Learn about some of the financial support available to people who are entering ministry in the United Church.


  • The United Church Foundation administers scholarships and bursaries that students and candidates for ministry may qualify for. For example, the Anna Jentzsch-Bill Endowment Bursary supports female students of ministry, and the Elizabeth White Bursary supports leadership development in the United Church’s Chinese community.
  • The church’s regional councils offer a variety of funding options for students.
  • The United Church of Canada’s theological schools all have bursaries and grants available for their students. Some are able to cover much, or even all, of a student’s tuition. Please check out the websites of the individual schools and contact them for more information.
  • Be aware of government supports. Canada Student Grants, available in almost every province, have a variety of options for families with low or middle income, students with dependants, and students with permanent disabilities. And through the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), you can borrow up to $10,000/year from your own RRSPs.
  • Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership (ESTARL) is a scholarship fund, administered province by province, for those who are training for religious leadership.


  • The Compassionate Assistance Fund provides financial assistance in the form of grants and/or loans to eligible applicants (including candidates at a United Church of Canada sponsored theological college or training centre) where the family income is insufficient to meet recognized basic living expenses due to extraordinary need because of financially burdening circumstances. It can be accessed through your Conference personnel minister.
  • The Employee and Family Assistance Program, available to all candidates, offers free financial, personal, and other types of counselling services.
  • Pastoral Relations within Supporting Ministry offers tools and resources for ministers and students. Be sure to check out the “Negotiating Tools for Ministry Personnel” and “Pastoral Relations: Ministry Personnel” resources under Downloads. Although some of these will not apply while you are a student, they will be relevant as you consider your finances going forward.
  • The Student Debt Survey was conducted in 2016 to assess the affordability of training for ministry within The United Church of Canada. A summary report is posted in the United Church Commons. Further research is currently underway.

This page is designed to help those considering or entering ministry in the United Church to understand what financial support is available. If you have questions, comments, or feedback, please contact Candidacy Pathway.