AU’s Christian Ministry Foundation receives $8,000 grant from Baptist Foundation of South Carolina

November 8, 2017

The Baptist Foundation of South Carolina awarded AU a one-time, $8,000 grant to fund scholarships for students entering the ministry after graduation. 

The scholarships will go through the Christian Ministry Foundation, an endowed scholarship program established earlier this year to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students who will enter full-time ministry. The Foundation is directed by Dr. Bob Cline, vice president of church relations at AU, and a board of directors with ties to AU. 

According to the grant application, the Foundation acknowledged that entering a full-time career in the ministry is often delayed or hindered by students’ obligations to pay off student debt. AU established the Foundation’s scholarship program to provide endowed scholarship funds to lessen the financial burden these ministry students are forced to take on. 

Until the endowment was fully funded, however, AU opted to award several annual scholarships. The Foundation granted three scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year to students with financial need. But the awards also meant that the Foundation had to raise money not only for the endowment, but also for the scholarships, Dr. Cline said. 

“The main Christian Ministry Foundation endowment will generate income for scholarships over time, but it will probably be a few years before that happens,” Dr. Cline said. “We did not want to wait to begin helping students who are dealing with the challenges of college expenses as they respond to God's call to full-time ministry.” 

The grant will allow the Christian Ministry Foundation to focus on raising money for an endowment that will allow the school to provide more scholarships, Dr. Cline said. 

“The Baptist Foundation grant enables us to fund some immediate scholarships and focus our attention on building up the main endowment for the long-term benefit of needy students,” Dr. Cline said. “This one-time grant will allow us to focus our attention on building up the endowment which is critical now. This grant is a real answer to our prayers.”

The grant is one of more than $75,000 awarded by the Baptist Foundation to 27 grantees. 

Currently, three students—two sophomores and one junior—receive scholarships from the Christian Ministry Foundation. The grant will pay for a $1,000 scholarship for each of them through each student’s graduation, said Cliff Satterwhite, chairman of the board for the Christian Ministry Foundation. 

Satterwhite said he empathized with the students and that all money received by the Foundation would go to students. 

“When I went to Anderson, I had people help me – boy, did I appreciate that,” Satterwhite said. “I had to use student loans, and it took me 15 years to pay it off. The folks who support the foundation know that every penny of their donations go to support the students.” 

Memberships to the foundation are $150, all of which goes to scholarships for students. For more information on how to become a Christian Ministry Foundation member, contact Dr. Bob Cline, Vice President for Church Relations, at (864) 933-1227.