Bursaries and Scholarships

“Going to school is expensive; tuition, travel, accommodations, external courses, etc. – not to mention that it is a full-time program and so can be difficult to balance with paid work. Sometimes it’s difficult to ask for money, or to believe that what you are doing is ‘worth’ asking for – especially when there are so many places with shrinking budgets. Remember that your education does not just benefit you, but contributes to the education of the community – church and society. Recognizing this, there are many organizations and government levels that offer grants, bursaries, and scholarships. In general;

  • a grant is money based on an application describing what you are doing and why
  • a bursary is money based on an application describing your financial need
  • a scholarship is money based on an application describing how well you are doing in school.

However, many people use these terms interchangeably, so don’t be constrained in your search.”

– from the CCS Student to Student Handbook


The Centre for Christian Studies has limited bursary funds which are allocated on the basis of financial need. Bursary aid is available to CCS students only. Bursary funds come from two sources:

  1. United Church of Canada Student Financial Aid. This is an amount of money granted through the Congregational, Educational, and Community Ministries (CECM) Unit upon receipt of the Centre for Christian Studies application. The amount is determined by a formula which includes the number of United Church of Canada candidates and the amount of bursary money available to the school from other sources.
  2. The Centre for Christian Studies Bursary Funds. These funds come from donations and include general bursary funds and some designated funds.  (Read about some of the people who have created a legacy of student bursaries.)

Woud you like to donate to the Bursary Fund?

How do I apply for a bursary?

  • Learning on Purpose students: Fill out the online Learning on Purpose Bursary Application form. LoP bursaries are distributed based on available funds, number of applicants, and financial need. Application deadline: May 1.
  • Diaconal Ministry and Certificate students: Fill out the online Bursary Application form. As bursaries are awarded based on need, it will ask you to declare your income and expenses. (If you prefer to send your application by email, or would like a worksheet to prepare offline prior to filling out the online form, you can download this version of the form.) It is recommended that you register for the upcoming school year so you can estimate your tuition needs. The Bursary Working Group will meets to evaluate all the bursary applications twice/year. Application deadline: May 31 and Nov 30.
  • More information about CCS bursaries.

Are there other sources of funding?

If you are a candidate for ministry, often your Education and Students Committee or Bishop’s desk will have leads on locally available funds. It’s also worth checking with your congregation/parish or your denominational offices (Conferences, Presbyteries, Dioceses, etc.). The Anglican Foundation of Canada has bursaries for men and women training for ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Other Bursaries:

  • Order of the Eastern Star (Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership -ESTARL), The Order of the Royal Purple, or the Masonic Lodge – Contact the chapter closest to you for information. Membership not necessary.
  • Unions and insurance companies often have bursaries if your family or yourself are a member.
  • Women’s organizations such as the UCW and ACW. Membership not necessary.
  • Conference, Diocese, or Presbytery discretionary funds.
  • Many universities have internal bursaries that you may be eligible to receive for external courses. It is always worth asking.
  • Canadian National Institute for the Blind Foundation has scholarships for post-secondary students who are blind or partially sighted.
  • Rise Above offers bursaries for single parents in Manitoba.

For students with disabilities:

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students has information about financial assistance, accessibility, in-class accommodations, jobs, on-campus groups, and other information relevant to students with disabilities. It is run by students with disabilities and is a good resource for advocacy. The NEADS website also contains information about government grants and funding for students with disabilities.

RESPs and RRSPs:

You can borrow from ‘yourself’, by borrowing from your RESPs or RRSPs, if you have them. You can borrow ten thousand dollars a year, up to a lifetime amount of twenty thousand dollars.

The CCS Student to Student Handbook is compiled by students and contains an evolving list of funding possibilities.

Student Loans

There are also student loans – both from governments and from private corporations like banks and credit unions. Government loans from the Canada Student Loan Program are usually interest-free until you graduate, but may require more paperwork. Also, because CCS is not a degree-granting institution, for some of the provincial loans you may need to be co-registered at the University of Winnipeg or St. Stephens. Student Aid programs vary from province to province, so please check with your local Student Aid office for application criteria and procedures.

CCS’s “designated educational institution” code for Canada Student Loans is DPDK.


The following scholarships are available from the Centre for Christian Studies:

The Emma Kaufman Scholarship – A scholarship for study or a learning experience outside of Canada or The United States for an extended period of time  awarded to someone with a university degree or demonstrated equivalency. Applicants must demonstrate commitment to a theology of social justice. Preference will be given to women applicants. This award of $10,000 will be given out occasionally, as funds permit.  (The scholarship is made available once the interest on a designated endowment fund has generated enough revenue to fund the award.  It will likely not be available until 2025.)   (Application form for Kaufman Scholarship)

  • 1958 United Church Observer article announcing Kaufman recipients (note the UCTS ad in the corner). *Thank you Caryn Douglas for sending us this
  • 2012 recipient of the Kaufman Scholarship

Gertrude Rutherford Scholarship – A scholarship to further the studies of a graduate(s) of the Centre for Christian Studies, who is proceeding to a Degree in religious education, on the basis of recognized ability and academic standing and financial need. (Application form for Rutherford Scholarship)*

Dr & Mrs A. J. W. Myers Scholarship – A scholarship fund for post-graduate work in religious studies. Awards can be made to students in the Centre for Christian Studies program who have a university degree or to graduates who are pursuing post-graduate work in religious studies at an institution other than the Centre for Christian Studies. (Application form for Myers Scholarship)*

*NOTE: The Myers and Rutherford Scholarships use the same application form.

Kent Presbytery Scholarship – A scholarship of up to $1000 for a United Church candidate who is an active student in the CCS Diaconal Ministries program, with preference given to applicants from rural or small town Ontario, followed by rural or small town students from elsewhere in Canada. (Application form for Kent Presbytery Scholarship )

Patricia Alexander Grant Scholarship – A scholarship of $2000 for a deserving CCS student who is in financial need, with particular consideration given for a student who is Black, Indigenous, a Person of Colour/racialized, Two-Spirit, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, plus), or who lives with a disability. No application required; awarded at recommendation of CCS staff and Awards Working Group. (Background on the Patricia Alexander Grant Scholarship.)

The Kaufman Renewal and Emergency Fund(not to be mistaken with the Emma Kaufman Scholarship) A grant administered by Diakonia of the United Church, available to graduates of the Centre for Christian Studies or its predecessors, to members of the former Association for the Professional Church Workers, to United Church diaconal ministers, and to Anglican professional lay ministers.  The purpose of the Kaufman Renewal and Emergency Fund is to help with the cost of retreat, reflection, renewal and rest experiences, and to make possible a grant or loan to persons who find themselves in a financial emergency.  (For more information, download the brochure or visit the DUCC website.)

Companion of the Centre

The Companion of the Centre award was established in 2001. Through this award CCS honours people who have brought distinction and made significant contribution to the Centre for Christian Studies and whose lives and work epitomize the ideals of the Centre.