SIM announces first recipient of SIM/Mercer Challenge scholarship

Posted Jun 3, 2014

ens_06032014J.Roberson_photo[The Society for the Increase of the Ministry press release] The Society for the Increase of the Ministry (“SIM”) and the Mercer Fund of the Diocese of Long Island (“Mercer”) announce the awarding of the initial SIM/Mercer Challenge Scholarship to Jason Daniel Roberson, a postulant from The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and Grace Church, Charleston and his sponsoring bishop, the Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg.  The scholarship covers Mr. Roberson’s tuition, room and board.

Mr. Roberson completed his graduate studies with a M.A. in Spanish Linguistics at Penn State University and a M.A. in Hispanic Language and Civilization at NYU’s Madrid campus in Spain.  With a vibrant interest in mission and outreach both locally and around the world, Mr. Roberson felt called “to serve the mission of The Episcopal Church and its inclusivity of all peoples, cultures, and languages around the world.  Language and culture are integral parts of who we are as spiritual human beings.  We can see that beauty in God’s work being done right here in our own parish in South Carolina and around the world.”  Mr. Roberson will begin his Master of Divinity course at The General Theological Seminary in September 2014.

About the SIM/Mercer Challenge Scholarship
SIM developed this exciting, merit-based scholarship program—the SIM/Mercer Challenge—in partnership with Mercer.  Traditionally SIM and Mercer have been leading providers of small “need-based” grants to many Episcopal seminarians.   The SIM/Mercer Challenge addresses the reality that the church needs to suitably and responsibly fund theological education for attracting highly gifted individuals with calls to become Episcopal priests.  In particular, the SIM/Mercer Challenge Scholarship Committee seeks such individuals who also have demonstrated the aptitudes and spiritual bearings to be leaders in the church today and tomorrow.

The SIM/Mercer Scholarship offers merit-based full theological education and formation scholarships for bishops to use to proactively identify and recruit future ordained leaders for the ministries that will revitalize the church.

SIM is embarking on a major capital campaign to expand the SIM/Mercer Challenge Scholarship program.

About SIM
Since 1857, when SIM was founded to “aid suitable persons for the Episcopal ministry in acquiring a thorough education,” SIM has awarded more than $6 million in needs-based assistance to over 5,000 men and women. Typically 20-25% of Episcopal seminarians are receiving SIM grants each year. Almost 30% of diocesan bishops received a SIM grant. In recent years, as the only organization raising funds on a national basis for support available to all Episcopal seminarians, SIM has become all the more important to The Episcopal Church as resources for theological education support at the national, diocesan and parish levels have steadily diminished.

About the Mercer Fund
The Mercer Fund was established in 1956 as a result of a bequest from the family of George W. Mercer, Jr.  It provides funds for the Mercer School of Theology on Long Island and for scholarships for those studying in Episcopal seminaries.

To learn more about the SIM/Mercer Scholarship, please contact:
Thomas Moore III
Executive Director
120 Sigourney Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Office: (860) 233-1732
Fax: (860) 233-2644