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The application program will be available again in February. Please return then to view the updated Eligibility and Awards for the upcoming academic year! If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!


CM CARES Religious Scholars Program
Application status: Closed

CM CARES®, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, has established a scholarship program to assist students pursuing an advanced degree in religious studies at an accredited or conditionally accredited theological seminary, college or university of higher learning.

CM CARES has partnered with Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarships, to administer the program. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or national origin.


Applicants for the CM CARES Religious Scholars Program must:

  • Be enrolled or be planning to enroll in a full-time or part-time*, graduate or doctorate religious studies program** at an accredited or conditionally accredited*** United States theological seminary, college, or university of higher learning, for the entire 2023-24 academic year.
    • *Usually a minimum of 6 credits; however, this varies by school. If you are unsure whether you are enrolled part-time, please check what your school’s part-time enrollment policy is.
    • **Applicants must be pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree in an area of religious study. This can be any area of religious study provided the applicant intends to enter full-time ministry following completion of studies.
    • ***Institutions in the process of achieving accreditation.
  • Demonstrate personal impact throughout education, work experiences, and volunteerism.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent.
  • Be committed to entering the practice of full-time ministry* in the United States** following completion of studies.
    • *Full-time ministry includes holding a paid leadership position within a church body as a primary means of income.
    • **Must be physically within the United States.
  • International applicants are not eligible to apply for this program.

Note: No employee of Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, Inc., Church Mutual Insurance Company, or any family member of such employee, is eligible to apply. No officer or director of Church Mutual Insurance Company, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, Inc. or member of the Selection Committee, employee or family member of any officer, director, or member of the Selection Committee, is eligible to apply.

If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $2,500 award. Up to twenty five (25) awards will be granted.

Awards are one-time only and not renewable. Scholarship recipients are not eligible to reapply in future years.

Awards are for students in graduate or doctorate religious study programs in accredited or conditionally accredited universities, colleges, and seminaries.

Applicants will be notified in June. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients. Nonrecipients may reapply to the program each year they meet eligibility requirements.

Payment of Scholarships
Scholarship America processes scholarship payments on behalf of CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation. Payments are made in one installment in August.

Selection of Recipients
Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of:

  • Scholastic performance in undergraduate/graduate programs
  • Demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • Honors
  • Work experience
  • An online recommendation

Financial need will not be considered.

Selection of recipients is made by the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, Religious Scholars Council. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

As part of your application, you must upload a current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which each course was taken.

NOTE: If you are providing SAT or ACT test scores, and those scores are not listed on your high school transcript, you will need to upload a copy of your test score report(s) separately. If you are uploading a college transcript, those scores are not required.

One online recommendation form must be submitted on your behalf no later than April 6, 2023 3:00 pm Central Time.

Your application is not considered complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically.

Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, Inc., has partnered with Scholarship America. Selecting the button below will redirect you to the Scholarship America Student Hub!