Beth E. Marcus Scholarship Fund

The Beth E. Marcus Scholarship Fund was established in 1977 to honor Beth E. Marcus, director of Reformed Church Women from 1973 to 1986. She was an ordained elder in the RCA and holds the distinction of being the first female elected president of General Synod. She also served in other RCA denominational staff roles. The fund has been developed and maintained by gifts received in her honor.


The scholarship fund supports women in the Reformed Church in America (RCA) who are preparing for ministry through theological education. Women attending seminary often need tuition assistance, and the RCWM (Reformed Church Women’s Ministries) established the fund over 40 years ago in response to that need. RCA Women’s Transformation and Leadership is honored to continue the legacy today.

The Beth E. Marcus scholarship fund offers eight scholarships per year: one scholarship for a part-time female seminarian and one for a full-time female seminarian at each of the RCA’s theological agencies: New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS), Western Theological Seminary (WTS) In-residence and distance learning programs, and the Ministerial Formation Certification Agency (MFCA).

The scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year are $500 for a part-time student and $1000 for a full-time student. (Part- and full-time status are defined by each theological agency.) A scholarship may be awarded to the same student multiple times during her course of study if she meets the criteria, reapplies for the scholarship, and is selected. Women who meet the criteria below are strongly encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the 2020-21 academic year is April 30, 2020.

Requirements for application

Applicants must:

  • Be enrolled and in good standing at NBTS, WTS, or MFCA, with full- or part-time status, in an M.Div., M.A., M.T.S., or equivalent degree program
  • Have a four-year college degree or approved equivalent
  • Maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better, if a student is in her second or more year of seminary study; first-year students must have earned a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA in their undergraduate studies
  • Maintain membership in good standing in an RCA church
  • Intend to serve Christ in ministry and mission; this will be the most important factor in the decision, though it will be understood in the broadest sense
  • Complete the following application process and submit no later than April 30, 2020.

Application process

Students should submit applications via email to Liz Testa at the RCA. Deadline for applications for the  2020-21 academic year is April 30, 2020. Recipients will be notified by May 30. The scholarship funds will be disbursed after January 1, 2021, following the successful completion of the fall 2020 semester and enrollment in spring 2021. Funds will be sent directly to the theological agency where the recipient is enrolled and must be used for coursework in that agency.

Please note that if the student withdraws from her studies at any time, repayment of funds may be requested.

Applications will be reviewed by a team of RCA staff members. The theological agencies may be consulted regarding the final candidates. Decisions will be based on a student’s fulfillment of all the requirements and her robust, compelling vision for ministry. The intention of the student to serve Christ in ministry is the most important consideration in the team’s decision. While financial need will be considered, it is not mandatory.

The application must include:

  • The application form, which includes verification of church and academic standing as outlined in the “Requirements for application” section
  • The student’s resume or CV
  • brief essay describing the student’s call to ministry and higher learning (one page maximum, may include statement of faith, vision for ministry, dreams, goals, and motivation for attending seminary or equivalent program)
  • Name and contact information of two references who can speak to the student’s spiritual development and academic promise (please include full name, position or title, relationship to the applicant, street address, email, and phone number)

Beth E. Marcus Scholarship Application

Email completed applications to:

Liz Testa, Coordinator for Women’s Transformation and Leadership

Contributions to the Beth E. Marcus Fund may be made to:

Attn: Beth Marcus Scholarship Fund
Reformed Church in America
4500 60th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

For more information, contact Lorraine Parker at

This initiative is part of Transformed & Transforming, the RCA's 15-year vision for ministry.
Your gifts make this mission possible.