundation to help with
my D.Min. studies at UDTS! Many thanks for your gracious and generous gift.
My cohort is looking at the historical and contemporary interaction
between the Church and culture around it. Our goal is to understand how congregations can interact with
popular culture in faithful, life-giving ways and experience renewal and revitalization through
authentic engagement with popular culture. We wrapped up our first two-week residency in late May, and
I am very excited to begin this time of
re-equipping for ongoing ministry.
I lift you up and the Foundation in my prayers as you continue the
important work that the Lord has called you to do.
Rev. Grant M. VanderVelden