Religious Studies Scholarships For International Students

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Because studying religion can offer valuable insights into different cultures, many foundations linked to faiths offer scholarships for religious studies majors. Whether you aim to be a clergy member, activist, teacher, or writer, a religious studies degree provides a deep understanding of your faith and develops skills like critical thinking and writing, essential for your chosen career. To reduce student loan debt, here are 10 generous religious studies scholarships for international students.

Religious Studies Scholarships For International Students

Scholarship By Adrienne M. and Charles Shelby Rooks

Funded by the United Church of Christ, the Adrienne M. and Charles Shelby Rooks Fellowship Program aims to offer $5,000 in financial aid to minority individuals from African American, Hispanic American, Native American, or Asian American backgrounds who are undertaking theological studies at an accredited institution in preparation for ministry.

Candidates eligible for this support must be enrolled in a Master of Divinity or Ph.D. program in religious studies, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, and have initiated the in-care process.

Scholarships by Ann E. Dickerson

Supported by a dedicated endowment from Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM) in tribute to a past board member, the Ann E. Dickerson Scholarships are awarded yearly, offering up to $2,000 per recipient.

These scholarships are exclusively available to female members of the Christian Disciples of Christ Church pursuing a Ph.D. in religious studies. Applicants must furnish an online application alongside three references, an official transcript, a concise 300-word essay, and detailed financial documentation.

Scholarships by the Baptist Communicators Association

Annually, the Baptist Communicators Association presents a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving undergraduate student, another $1,000 scholarship to an undergraduate from a minority ethnic or international background, and a $500 scholarship to an exceptional graduate student. Eligible candidates must have a career goal in Baptist communications, maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, be enrolled full-time in a communications or religious studies program, and exhibit financial need.

The Frank Murphy Scholarship for Female Clergy

In line with the Women’s Ordination Conference’s dedication to fostering an inclusive Catholic community, the Bishop Frank Murphy Scholarship for Women in Ministry offers $1,000 support to female participants advancing their theological studies through enrollment in a graduate religious studies program or diocesan certificate program.

Applicants are required to submit a recommendation letter from a mentor, a personal statement outlining their future Catholic ministry aspirations, proof of enrollment, and a resume or curriculum vitae.

The Samuel Grover Powell Scholarship for Chaplains

Named in tribute to a revered clergy member who dedicated 28 years to serving as a chaplain in the United States Air Force, the Chaplain Samuel Grover Powell Scholarship is managed by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation.

This scholarship offers up to $2,500 to support students who are preparing for chaplaincy roles in any military branch. Eligible candidates must be enrolled in a recognized theological seminary program focused on religious studies and actively participating in the Chaplain Candidate Seminarian Program.

Scholarship Fund for Church Training and Deaconess House

Administered by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, the Church Training and Deaconess House Scholarship Fund offers a select number of yearly awards ranging from $2,000 to $3,000. These grants are aimed at supporting women pursuing post-baccalaureate studies in religious fields, either for ordination into ministry or to enhance their lay ministry.

Although applicants from Pennsylvania are prioritized, selection criteria primarily consider academic achievement, financial circumstances, and the caliber of the mandatory essay.

Religious Studies Scholarships For International Students

Scholarship in memory of David Tamotsu Kagiwada

Created to honor the memory of a second-generation Disciple who committed himself to advocating for the recognition of the talents within the Asian community within the church, the David Tamotsu Kagiwada Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually by the Disciples Home Missions (DHM), offering up to $1,500.

Applicants must be of North American Pacific or Asian descent, enrolled or accepted into an accredited graduate theological school focusing on religious studies, and demonstrate a commitment to advancing Kagiwada’s enduring influence.

Scholarship Program Of Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry

Every year, the Generosity Trust organizes the Dora Maclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship Program, granting scholarships of up to $3,000 to Christian students residing in the wider Chattanooga region. These scholarships are aimed at individuals pursuing a master’s degree in religious studies from a recognized theological seminary or graduate school.

Eligible applicants must hold conservative theological and biblical beliefs, be training for pastoral ministry, provide two letters of recommendation, and affirm their faith in Jesus Christ through a written testimony.

The Georgia Harkness Merit Scholarship

Administered by the Division of Ordained Ministry of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in remembrance of a remarkable educator and theologian, the $5,000 Georgia Harkness Merit Award is granted to women above the age of 35 pursuing a Master of Divinity degree in religious studies. Eligible female candidates must currently hold certification as candidates for ordained ministry as an elder in the United Methodist Church and be enrolled full-time in an accredited theological school or seminary.’

Scholarship For Islamic Studies Established By Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh

To commemorate a remarkable leader within her faith and community, the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Islamic Studies Scholarship is awarded annually at Oakland University, providing up to $2,500 to full-time undergraduate students studying religious studies. Applicants must have completed at least one course for the Islamic studies minor.

Priority is given to students who demonstrate a keen interest in delving deeper into the history, customs, and heritage of Islam, particularly through engagement in a study abroad program in a Muslim-majority nation.

The IBEF Scholarship

Every semester, the International Buddhist Education Foundation (IBEF) provides scholarships of $4,500 for Ph.D. students, $3,500 for master’s degree students, and $3,000 for bachelor’s degree students studying religious studies to enhance their understanding of Buddhism. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time with a minimum of 12 units per semester, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, and submit an authentic essay outlining their intentions to contribute to the advancement of Buddhism.

Scholarship In Memory Of James M. Philputt

The James M. Philputt Memorial Scholarship, offered by the Forum for Theological Exploration, is open to graduate students in theological or religious studies who are preparing for ordained Christian ministry.

Eligible applicants must be members of the Christian Disciples of Christ Church and enrolled full-time at the University of Chicago Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt Divinity School, or Yale Divinity School. They should also demonstrate active participation in church and community activities.


As the cost of attending college continues to rise, the most effective way to graduate without the burden of hefty student loans is to explore and utilize alternative funding options that don’t require repayment. If you feel called to join a religious community and guide others in their faith journey, consider exploring these 15 excellent  religious studies scholarship for international students tailored for majors in religious studies to pursue your calling without financial strain.

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