Founded in 1965, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) is indebted to Chancellor William Pearson Tolley, President of Syracuse University (1942-1969), for his vision of supporting church-related education. That vision led him to provide the initial leadership that created the Foundation. During the Methodist General Conference Higher Education Banquet at the 1964 General Conference, Tolley proposed a foundation to raise $50 - $100 million to provide scholarships for Methodist students attending Methodist institutions. His driving belief in the need to financially support Methodist-related institutions of higher education brought about not only the creation of the Foundation, but also the assembly of an outstanding group of influential individuals to lead it through its initial years.

Foundation Overview

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is a national foundation based in Nashville, Tennessee, UMHEF is dedicated to helping students achieve their dreams. UMHEF provides scholarship aid for United Methodist students attending the over 100 United Methodist-related institutions. The UMHEF is a leader in church-related foundations and agencies in providing scholarship support to United Methodist students attending United Methodist higher education institutions.

Part of our mission is to develop a sound funding base to ensure the continuing presence and influence of The United Methodist Church in providing higher education in a Christian context. Our purpose is to raise, manage, and distribute funds to foster education for students attending our United Methodist-related schools, colleges, universities and theological schools. Our goal is to be recognized across the denomination as a scholarship-granting agency of the Church.

UMHEF receives no apportionment funds from the Church, which makes your support even more vital to the life of this ministry.

Our Partners

In addition to our United Methodist-related schools, the following Foundations are Quadruple match partners who provide scholarship support which enables us to provide assistance to additional students through the UM Dollars for Scholars program:

Alabama‐West Florida United Methodist Foundation
California-Pacific United Methodist Foundation 
East Ohio United Methodist Foundation
Georgia United Methodist Foundation
Heartspring United Methodist Foundation
Holston Conference Foundation
The Kentucky United Methodist Foundation, Inc.
Minnesota United Methodist Foundation, Inc.
Missouri United Methodist Foundation, Inc. (students attending Saint Paul School of Theology & Central Methodist Universty)
Rocky Mountain Conference United Methodist Foundation, Inc.
United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences 
United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas
United Methodist Foundation of Iowa
United Methodist Foundation of Michigan
United Methodist Foundation of Northern Illinois
United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, Inc. 

Our Board

We are grateful to our Board Members for their service and leadership:

Mr. Turner Arant - Sunflower, MS 
Glenn Andrew - Kerrville, TX
Rev. Abby Auman - Green, OH 
*Dr. Kim Cape - Nashville, TN
Bishop Minerva Carcaño - West Sacramento, CA
Dr. Irma Clark - Chicago, IL 
J. Rowland Cook - Austin, TX
Mr. Douglas Dannen - Orlando, FL
Ms. Mary Decker - Jacksonville, TX
Ms. Molly K. Gabel - Seattle, WA 
Mrs. Nadine S. Hardin-Miller - Ft. Smith, AR 
Mr. Willie H. Johnson - Austin, TX
Dr. William N. Johnston - Friendsville, MD 
Ruth Knox - Macon, GA
Rev. Jonathan S. Lee - San Diego, CA 
Rev. Katherine Austin Mahle - Golden Valley, MN
Mr. Jadd F. Masso - Dallas, TX 
Dr. Walter McKelvey - Atlanta, GA 
Mr. Wayne Moy - Forest Hills, NY
Mr. Robert Rothe - Kerrville, TX
Rev. Charles Savage - Norcross, GA 
Dr. Barbara Dadd Shaffer - Stanwood, WA 
Mr. Sidney Strebeck - Clovis, NM
Rev. Valerie W. Stultz - Stow, OH 
Mr. Charles Thoele - Dallas, TX 
Ms. Deb Tierney - Indianola, IA
Mr. Bill Vogel - Atlanta, GA 
*Dr. John Wells - Nashville, TN
Ken Yamada - Nashville, TN


We are proud to partner with these organizations to provide students with the most scholarship support possible:

Meet the team

Bob Fletcher
Cindy Patterson
UMLS Liaison & Development Officer
Jamie Cook
Scholarships Administrator
Sheila Graham
Executive Assistant to the President
Billy Lou Wright