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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 up to eight scholarships per year, for part-time and full-time female seminarians studying through 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 2023–24 academic year are up to $500 for part-time students and $1000 for full-time students. (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 2023–24 academic year is July 31, 2023.

Requirements for application

Applicants must:

  • Be enrolled and in good standing through a Reformed Church in America agency, i.e., 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 July 31, 2023.

Applications must include:

Completed application form, which includes:

  • One reference who can speak to the student’s spiritual development and academic promise
  • Verification of church and academic standing as outlined in the “requirements for application” section above
The student’s résumé or CV
A brief essay (one-page maximum) that clearly articulates the student’s vision for ministry, touching upon God’s call on her life, her dreams, goals, motivation for pursuing seminary education, and what she hopes to do following graduation.

Apply for a scholarship

Apply online

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

Application process

  • Deadline for applications for the 2023–24 academic year is July 31, 2023.
  • Recipients will be notified by September 30, 2023.
  • The scholarship funds will be disbursed after January 1, 2024, following the successful completion of the fall 2023 semester and enrollment in spring 2024.
  • 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 the Beth E. Marcus Scholarship review team. The theological agencies may be consulted regarding the final candidates. Decisions will be based on a student’s fulfillment of all the requirements and a clear, compelling vision for her calling in ministry. This vision of the student’s intentions to serve Christ in ministry and mission is the most important consideration in the team’s decision. While financial need will be considered, it is not mandatory.