Scholarship Opportunities

Apollos Scholarship from the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation.

Requirements: 1) member of a PCUSA congregation; 2) under care of a Presbytery as an Inquirer or Candidate; 3) enrolled as a full-time student in the M.Div degree program at a PCUSA Seminary; 4) individual who possesses qualities of excellence for ministry.

Applications are due: April 15, 2015. Scholarship is $1,500 – $3,000 per semester for up to three years of study. For more information, visit their website:

The Barber Scholarship

The Barber Education Trust was established in 1975 in memory of Edwin J. Barber for the purpose of assisting with the cost of tuition and fees for people seeking education in ministry. There is a minimum grant amount of $500 to each recipient.

Preference to applicants who are United Methodist, though all students may apply. Contact the Barber Scholarship Committee for the application: Applications are due May 31st.

William H. Higgins Scholarship

During his lifetime, William H. Higgins gave financial assistance to many students at McCormick Theological Seminary.  At the time of his death, he left a bequest to continue his support of those preparing for professional leadership in the church. This bequest is called the Higgins Scholarship Fund and has been administered by a committee accountable to the Presbytery of Chicago since 1960.

Must be a full or half-time student. Seminary or Ph.D. level with special consideration being given to M.Div. students preparing for the parish ministry.  Priority is given to second year students and beyond.

Grants of up to $5,000 (and at least $2,000) will be made, based on financial need, vocational fitness, plan of study and ecclesiastical connection.

Please note:  Preference will be given to students of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and students under the care of Chicago Presbytery. A small portion of the money will be available for International students studying at McCormick Seminary.

All of those considering applying for a Higgins Scholarship are encouraged to read the Scholarship Guidelines. These guidelines are carefully observed. The Scholarship Guidelines and Application Form are listed on the Chicago Presbytery website: The completed application is due by March 31, 2015.

Please direct all questions to the Higgins Scholarship Coordinator, Presbytery of Chicago, 815 W. Van Buren St, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60607.


Graduating Seniors – Party Planning Committee

Graduation is only 88 days away!  And all senior work is due in only 73 days. We are definitely in the home stretch now, even though there is still a lot of work to be done.

Self-care is an important aspect of every future leader’s life (ordained or not) and we need to honor this major accomplishment in the right way. Graduating senior Danny Morales says it best, “Folks, we need to party!!” If you are a graduating senior interested in planning an end-of-the-year celebration, contact Danny Morales so you can start planning.

Interview with First Year Student – Hyunju Lee

Sarah Bennett: What were you doing before you came to McCormick?

Hyunju Lee: I completed my Master of Divinity studies at Hanshin University in Seoul. And then I did my pastoral internship for a year.

SB: So what degree are you studying here at McCormick?

HL: I am in my first year as a MTS student. It is the degree you need to go on for PhD work, which I hope to do. I just decided that I want to study further. I will be working on applications soon so that I can start applying to PhD programs here. I hope to focus on the New Testament, maybe the Gospels. I am taking a course on that right now with Dr. Tanzer and like it.

SB: Have you gotten connected with any churches in the Chicago-land area yet?

HL: Actually I worked for a pastor at a Korean immigrant church in Glenview, IL last semester. I really enjoyed working with the church Sunday school kids. I helped out with Vacation Bible School as well.

SB: What is one of your favorite things to do since moving to Chicago?

HL: I really enjoy visiting the different neighborhoods in Chicago, especially Pilsen because I love Mexican food! I have visited here before coming to McCormick, and visited with Hanshin alumni.

If you want to chat with Hyunju, she works in the mailroom!

Tisha Mason – First Year Interview

Tisha Mason

By Lowell Young

Quantisha “Tisha” Mason, a first year M. Div. student, isn’t your typical seminary student. Her journey from a “work” college in North Carolina to McCormick Theological Seminary is very interesting and quite unique. Some of what she did before coming to McCormick is not what most seminary students typically do. But then, there is nothing “typical” about “Tisha” Mason, as the following interview makes abundantly clear.

Lowell Young (LY): What was the journey that culminated in you enrolling here at McCormick?

“Tisha” Mason (TM): First of all, I met Wayne Meisel from the Center of Faith & Service in early 2013. Then I went to the World Council of Churches gathering in South Korea, where I met McCormick alums Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung and current McCormick students Ben Snipes and Vimary Cruz. They all talked about McCormick a lot. It was good to see McCormick students and alums so active in the World Council of Churches and that appealed to me very much. Listening to them talk about McCormick and watching how actively involved they were in the World Council of Churches events and programs played a huge role in me eventually deciding to enroll here at McCormick.

LY: What did you do prior to enrolling in seminary?

TM: I went to Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, one of only seven work colleges in the country, where the students both work and do service projects. My job was in the ceramics art studio, where I was a studio manager.

LY: What made you decide to attend Warren Wilson College?

TM: The school offered me the opportunity to study subjects in which I had a great deal of interest—Ceramics, Ceramic Sculpture, Metalsmithing and Bronze. If I have an interest in something, I go with it. If I have a way to do something I want to do, I’ll do it. I follow my gut on a lot of things and it hasn’t led me astray yet.

LY: I understand you are a licensed blacksmith. When and how did you take up that line of work?

TM: It was during my second year of college when I met all the requirements of being a blacksmith. Soon thereafter, I worked for a while as a blacksmith at Camp Falling Creek in North Carolina.

LY: When did you decide you wanted to go to Seminary?

TM: My major in college was religion. I already knew I was going to attend seminary someday. I just didn’t know when.

LY: As a student in the M. Div. program, what is it that you hope to accomplish?

TM: I’m in the M. Div. program with the goal of eventually being ordained in the PCUSA.

LY: How’s everything going so far?

TM: All right, so far. I see a lot of potential in the people McCormick is educating. There are a lot of people that I feel honored to know here. When I first arrived here, some of the people I met were so genuine and true with me; and if they are still part of my life 10 years after I leave here, I will be so grateful.

LY: What are your career goals after graduation and ordination?

TM: I have a lot of lofty dreams. Perhaps going on to get a Masters and a Ph. D. Parish work is also an option. Non-conventional ministry—such as working in the non-profit sector—is also a possibility.

LY: What role have Jesus and faith played in your interesting and very unique journey?

TM: I always feel like Jesus was in my heart and part of my life. But there always are times that I question my faith; but that’s when I grow in my faith even more. Those who don’t question their faith can be like lambs being led to the slaughter.

Student Council Summary – Nov 3 Meeting



The meeting was called to order at 4:12 pm by Co-moderator Addie Domske. The opening meditation was a prayer for Co-moderator’s Jene Colvin’s family who lost a family member earlier in the day.

Each of the attendant Student Advocacy Groups presented reports on their present and upcoming activities.


  • The Antiracism training will take place on Saturday, January 24th. All student leaders are required to attend.
  • Elliott Johnson is planning a Fellowship Dinner at A10 for the members of Student Council. The date will be determined and reported in the near future.
  • Addie announced that McCormick has reduced the tuition by about $3,000 a year. This is an effort by McCormick to assist with reducing student debt.

New Business

  • Trustee reports
    • The Student affairs committee is planning a listening session with students tentatively on November 24 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Addie will confirm the date and time. The Town hall will include two trustees that will listen to student concerns regarding McCormick Student life. It is important that students attend to express their issues. Everyone in the community is invited.
  • Bylaws review and minor languages changes
    • A Spanish translation of the title of the Student Council bylaws was proposed and unanimously adopted. A Korean translation is forthcoming.

Student Concerns voiced at the meeting

  • An international student is concerned about the status of his VISA.
  • Minority (race, gender, sexuality) students felt like token representatives at the McCormick Visionary Awards Gala and scholarship recipients felt like they were on display.
  • McCormick is not a safe place for LGBT students. Insults in the classroom are not addressed. There are some professors that may not know how to facilitate a class discussion regarding LGBT issues.
  • The African American center staff position is filled but the Korean center staff position has been empty for two years.
  • Students participating in a Field site Experience should receive a stipend.

The next Student Council Meeting will be Monday, December 1 at 4:30 in the Buchanan Lounge. Dinner will be served.

Evening Reference & Research Instruction at JKM

Holly Wilson is a LSTC PhD student and the evening Reference & Library Instruction Assistant at the JKM Library. Holly is in the Learning Commons area of JKM every Tuesday and Wednesday evening from 5 to 10 pm to help you with your research needs after Barry Hopkins has left for the day.

Holly’s here to help…so consult her when you’re at JKM those long evenings!


The JKM Library hours:

Mon. – Thurs: 8:30am – 10:30pm

Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday: 10:00am – 4:30pm

Sunday: Closed

Field Studies Information Sessions

All students are invited to participate in the 2014-2015 Field Studies Experiential Education Informational Session. If you are considering enrolling in this course next year, this exciting and engaging event is for you. Both information sessions (1pm and 5pm) will take place on Tuesday, November 4th in the Buchanan Lounge. To RSVP for either session, please email

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