ESR Announces Recipients of 2013-14 Scholarships

ESR is pleased to announce special scholarship recipients for the 2013-14 academic year. Both the Nancy Kortepeter Mullen Scholarship and the Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship provide each student with full tuition for 27-30 credits.

The Nancy Kortepeter Mullen Scholarship was established in 1998 by the Mullen family and other special friends to honor the courage and compassion of Nancy Mullen, the wife of former ESR Dean Tom Mullen. The scholarship is offered to an ESR student regardless of age, gender or denominational affiliation, or whether they are residential or Access, or seeking an M.Div. or an M.A. degree. Some of the characteristics which the recipient is chosen for include courage of conviction, compassion for those with particular needs, and a hunger for learning.

This year's recipient of the Nancy Kortepeter Mullen Scholarship is Danny Coleman. Danny is a student in the Access program and lives in Edmonds, Washington. He works full time in information technology and enrolle as a student at ESR after much financial sacrifice for first his child's education and now to further his own. "Although I had dreamed for many years about returning to school to study my passion, I could not see how it was practically possible," Danny stated in his application. "To my surprise, God seemed to be opening doors for me to return to school. The barriers which I assumed stood in my way fell one by one. My sense of calling has become clearer as well. I'm beginning to see the possibility of Quaker pastoral ministry and becoming a published writer and perhaps even a seminary professor someday." Congratulations to Danny as this scholarship helps him to continue his ministerial training.

The Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship is a full tuition scholarship given to a residential Cooper Scholar in their last year of work toward either an M.Div. or M.A. degree. Criteria for recipients of this scholarship include clarity of ministerial identity, self-awareness of their own spiritual formation process, and potential for continued leadership and/or service through their gifts of ministry. Each year, ESR awards four students the Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship. This year's recipients are:

Anna Woofenden is a Ministry of Writing student from Washington and came to ESR with experience working for her Swedenborgian denomination in outreach, young adult ministry, and church planting. "God is calling me to a fully embodied role as a pastor and preacher, worship leader, sacrament preside-er, public theologian, church planter, and ordained priest," Anna stated in her application. "These urgings, coupled with visions of the church community I was called to start, took me to seminary." On her time at ESR Anna shared, "I have certainly changed and been formed spiritually through my time so far at ESR and I am grateful. And I am looking forward to see all that the Spirit weaves in the next year and a half as I continue to be formed and prepared to be launched into the next season of ministry."

Michael Sherman is a Pastoral Ministry student from Knightstown, Indiana, and has been the pastor at Raysville Friends for the past nine years. In his application, Michael shares how his courses at ESR have been transformative for his ministry. "I have observed a peace in reality which has made a big difference for me," Michael stated. "There is no guilt or shame for being who we are where we are as we are. If God loves, we should too, loving ourselves and others with grace and understanding."

Josh Seligman came to ESR from California, and is a student in our Ministry of Writing program. He enrolled at ESR to deepen his understanding of, and call to, his work as a writer and musician. Josh stated in his application, "While I believe my ministry also includes listening to and sharing God's love with people in daily, personal interactions, I see writing in particular as a gift to cultivate so that I may be faithful to God. After being at ESR, I am more willing than before to embrace mystery and questions about God, people and life. Slowly, I believe I am growing in confidence and rootedness."

Erin Hougland is a Ministry of Writing student from Indianapolis, Indiana and is seeking ordination in the Episcopal church. She began her career at ESR to develop her writing and has found her call has expanded during her time here. "My calling has become wider and broader than I would have ever predicted and I discovered this because of the work I have gone through at ESR," stated Erin in her application. "The community has pushed me to know myself, pushed my growing edges, asked me to consider the unthinkable and asked me to become what God calls me to be."

We are thankful to have these students as a part of our community and wish them the best in their ministry journeys.