The Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program

The purpose of the Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program is to educate ministers to preach the Christian religion.
A full description of the Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program can be found here.

Scholarships are provided for upper-level undergraduate (junior or senior only) or graduate education leading to a bachelors or master’s degree in a field that prepares the student to preach the Christian religion or enter into vocational ministry.  Individuals who intend to serve as a pulpit preacher* upon graduation will be given precedence.  Individuals must have a strong inward call or desire, the necessary gifts and abilities to be successful in that calling, and external affirmation of their call to be selected as a Scholar.  Individuals in subsequent tiers, as indicated by the graphic below, will be considered if additional funding is available.          

The following will NOT be considered: (1) Individuals seeking a second advanced theological degree (whether or not the Bivins Religious Scholarship helped to fund the first), (2) Individuals seeking at PhD, (3) Individuals who intend to serve in music ministry, (4) Individuals who intend to teach at a theological school, (5) Individuals who intend to enter the international mission field full-time, and (6) Individuals who intend to work in a parachurch organization.

  • An applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America and a permanent resident of the northernmost twenty-six counties of the Texas Panhandle.  A permanent resident of the Texas Panhandle is defined as an individual (1) who has resided or been gainfully employed in the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application or (2) who has graduated from a high school located in the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle and has been continuously enrolled in a post-secondary program since leaving the Panhandle.  See map of the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle below.

  • An applicant must be classified as a college junior or above by the first semester for which the scholarship would be effective
  • An applicant must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or above or a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or above.  For new or returning scholarship applicants, all previous college level work completed within the last 5 years will be considered when applying the cumulative GPA requirement. If no college coursework has been completed in the last 5 years, the most recent cumulative GPA will be used.
  • The degree program selected must prepare the student to preach the Christian religion or enter into vocational ministry.  Scholarship funds may be applied only to those courses included in a student’s approved degree plan.

Scholarship awards are to be used for tuition, books, fees, and other expenses necessary for college/university attendance.

*The terms pastor and minister are often used synonymously but the description varies based on denomination.  Per a strict definition, all pastors can perform the duties of a minister, but not all ministers can act as pastors.  The strict definition will be used for the purposes of this policy.  Regardless of terminology, discretion will be used to determine if the individual will be serving as a minister with limited responsibility in a church or a pastor with full oversight of the church and its congregation.