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Merit Scholarship

The King-Mitchell Merit Scholarship Prizes were established by a bequest from the estates of Howard King and his sister Ruth King Mitchell.  These prizes of up to $5,000 each are awarded independently of our need-based aid program, and are intended to encourage academic excellence and foster potential in the broadest expression of theological education.  They are awarded on a competitive basis to entering master's degree students who complete all admissions requirements (with particular attention to GPA, GRE scores if submitted, and academic references) and submit an original essay specifically for prize consideration by the designated deadline.  All application materials for the prize must be received by the Office of Admissions ( by March 1. 

The prizes are renewable for each year of a student’s full-time study at VTS. In order to qualify for automatic renewal, students must be in good-standing academically and otherwise: they must maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher and remain a credit to themselves, to VTS, and to the Church. Should a student’s scholarship not be renewed, the student may appeal to the Admissions Committee for reconsideration.
Note: Middler students may also apply in 2018-19 (for disbursement in 2019-20). Returning students must submit a VTS transcript in addition to the essay.
Write an essay (approximately 1,500 words) on one of the following topics:

Climate Change
Faith & Politics
A figure or movement of religious significance to you
An analysis of a book you have read recently that changed your attitude and opened your mind
The essay should be directed to a general audience and should be informed by religious faith and by references to texts, events, personalities, or ideals important to that faith (although an integration of disciplines—not just a biblical or theological perspective—is encouraged).  Please note that the essay is not to be a defense for Christian faith so much as an exploration of the topic at hand.
In your essay writing, the committee is looking for writing fluency, clarity of focus, concreteness, appropriateness of the examples offered, breadth of reflections, engagement of different points of view, development of ideas, and coherence of argument.
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