The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship values theological education as an important component of vocational ministry preparation. As a result, we consider it a joy to walk alongside individuals already in the process of pursuing a degree as well as those still in the process of discernment.
In 2011, the Daniel and Earlene Vestal Scholarship, named after CBF's second executive coordinator and his wife, was established to support the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s continued emphasis on theological education and the local congregation. The Vestal Scholarship is the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s highest award valued at $11,000 with an additional $1500 travel stipend for attending CBF events throughout the academic year.
This scholarship’s purpose is to
• Award academic success and scholarship
• Identify individuals with a commitment to congregational leadership/ministry in the Cooperative Baptist context
• Give recipients a platform for connecting with the Fellowship, generously defined
For the 2024-25 academic year, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will award two Vestal Scholarships.
• Are enrolled in an ATS accredited divinity/theology school or seminary pursuing a Master of Divinity degree
• Have at least one more year of full-time academic work left in their degree program
• Have at least a 3.5 grade point average
• Demonstrate a deep commitment and ongoing relationship with Christ
• Clearly identify with CBF and espouse core values of CBF, participating in a CBF church, offering campus leadership and showing leadership potential within the Fellowship
• Are pursing a call to congregational ministry
• NOTE: Applicants do not have to be a current or former CBF Leadership Scholar to qualify.
Pastor Reference Form
Professor Reference Form
Personal Reference Form
IMPORTANT DATES FOR VESTAL SCHOLARSHIP:
- November 15, 2023 - Vestal Scholarship application process opens
- January 9, 2024 - Date by which all Vestal Scholar application documents must be emailed or postmarked
- March 1, 2024 - Naming of Vestal Scholar recipients
- June 19-21, 2024 - Introduce Vestal Scholars during CBF General Assembly.
CBF invests in students who are current and future ministry leaders in Cooperative Baptist Fellowship life. We award 50 scholarships annually to Baptist students enrolled in the master of divinity degree program at an accredited institution of higher education.
Recipients of the scholarship receive $4,000 in tuition assistance and a travel stipend of up to $1,000 to attend General Assembly. In addition, they are given opportunities to build community, network and further develop leadership skills for service within Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner congregations, missions and ministries. Below are the two ways a student may apply for the CBF Leadership Scholarship.
CBF School-Directed Leadership Scholarships
If you are a Baptist student currently enrolled at a participating theological education institution (see asterisked schools in the list above), please inquire about applying for the CBF School-Directed Leadership Scholarship by contacting your school's admissions or financial aid office early during the spring semester. These scholarships are primarily directed by the school, with final approval granted by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. If you are not eligible to receive the School-Directed Leadership Scholarship, then you may apply for the CBF At-Large Leadership Scholarship by completing the online application process.
CBF At-Large Leadership Scholarships
Baptist students enrolled in a master of divinity degree program or master's level theology degree at an accredited institution of higher education may apply for the CBF At-Large Leadership Scholarship. The Ministries Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will recommend these scholars based on the application of the students and the belief that the students selected represent the best possible potential local ministry leaders for the mission and the ministry of CBF.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR AT-LARGE LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIPS:
- January 9, 2024 - At-Large Leadership Scholarship application process opens
- April 14, 2024 - Deadline for At-Large Leadership Scholarship applications to CBF
- May 31, 2024 - Name At-Large Leadership Scholarship recipients
Regional Scholarship Opportunities
Looking for a Seminary?
CBF provides or has provided scholarship funding to students who attend these theological education programs:
Baptist University of the Americas*
Baptist Seminary of Kentucky*
Boston University School of Theology
Brite Divinity School *
Campbell University School of Divinity*
Candler School of Theology at Emory University *
Central Baptist Theological Seminary *
Claremont School of Theology
Columbia International University
Duke University Divinity School *
Fuller Theological Seminary
Gardner-Webb School of Divinity *
Harvard Divinity School
Hood Theological Seminary
Iliff School of Theology
International Baptist Theological Study Centre Amsterdam *
John Leland Center for Theological Studies
Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University *
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Lenoir-Rhyne University *
Mercer University School of Theology *
Princeton Theological Seminary
Truett Seminary at Baylor University *
Vanderbilt Divinity School
Virginia Theological Seminary
Union Presbyterian Seminary
Wake Forest University School of Divinity*
Wesley Theological Seminary
* This denotes a theological program participating in CBF School-Directed Scholarships
CBF Day is a day-long event held on seminary campuses affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to celebrate the partnership in training women and men for vocational ministry. The following are goals that we seek to meet as we engage students, faculty, and staff at the partnering theological schools:
- Strengthening national CBF identity among students, faculty and staff
- Introducing the breadth of mission and ministry expressed through CBF
- Deepening relationships with CBF Leadership Scholars/Vestal Scholars and providing them with an opportunity for leadership through worship planning and event coordination.
- Presenting opportunities for ministry service/calling exploration and resourcing assets of CBF.
- Celebrating the partnership between local churches, CBF Global, CBF states and regions, and each theological institutions.
2022-2023 CBF DaysGardner Webb: February 27nd Wake Forest: February 28th Duke: March 1st Campbell: March 2nd Union Presbyterian: March 13-14th
Cooperative Baptists are invited to participate in a 17-day mission immersion experience in a cross-cultural setting in one of the most ecologically diverse environments on earth. From May 20th to June 7th, participants will encounter and engage people, places, and Global Missions initiatives in the context of a growing nation grappling with multiple social and environmental challenges across five distinct ecosystems.
Here is an inspiring lesson from a 2017 Kutana Kenya participant:
"Understanding the environmental issues facing us helped explain certain social phenomena. Understanding the complexities of social issues clarified the causes of certain environmental problems. We must step back and view our world more holistically, in a way that acknowledges and works with the inter-relatedness of the people we claim God so dearly loves and God's creation we are so quick to forget." - Marianna Hilldrup
The purpose of this retreat is to build CBF's identity in seminarians and faculty across both partner and non-partner seminaries by introducing them to CBF core values, staff, and resources. The retreat also provides practical content for both students and faculty that will establish CBF as a life-long partner in ministry.
Learn more on the Seminarian Retreat page.