2021 Annual Review

Here at the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, we have many reasons to celebrate: UM students thriving as they seek God’s calling on their lives, schools committed to providing quality education, and YOU – our faithful and generous supporters!

In this year’s UMHEF Annual Review, we take a look back at the amazing ways God worked through you and our partners in 2021 to live into the foundation’s grand vision to make higher education possible for United Methodist students. 

Inspired after reading the impact made last year? You can be a part of the community of supporters changing the lives of hundreds of United Methodists every year.

Reflection: FREE 2022 Lenten Activity

Every year, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation provides a FREE Lenten activity for anyone interested in focusing on their faith during this season. Lent is the 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter that begins with Ash Wednesday – this year, on March 2.

This year, we invite you to spend a few moments in reflection every day. Download the Reflection: 40 Days, 40 Words activity. During each day of Lent, spend a few moments reflecting on the word of the day.

What does the word mean to you? How might it reflect your own faith journey? Pray on each word and ask God to speak to your heart.

Feel free to share with family, friends, or distribute in your church community.

Scholarship Application Update

The following story was previously published in regards to our application season which is now closed.


The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation has extended its scholarship application deadline for the 2022-2023 academic year to March 15 after receiving several requests for more time to complete requirements during this challenging time.

Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. UMHEF awards more than $2 million in financial aid annually.

Learn about UMHEF scholarship programs, FAQs, and how to apply. As part of its extensive library of scholarships, select awards are available for ethnically diverse students, including those who plan to attend UM-related HBCUs. In rare cases, students attending schools not UM-related may also qualify for awards and are invited to apply for the General Named Endowed program.

Please note that UMHEF is a private non-profit organization and is not affiliated with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

Scholarships for Students Attending Select HBCUs

Scholarships for HBCU Students

Did you know that UMHEF offers scholarships designated to support United Methodist students attending select HBCUs? Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year are accepted now through March 1, 2022. Awards range from $500 to $5,000.

UM-related HBCUs include:

  • Bennett College
  • Bethune Cookman University
  • Claflin University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Dillard University
  • Gammon Theological Seminary
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Paine College
  • Philander Smith College
  • Rust College
  • Wiley College

More information on all of our award programs, eligibility criteria, the application process, and FAQs can be found here. Applications and supporting materials must be submitted online or postmarked no later than March 1, 2022. Those wishing to be considered for HBCU scholarships should apply using the General Named Endowed application and be sure to indicate which of the above schools they plan to attend.

The grand vision of UMHEF is that it be financially possible for qualified United Methodist students to attend a United Methodist-related institution of higher education. Annually, the foundation provides nearly 1,000 UMC students with scholarships totaling more than $2 million.

Applications Now Open for Scholarships for United Methodist Students

United Methodist Scholarships - Apply Now!

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is now accepting applications for scholarships to help fund the 2022-2023 academic year. Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. The deadline is apply is March 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted.

UMHEF’s two main programs are General Named Endowed (GNE) Scholarships and the United Methodist Dollars for Scholars (UMDFS) program. The GNE application is a typical competitive scholarship that considers leadership, GPA, and financial need. With this one application, students will be considered for over 100 different endowments (additional requirements may apply). Select awards are also available to those attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities, other ethically diverse students, and more.

More information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and other important details can be found here. Applications and supporting materials must be submitted/postmarked no later than March 1, 2022.

The grand vision of UMHEF is that it be financially possible for qualified United Methodist students to attend a United Methodist-related institution of higher education. Annually, the foundation provides nearly 1,000 UMC students with scholarships totaling more than $2 million.

FREE Verse-a-Day Advent Calendar

Amid the busyness of the season, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation invites you to spend a moment every day of December this Advent thinking about the story of Jesus’ birth. With one Bible verse a day, may you find your own peace and joy in the journey to the miraculous gift at the manger.

Download the Verse-a-Day Advent Calendar below for FREE as our gift to you. It’s our hope that you may feel Christ with you during this special season.

New Scholarship Endowment Fund Honors Memory of UMHEF Trustee

The Robert Siegmund Rothe Scholarship Endowment Fund has been created to honor the memory of long-serving United Methodist Higher Education Foundation Board of Trustee Robert “Bob” Rothe of Kerrville, Texas, who passed away on July 29, 2021.

