Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Pass the Torch Scholarship

The Pass the Torch Scholarship is sponsored by the Great Plains Association of Retired Clergy and Spouses (GPARCS) to assist certified candidates for ministry with their educational expenses. Since the founding of the scholarship in 1991, more than $86,000 has been awarded in scholarships to support women and men called by God who will be pursuing their seminary or Course of Study education. 

The retired ministers, their families, and many other persons have given gifts "In Memory" or "In Honor" of a Christian brother or sister so that their legacy continues through this scholarship. 

The Great Plains Association of Retired Clergy and Spouses (GPARCS) make a difference in the lives of so many future seminary and Course of Study students through this fund. The Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation is proud to be a partner with the Pass the Torch Scholarship Committee by supporting those called by God into ministry so that they may pursue their seminary education.

Donations to the Pass the Torch Scholarship Fund can be mailed to the Foundation Office or click here to donate online.



  1. The applicant must be a professing member of The United Methodist Church for at least one year.

  2. Scholarship assistance is limited to a seminary or Course of Study student who:
    1. Is from the Great Plains Annual Conference.
    2. Is a Certified Candidate for ministry, currently approved by their District Committee on Ordained Ministry (or approved with a ceredentialed status by the Great Plains Conference Board of Ordained Ministry).
    3. Is enrolled in seminary as a full time or part time degree candidate or in a Course of Study School for Local pastors in the United Methodist Church.
  3. Scholarship applications for college, undergraduate study or post graduate study beyond seminary will not be considered.

  4. Preference will be made for a student attending a United Methodist seminary* over a non-United Methodist seminary.  The committee reserves the right to take any unusual circumstances into account in making its decisions.

  5. The scholarship will be for one year ONLY. To be considered for any subsequent years, another application must be submitted.

  6. The scholarship is a grant, but will become identified by the committee as a loan if:
    1. The recipient does not return to the Great Plains Annual Conference following graduation from seminary or completion of the Course of Study.
    2. The recipient does not serve a minimum of five years under appointment in the Great Plains Annual Conference.
    3. The recipient withdraws from seminary or Course of Study School.  In the event that a situation described in (a), (b), or (c) occurs, the amount of the scholarship must be repaid on a monthly basis with interest rate at 3% as established by the scholarship committee.  Repayment must begin no later than six months after default on the scholarship agreement.
  7. Financial need will be among the criteria for granting the scholarship.  If the applicant is the recipient of other scholarship aid, that also becomes a factor in granting the scholarship.

  8. Payment of the scholarship will be made directly to the seminary or Course of Study School where the student is enrolled.

  9. This fund will be under the direction and control of the Great Plains Association of Retired Clergy and Spouses (GPARC), until such time as it is incoporated into the work of the Great Plains Annual Conference.

  10. If other pertinent factors arise, the Great Plains Association of Retired Clergy and Spouses reserves the right to change or amend or adapt the program to meet such need as they arise.


Please email your completed application to:
Rev. Gary Beach

*As approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church.