Summer Discovery Grant

Bluffton University encourages you to take a break from wage work for part of your summer to create an experience that allows you to consider new vocational possibilities. This is an opportunity for you to dream a little!

Are you an education major considering teaching in an urban school setting but have never experienced the inner city? Are you a science major who would like to volunteer your lab skills for an exciting project at a research institute? Are you a religion major who would like to spend some reflective time at a monastery?

With a Summer Discovery Grant, current first year or sophomore students have the opportunity to design their own 4-6 week summer experience to explore the relationship between vocation and faith. A Summer Discovery Grant may help you discover your calling!  Up to two students will be awarded grants in the amount of $1,500. Grant funds are provided by the Karl Schultz Discovery Funds, an endowment established through the gift of Bluffton alumnus, Karl Schultz.

2017 grant recipients

Additional grants in 2017 were made possible through the generous support of the Council of Independent Colleges and the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Kala Jilani-Pritchett spent time in both a hospital and a faith-based counseling setting working with medical and mental health professionals.

Justin Kauffman job shadowed and gained experience in patient settings and will used this time experiencing some of the multiple health care options he is considering after graduation. 

Claire Clay experienced the breadth of the PR role and shepherd several projects from conception through completion.

sarah Oliver worked with Bluffton faculty to see a research project through from the research design and development stage through the process of reporting on her findings.

2016 grant recipients

Kasey Myers  a food and nutrition major from Mount Vernon, Ohio, learned more about two things she loves this summer—food and faith.

Blake Hershberger an international peace, justice and conflict studies major from Canton, Ohio, immersed himself in the Guatemalan culture.

2015 grant recipients

Rebecca Lapp volunteered at an orphanage in Guatemala exploring faith based non-profit leadership.

Courtney Seffernick worked with several social work settings in northwest Ohio experiencing varied aspects of her intended profession.

Guidelines for eligibility

    • An interest in designing an experience for yourself that will allow you to creatively explore vocation
    • Open to current first years or sophomores with a declared major
    • Registered for classes at Bluffton University for fall of the year for which you are applying for funds.

Experience guidelines
Typically these experiences are:
    • Organized for a 4-6 week period of time during the summer
    • Positions that you will not be paid for in addition to the $1,500 grant 
    • Not experiences for which you hope to gain college credit.

Application guidelines

Application packets are available in the student life office and at Marbeck Desk. To  apply, please submit the following items:

For more information, contact Shari Ayers at or phone 419-358-3030.