An alumnus of Southern Methodist University, Bob dedicated more than fifteen years to supporting the higher education of countless other United Methodist students through UMHEF. Once voted Trustee of the Year by his peers, Bob was respected and loved by all he served alongside.

Bob’s service went far beyond UMHEF. He served in leadership roles within community organizations like Allen Rotary Club, Allen Chamber of Commerce, First United Methodist Church of Allen, Allen Community Outreach, Arts of Collins County Foundation, Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Allen Schools Foundation, and First United Methodist Church of Kerrville, TX.

Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Bob’s wife, Merry Ann Rothe, and his family and friends.

Gifts may be made in Bob’s memory to the Robert Siegmund Rothe Scholarship Endowment Fund here. Simply choose the fund from the drop-down menu.

A Dual Focus on People and Community: UMHEF Scholar Fernando Domingos

Having grown up in The United Methodist Church, Fernando Domingos sees a parallel between his interest in mission and his choice of psychology as his college major at Africa University: both focus on people and communities. With assistance from the Martha G. Rowlett and Robert J. Arnott Scholarship Endowment, awarded by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, Fernando is now working toward his Master of Divinity at Drew University with the aim to give back.

Although mission work is hard, Fernando knows it is God’s work, and God will sustain him. He looks forward to hearing the stories of others, becoming an advocate for social justice, and helping to build strong communities.

After graduating from Africa University, Fernando has spent the past two years in Brazil working with Shade and Fresh Water, an after-school program of the Methodist Church of Brazil for at-risk youth ages 6 to 14. Through his education and experience in Brazil, he saw a shortage in pastoral care and counseling services. His sights are set on this area of focus as he pursues his graduate degree at Drew.

Fernando’s lifestyle is “one set to serve God and others.”

Fernando shared that his first priority is to always give back smiles as he comforts those going through life’s challenges, and to orient others to have a heart of love and charity. His lifestyle is one set to serve God and to serve others. He prays that after completion of his MDiv, he can “extend the services of the church community in larger ways to help others through a great heart of love to the work of God in this earth.”

Learn more about the vision and reach of UMHEF.
Read about the Martha G. Rowlett and Robert J. Arnott Scholarship Endowment.
Support students like Fernando.

Weaving Together Life and Helping Others: Dr. Martha Rowlett

One UMHEF Donor Supports African Students with Endowment Fund

In Martha Rowlett’s book Weaving Prayer Into the Tapestry of Life, she wrote in the introduction, once done with most books they can be shelved or passed on, “but this book wants to hang around and be used. It would like to be a friendly companion to help you connect with God about the living of your life as you weave your personal life tapestry.”

That also describes Dr. Rowlett. If you’ve had the opportunity to spend time with her, you want to keep her around. Dr. Rowlett and her late husband, Dr. Robert Arnott established an endowed scholarship through the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. While working at Claremont School of Theology, Dr. Arnott visited Africa for a conference where he bonded with Bishop Lawi Imathiu and was inspired to establish an endowment that would provide scholarships for students from Africa attending United Methodist schools in the United States or Africa.

Over the past few years, Martha has so enjoyed receiving updates and letters of thanks from the students that she decided to gift a portion of her estate plan while she is still alive. Students like Fernando Domingos have benefitted from this gift. From Angola, Fernando is a member of Redentor United Methodist Church in the West Angola Annual Conference and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Africa University. With assistance from the Martha G. Rowlett and Robert J. Arnott Scholarship Endowment, Fernando is now working toward his Master of Divinity at Drew University with a focus in this area.

It is Martha’s goal to be able to see even more impact, but she claims that she is “simply following in their direction. This was Bob and Bishop Lawi’s dream and I know that they would’ve been happy to see this happen.”

If you are interested in establishing an endowed scholarship, or if you would like to support a current fund, please contact the UMHEF Development Officer, Melissa Houck by email or call (615) 649-3970.

2020 Annual Review

UMHEF 2020 Annual Review

Once again, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation is excited to share with you its Annual Review. This important document celebrates all the ways the support of generous donors and partners have allowed the Foundation to live into its grand vision throughout the past year.

Despite challenges faced across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was a time full of reasons to celebrate. We invite you to view the following 2020 Annual Review and join us in giving thanks for all of the ways UMHEF has been able to make it economically possible for United Methodist students to attend UM-related schools. We celebrate YOU and your part in this exciting year.

View this year’s review below: