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Seminary Student Aid

NOTICE!

Please read this webpage carefully, as there are important changes to Siebert's seminary financial aid funding.
Email us with questions or call 414.269.2832

Eligibility
  • Student must be enrolled in one of the following approved non-traditional track programs for the purpose of ordination or leadership in Lutheran pastoral ministry:

    • TEEM (ELCA)

    • SMP or EIIT (LC-MS)

    • Pastoral Studies Institute (WELS)

  • Seminary students in traditional M.Div. programs are no longer eligible to receive funding within this grant program. 

  • The student must be a member of a Lutheran congregation in the state of Wisconsin prior to application to seminary.

  • Upon initial application, the student must provide a letter from the church where he/she was a member prior to applying to the seminary verifying church membership.  The letter must be original and on church letterhead (no copies) and include the dates of membership.

  • Grant funding is undesignated, so it can be used for room and board or other non-tuition expenses related to attending seminary.

  • Funding is not limited to three academic years; it remains available if the student needs more time to complete their seminary education or vicarship or internship, if funding is needed and the lifetime cap has not been reached. 

  • The maximum lifetime amount of money the Foundation will provide for an individual is $15,000.

How to Apply

ELCA - TEEM Program:  Complete the Siebert Lutheran Foundation Financial Aid Application Form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office at the seminary you will be attending along with a letter from your church verifying your membership prior to applying to the seminary.  Please remember, you must be a member of a Lutheran congregation in the state of Wisconsin prior to applying to the seminary to be eligible for funding.  The financial aid office at your seminary will apply for funding on your behalf.

LC-MS - SMP Program and EIIT Program:  Complete the Siebert Lutheran Foundation Financial Aid Application Form and submit to your District Office (South Wisconsin District or North Wisconsin District) along with a letter from your church verifying your membership prior to applying to the seminary.  Please remember, you must be a member of a Lutheran congregation in the state of Wisconsin prior to applying to the seminary to be eligible for funding.  The District will apply for funding on your behalf.

WELS – Pastoral Studies Institute:  Complete the Siebert Lutheran Foundation Financial Aid Application Form and submit to the Financial Aid Office at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary along with a letter from your church verifying your membership prior to applying to the seminary.  Please remember, you must be a member of a Lutheran congregation in the state of Wisconsin prior to applying to the seminary to be eligible for funding.  The Seminary will apply for funding on your behalf.

Please note:  Application forms and letters must be submitted to the seminaries and District Offices by July 1st.

What happens after I apply?

The financial aid offices and the district offices will accumulate the application forms from students and letters from churches.  They will calculate the financial need of each student and submit one grant request on behalf of their Wisconsin students enrolled in qualifying programs to the Foundation.

The Foundation will then review these grant requests and award grant money.  Notification of grant awards will be made to the seminaries and district offices by October 10th of the application year.  The seminaries and district offices will notify students of the grant amount each student is to receive.  Grant funds will be issued directly from the Foundation to the seminaries in late October. 

In 2020, the Siebert Lutheran Foundation transitioned to an electronic Accounts Payable platform – Bill.com. The person listed as the contact for your organization will receive an email from Bill.com requesting account information so the grant funds can be directly deposited. If he/she is not the appropriate person, please email Lenee Montgomery and she will send the invite to the person specified.

Student withdrawals

If a student elects to withdraw from their studies at the seminary prior to the issuance of payments, we ask that the Foundation be notified immediately. If a student withdraws at any time during the school year, the seminary must contact the Foundation as soon as possible regarding any unused grant funds. 

  • Why is Siebert Lutheran Foundation now working with donors and prospective donors like me?
    We believe greater resources will grow the Kingdom and glorify God and we want to help you increase your impact by leveraging over four decades of grant-making expertise and in-depth knowledge of the Lutheran Church and affiliated ministries . At our core, we cultivate a sense of community, uniting like-minded Christian philanthropists who want to be responsible stewards of God’s financial gifts.
  • What are the benefits of partnering with Siebert (versus what I’m already doing)?
    Siebert brings knowledge, relationships and evaluation capabilities that few, if any, Christian funders can replicate. Since 1976, Siebert has granted $135 million to Lutheran-affiliated organizations, primarily in Wisconsin and affected countless lives for Christ.
  • What is Siebert’s asset level?
    At the end of 2023, Siebert had $118 million in its portfolio. Granting approximately $4 million per year, Siebert has consistently been listed as one of the most active Milwaukee-area foundations.
  • What are Siebert’s priorities?
    Siebert focuses on three important funding priorities: Growing the Body of Christ … by investing in Lutheran leaders, ministries, congregations, and innovative evangelism in Wisconsin. Educating while Sharing the Gospel … by funding high-performing Lutheran-affiliated schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities within Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha Counties. Serving as the Hands and Feet of Christ … by supporting effective strategies at Lutheran churches and organizations to meet the basic short-term needs of disadvantaged people, and to create pathways toward greater self-sufficiency and empowerment in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities within Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha Counties.
  • What kinds of gifts does Siebert accept?
    Aside from cash gifts, you may give from an IRA, give mutual funds or stocks, or give through your will or estate plan. You may also contact us to learn how we can help you give from your Donor Advised Fund directly to a Siebert grantee.
  • What is the minimum gift that Siebert will accept?
    Siebert is focused on growing your Gospel impact, so a donor can offer a gift of any size!
  • What are gifts I can give right now?
    Use appreciated assets - Stocks, bonds, mutual funds - Privately held business interests or partnerships - Appreciated real estate Give a gift and receive an income back with a charitable trust Give part or all of a Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA (directly to a Siebert grantee) Make a Gift from your Donor Advised Fund (directly to a Siebert grantee) Give a pass-through grant to programs and organizations that align with one or more of Siebert’s three Gospel-focused priorities and mission Participate in our innovative Collaborators’ Event: join with others to increase your collective impact.
  • What are gifts I can give through my estate?
    Gifts through a Will Gifts through Contracts—add Siebert as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy or an IRA (or 401(K) or 403(b) plan).
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