The Seminary Consultation on Mission (SCOM) of the Episcopal Church has announced their 2018-2019 deadlines. SCOM Grants provide funding to students of accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church to facilitate “cross-cultural experiences that enhance learning and preparation for ministry.” Grants should be for completion between January 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019. Eligible students are students who return to the seminary after completion of their project. Contact Laurel Schlueder at firstname.lastname@example.org for logistical questions. The deadline for applications is November 3rd.
The Seminary Consultation on Mission (SCOM) is a collaborative venture, formed under the auspices of the Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans, Inc., to strengthen the educational resources for national and international mission in the accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The Consultation is funded largely through a trust funded by Venture in Mission (VIM), the church-wide capital campaign of the 1970s-80s. The purpose of the fund is to develop and deepen a global perspective in seminary life and curricula and thereby help renew and extend effective commitment to mission, both foreign and domestic, throughout the Church. The income from the fund will be used to assist projects that fulfill that purpose.
Call for Proposals
On behalf of the Council of Seminary Deans, SCOM invites proposals for grants for projects planned for the period January 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. This 20-month window gives applicants opportunity for advance planning. Successful proposals will be for projects that carry out the purposes of the VIM Trust Fund, as described above, through involving students in crosscultural experiences that enhance learning and preparation for ministry.
Eligibility to initiate a project is open to individual students and groups of students from accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church who will return to seminary after completion of the project. The aim of the grants is not only to facilitate cross-cultural learning, but also to ensure that such experiences are planned and carried out in ways that have an effect on seminary life and education. Interested applicants should consult their seminary’s faculty SCOM representatives about possible projects and the application process.
SCOM hopes to fund projects at a substantial level in proportion to the need, preferably at or greater than 50% of the total cost. SCOM prefers not to make grants that signify mainly symbolic support. At the same time, applicants are expected to search for other funds to combine with SCOM funds. No single grant will exceed $5000, and all proposals will be reviewed for budget as well as program. Grants are not to be used to replace salary or scholarship aid.
Applicants must submit to the SCOM Grants Committee a proposal outlining the project in reasonable detail, describing the impact it will have on the life and curriculum of the sponsoring seminary, and setting forth the budget for the project, including all other sources of funding. The proposal must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from the dean and faculty of the sponsoring seminary indicating their support for the intended impact on the seminary.
Any questions concerning the grant application process should first be directed to the faculty SCOM representative at each seminary, and then, if necessary, to Laurel Schlueder, SCOM Administrator, at email@example.com.
Each seminary will have its own initial application deadline that applicants must obtain from their seminary SCOM representative. Seminary-endorsed applications for grants to be used between January 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019 must be received by SCOM no later than November 3, 2017. The Grants Committee will make its decision by November 30, 2017. Late applications cannot be accepted.
Applications should be prepared in Microsoft Word and sent as email attachments with “SCOM Grant Application” and the applicant’s last name in the subject line. Copies should be sent to Laurel Schlueder, SCOM Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received by the deadline will be forwarded to the SCOM Grants Committee.
NOTE: Faculty members are not eligible for SCOM grants and should seek funding from other sources, such as the Conant Grant Fund.
Guidelines for SCOM Applications
There is no application form. Applications should consist of a narrative and a budget. The narrative should include a brief paragraph that sufficiently addresses each of the elements outlined below and should introduce the Grants Committee to the project and inform the committee how the applicant has anticipated these elements of the project proposal.
1. Describe the geographical, cultural, linguistic and ecclesial character of the place where you hope to go. Suggest how the project has relevance to the Anglican Communion.
2. Cite the local and/or institutional setting where you will be located, including (as applicable) names of instructors, supervisors and/or co-workers with whom you have communicated in planning the experience, and the person(s) to whom you will be accountable in the setting.
3. Describe the actual activities that you anticipate undertaking and the expected duration of the experience. Regarding duration of the experience, see Factors Considered by the SCOM Grants Committee item number 4.
4. List the learning outcomes you hope to fulfill through the project. If you are participating in a project/travel with other students include an overall description of the project along with your individualized learning goals. The Grants Committee wants to know what each participant brings to the project, what each participant anticipates in the experience, and how each participant plans to share from the experience.
5. Describe the type of engagement with the local church that you expect to have during the experience.
6. List the ways in which you plan to share the experience with your seminary and the impact that you hope sharing will have on the seminary’s life and/or curriculum.
7. Detail your projected budget, showing expenses such as travel, travel insurance, visas, accommodations, meals, materials, a host gift if appropriate, etc.; and showing funding sources other than SCOM that you have approached or plan to approach (e.g., parish, diocese, foundations, individuals). The purchase of travel insurance is highly recommended. A host gift, monetary or in-kind, less than or equal to $100 is permitted. SCOM grants may not be used to cover any portion of seminary tuition costs. Do not include seminary tuition costs in your budget proposal.
Factors Considered by the SCOM Grants Committee
1. Cross-cultural engagement is a requirement of a SCOM grant. This criterion is relative to the applicant: there must be significant engagement with a culture other than one’s own. Geographically, SCOM’s focus is guided by the “foreign” aspect of the work of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, which includes all areas outside the USA, with relevance to the Anglican Communion. SCOM grants will not be made for journeys that are primarily historical or archaeological. A strong case must be made for the cross-cultural nature of a proposal for work in the US, Britain or Western Europe in order for it to be approved.
2. A SCOM grant should further the theological education and ministerial preparation of grantees. A SCOM experience should be a learning experience, not primarily a project through which one shares one’s expertise. Applications should highlight the learning outcomes anticipated through the experience. “What I hope to learn” is an essential theme in successful grant applications. Put another way, because this is a program related to theological education, learning about mission has a higher priority than simply doing mission.
