Innovative loan assistance program frees PC(USA) members and students for mission service
by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – When the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board unanimously approved a change in name for the Financial Aid for Studies office to Financial Aid for Service in the fall of 2012, the action signaled an intentional shift in the PC(USA) from an emphasis on education purely for the sake of education to education for a life of discernment and service.
“Study is a means, and service is the desired end for all Christians,” said Laura Bryan, associate for Financial Aid for Service in the Theology, Formation and Evangelism ministry area. “While this office will continue to serve Presbyterian students by awarding them money to go to school, our goal is also to encourage students to discern who God created them to be through such opportunities as mission service.”
Because of the board’s affirmative vote, the office was afforded greater flexibility to honor its commitment to young adults and PC(USA) members through such programs as Season of Service Loan Assistance. The program provides up to $250 a month in student loan repayment assistance to volunteers and interns engaged in temporary or part-time mission work in support of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministry, related camp or conference center, congregation, or new worshiping community. Current Season of Service sites include the Young Adult Volunteer program, Crestfield Camp & Conference Center, Mo-Ranch, Heartland Presbyterian Center, and Ferncliff.
The Financial Aid for Service office is currently making appointments at the General Assembly in Portland with representatives of Presbyterian-related organizations who are interested in exploring the Season of Service Loan Assistance program. Staff from the Financial Aid office will be available in the Theology, Formation, and Evangelism ministry area’s Hospitality Suite, Room 2223 in the main building of the Hilton Portland, from June 19 to June 23 for individual consultations.
Contact the Financial Aid for Service office by email to schedule an appointment.
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