BLUFFTON JUNIOR RECEIVES THEOLOGICAL FELLOWSHIP
Katie Wineland, a Bluffton University junior from Gibsonburg, Ohio, has been named as one of the Fund for Theological Educationís (FTE) roughly 40 Undergraduate Fellows for 2012-13.
Wineland, an Elmwood High School graduate who is majoring in biblical studies at Bluffton, will receive a $2,000 stipend that can be applied to educational expenses and/or an experience of exploring ministry. FTE, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, also covers the costs for the Undergraduate Fellows to attend its annual conference, this year in Nashville from June 19-23.
"Through our Undergraduate Fellowship program, we seek to support gifted young leaders from diverse racial and ethnic communities and a variety of Christian faith traditions who are exploring ministry as vocation," according to the FTE website.
Applicants must be sophomores or juniors with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in an accredited North American college or university. They must also be nominated by a faculty member, administrator, chaplain/campus minister or current pastor.
Dr. Randy Keeler, an associate professor of religion at Bluffton, nominated Wineland "because of her love for the church and academic study," he said. "Katie was a perfect candidate because of her sincere desire to do vigorous biblical study in the context of vocational ministry and because of her commitment to the work of the church."
Wineland, who has a minor in peace and conflict studies and certification in mediation, plans to graduate from Bluffton in May 2013. The former Bowling Green, Ohio, resident then intends to enter a master of divinity degree program at a United Methodist theological school, possibly Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., or Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.
She said that "applying to seminaries as a FTE Fellow is much like applying to universities as a National Merit Scholar. Iíve visited 11 seminaries so far, and many offer special scholarships for FTE Fellows or give first priority to FTE Fellows for their highest awards."
Also seeking ordination as a deacon in the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, she hopes either to pursue a Ph.D. in biblical studies and teach, or to serve in peace and justice ministry. "Either way, I will spend my life serving Godís people in a ministry that connects church, academy and world," she said.
Bluffton public relations, 4/25/12