3. Learning and engagement with the local church are key elements. Grants for language study may be made, but only if clear involvement with the local church is planned. Similarly, grants may be made in connection with an invitation to lecture, teach or lead a workshop, but only if the applicant articulates clearly what s/he will learn and what other activities will promote such learning.
4. Duration of a project is preferably three weeks or more. Grants may be made for shorter projects, but only if the applicant articulates clearly why a longer period is not available and how learning will take place during a shorter period. Applicants interested in well-established programs which offer important experiences that are shorter than three weeks are encouraged to apply.
5. SCOM expects applicants to seek funds from multiple sources. The application should express a commitment to seek funding from other sources and list specific agencies from which funding will be sought, e.g., parish, diocesan mission committee, bishop, mission society, Episcopal Church Center agency.
6. Preference is given to new applicants over repeat grant recipients.
7. The Grants Committee seeks balance and inclusiveness in grant awards among: — men and women applicants; — racial and ethnic groups represented among the applicants; — the seminaries from which applications are received.
8. Grants are not made to bring international students to the seminaries. It is the responsibility of institutions to fund international students from their own budgets.
9. SCOM grants are not made for the purpose of earning significant credits toward a degree granted by an institution other than the student’s own Episcopal seminary. SCOM grants may not be used to cover any portion of seminary tuition costs
10. At the discretion of the Grants Committee, SCOM grants awardees who are unable to complete their grant proposal due to circumstances beyond their control including: visa delays, travel warnings, and technical problems may submit an alternate grant and budget proposal within a reasonable time period upon learning the initial proposal cannot be fulfilled.
Grants Committee Process
The Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans appoints a four-member Grants Committee to include one dean, who serves as a chair of the committee, and three SCOM representatives. The chair ensures that the committee confers for consideration of proposals either in person or by conference call. Members of the Grants Committee are not eligible to vote on applications from their own schools. The committee decides on awards and communicates its decisions to the applicants and their deans. The Grants Committee may choose to make no award in any given year.
The Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans is responsible for publicizing the grants. Questions may be directed to each seminary’s SCOM representative. Changes in policy and emphasis each year shall be initiated by SCOM and approved by the Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans. The costs of publicity and the work of the Grants Committee are borne by the Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans, the income from the VIM Trust Fund being used solely for projects designed in accord with that fund’s purpose.
The Administrator will consult the Chair of the Grants Committee and authorize payment from the VIM Trust Fund. The SCOM Administrator will send each seminary a list of its successful applicants and the amount of each grant. Funds are transferred to the sponsoring seminary, which then disburses the funds to each successful student applicant. Students will have the period from January 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019 to request disbursement of their grants. Grant recipients are responsible for initiating disbursement of their grants by making a written request (paper or electronic) to their seminary’s financial office. This initial request should be made in a timely way for projected expenses, especially for the purchase of air tickets at favorable prices.
NOTE: Grant recipients who are planning a SCOM project in January 2018 may request disbursement of the grant as soon as the seminary receives notification that the grant has been approved. Students do not need to wait until after January 1 to request disbursement. This should expedite disbursement for those who need to pay for travel in January.
Project Report and Financial Report: A grant recipient must submit reports within two months of completion of the funded project. The project report must include a narrative of the project itself and the effect of the experience on her/his seminary. The financial report is a required financial accounting, with supporting documentation on how the grant funds were expended.
Students must submit project reports electronically to each of the following: • The Dean of the student’s seminary; • The SCOM representative of the student’s seminary; • Laurel Schlueder, SCOM Administrator, at email@example.com, who will forward it to the members of the SCOM Grants Committee.
Students must submit financial reports in hard copy to their seminary SCOM representative, using the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society form provided when they receive their grants. The SCOM representative will forward these reports to the Treasurer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Financial reports must include original documentation of expenses (receipts).
Unused funds must be returned with the financial report. Checks should be made payable to “DFMS” with “unused SCOM funds” noted on the subject line. Seminary SCOM representatives are responsible for all reports being made within the two-month deadline. No new grants will be made to a seminary until outstanding reports on previous grant projects from that seminary have been completed.
Applicants: Checklist for Application
_____Proposal and budget submitted to your Dean’s office for endorsement by the faculty by the seminary’s stated deadline. _____Applications approved by the applicant’s seminary should be sent directly by the student as a Microsoft Word attachment “Studentname SCOM grant application” to Laurel Schlueder, SCOM Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grant applications will be distributed to the members of the Grants Committee. The deadline for receipt is November 3, 2017.
Deans: Checklist for Proposals
_____ Collect and present proposals for faculty endorsement of the project’s effect on your seminary. _____Send an endorsement for each applicant to Laurel Schlueder at email@example.com by November 3, 2017 in order that your students’ proposals are complete. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.
Grant Recipients: Checklist for Reports
_____Note date project was completed. _____Note report due date, which is two months from project completion date. _____Send the project report electronically to your dean, your faculty SCOM representative, and the SCOM Administrator. _____Send the financial report in hard copy to your SCOM representative. Include original receipts and a check for any unused funds payable to “DFMS” with “unused SCOM funds” noted on the memo line. 6
Sponsoring Deans and Seminary SCOM Representatives: Checklist for Reports
_____The Dean receives a copy of each project report from student grant awardees. _____The seminary’s SCOM representative receives a copy of each project report. _____The seminary’s SCOM representative receives a financial report from each student. _____ The seminary’s SCOM representative will ensure the financial report is sent to the Assistant Controller of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, Arlissa Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial reports must include original documentation of expenses (receipts).