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Pittsburgh Theological Seminary establishes Welch Scholarship

The scholarship is for students of color called to urban ministry

by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary | Special to Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Drs. John C. and B. De Neice Welch Endowed Scholarship has been established at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. (Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Seminary)

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has established The Rev. Drs. John C. (’02) and B. De Neice (’04) Welch Endowed Scholarship to honor the work and ministry of alumni John and De Neice Welch on the campus of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary as well as throughout the wider Pittsburgh community.

This merit scholarship will be rewarded to degree-seeking students of African descent and/or students of color with an interest in urban ministry who have completed at least one year of theological education.

“We want to make a seminary education affordable for students are who work full time while seeking their degree,” said the Rev. Dr. David Esterline, president of Pittsburgh Seminary. “The Welch scholarship will enable more students to complete their academic programs while remaining true to their call to urban ministry without worrying about financing their education.”

John Welch said, ”I am deeply honored that the length and depth of our commitment to PTS is being recognized in this manner and I hope this scholarship will further enhance the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Black students and other students of color who financially would otherwise not have chosen this seminary.”

John Welch worked at Pittsburgh Seminary from 2007 to 2020, most recently as vice president for student service and community engagement and dean of students. While at the Seminary, he publicly lived out his faith by serving with several community organizations, ecclesial committees, and governmental boards and commissions.

Additionally, he has a supporting role at Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh as minister of music, where he was ordained and formerly served as pastor. He is president emeritus of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) and also chairs the board of directors of the international network PIIN is a part of, Gamaliel. He previously volunteered for 10 years as chief of chaplains for the Bureau of Police Chaplaincy Corps in the city of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (B.S.), Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Duquesne University (Ph.D.)

De Neice Welch is pastor of the Bidwell Presbyterian Church and a community advocate who served as the first female and African American associate pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. During her time at Shadyside, she expanded the missional focus and coordinated a number of mission trips, including outreach to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and to the Presbyterian mission partners in Malawi.

Since 2007, she has served as pastor of Bidwell Presbyterian Church, where she launched a summer lunch and camp program for children in the Manchester neighborhood. At PTS, she was a workshop leader on several occasions and guest lecturer. In addition to serving at the church, De Neice also was president of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network. She is a graduate of Robert Morris College (B.A.), Geneva College (B.S.), Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Duquesne University (Ph.D.).

Rooted in the Reformed tradition and in relationship with Christ-followers from other traditions, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary forms and equips people for ministries familiar and yet to unfold and communities present and yet to be gathered.

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