Theologian in Residence Grant

Theologian in Residence Grant Process

At the October 7, 2017 meeting, the Northwestern Ohio Synod Council established the “Theologian in Residence Grant Process” to provide a monetary grant for an individual or individuals to attend an in-depth retreat, or continuing education opportunity in line with the Bishop’s yearly theme. To fund this grant process, Synod Council has approved the use of the Rave Scholarship fund, which was established to provide monetary support for lay and clergy theological education.

For 2018, The Year of Prayer, we are piloting the grant process and the Executive Committee of Synod Council has approved the Rev Melodi Hagen of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moulten Ohio as our Theologian in Residence. Watch our Facebook page and this webpage for updates on Pastor Melodi’s experiences and journey through this year of prayer.

We are now accepting applications to be the Theologian in Residence for 2019: the Year of Scripture. Applications should be submitted by email (or mail) to Diane Stultz ( at the synod office. You will receive an email verifying receipt of your application.

This grant process has been left very broad in terms of who can apply and what opportunities are applicable, so as not to limit or hamper the interests and opportunities of applicants. As such, successful applicants will work diligently to demonstrate to the Review Team that their opportunity will be of most benefit to the community of the Northwestern Ohio Synod.

The recipient of the grant will be designated as the NWOS “Theologian in Residence” for the year’s theme, and as such, will have responsibilities for the duration of the year. These responsibilities typically include:

  • Speaking at Synod Assembly (if applicable) or other related functions
  • Being available to congregations, pastors, and lay leaders for teaching (and preaching if desired) opportunities
  • Assisting the Office of the Bishop with developing resources, and planning related events (Fall Theological Convocation if applicable)
  • Serving on that year’s resource team

This is not an exhaustive list and responsibilities may vary from year to year. Check this webpage for updated information at the opening of the application period (May 1, 2018).

Who can apply?

This grant is open to any individual (ordained or lay) who is of high school age or older, and lives within the territory of the Northwestern Ohio Synod. It is possible that depending on the theme, the application review team might give priority to certain groups of individuals. This will be at the discretion of the review team and will be announced prior to the opening of the application period.

Applicants must also be active in a faith community. This grant is not limited to individuals of a NWOS congregation, or even a Lutheran or Christian congregation. But the individual must demonstrate that they are an active member of a community of faith that promotes positive and compassionate values through their theology and actions.

When are the deadlines?

The application period will be open from May 1 to August 31, 2018, and the recipient will be announced during the Fall Gatherings.

What can the grant be utilized for?

The grant is intended to provide an opportunity for an individual to attend an educational, spiritual, or theological retreat, seminar, or event etc.  The recipient will be expected to be available as a resource for the rostered ministers, lay leaders, and congregations of this synod. As such, competitive applicants will demonstrate how their desired opportunity will be beneficial to the whole synod, and they will agree to be available to the synod for teaching opportunities and other responsibilities outlined above.

What will the grant cover?

The grant will cover all expenses* associated with the opportunity such as:

  • Travel
  • Lodging
  • Books and materials
  • Registration fees
  • Meals

*Payment will be made to the organization/institution offering the opportunity and not to the recipient. All expenses will need to be approved by NWOS administrative staff.

What won’t the grant cover?

The grant will not cover:

  • Gifts for friends and family
  • Travel for visiting friends and family
  • Lodging for visiting friends and family
  • Meals for visiting friends and family
  • Registration for additional individuals
  • Books and materials for visiting friends and family

What is the application process?

Applicants will need to complete an Application Narrative and provide, as detailed as possible, a cost summary of the opportunity. Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities preventing the completion of the Application Narrative.

After the deadline, all applications will be reviewed by the Review Team and individuals will be notified if they have been selected for an interview. The Review Team will have broad discretion on the selection criteria, scope of the interview, and if there will be additional interviews or steps in the selection process. Any additional steps or requested information will be promptly conveyed to the individuals selected for interviews, and the process will not be amended after that point.

At each step in the process, individuals will be notified about their current status, ie; individuals will be notified of their release or advancement after interview selections.

Questions about the application process, or review process can be directed to the Synod Administrator.

Who is on the Review Team?

The Review Team will consist of five to seven individuals and membership will fluctuate from year to year. Based on the yearly theme, the bishop will appoint two members who have gifts related to the theme, and at her/his discretion, the Bishop may appoint one or two staff members. The Synod Council will also elect from its membership two members, and will also approve the Bishop’s appointments. At her/his discretion, the Bishop may sit in on the interviews, but the Bishop will not take part in the initial review of the Application Narratives, or the award of the grant.

The grant award(s) will be made by the Review Team whose decision is final.

What is the Application Narrative?

The Application Narrative is the basis for the Review Team’s selection process. The Narrative should be typed, 11-point Calibri font, double spaced, 1-inch margins, with no more than 10 pages (excluding title page and the Appendixes). (Reasonable accommodations will be made for those with disabilities preventing the completion of this application). The Narrative consists of four parts (please utilize these as headings within your narrative):

Part One: Opportunity Description and Scope

Part Two: Benefit to the NWOS Community

Part Three: Benefit to the Applicant and Applicant’s Faith Community

Part Four: Applicant History and Information

Part One: Opportunity Description and Scope

  1. Begin with a purpose statement describing why you are applying for the grant
  2. Clearly describe the opportunity including:
    1. A brief background including the purpose of the opportunity
    2. Describe how the opportunity relates to the Synod’s yearly theme
    3. The outcomes and goals
    4. Attach the itinerary of the opportunity as Appendix 1
    5. Attach the itemized cost of the opportunity as Appendix 2


Part Two: Benefit to the NWOS Community 

  1. Demonstrate how your participation in this opportunity will be of benefit to the NWOS community.

Part Three: Benefit to the Applicant

  1. Demonstrate how your participation in this opportunity will renew you personally, spiritually, mentally, etc.
  2. Demonstrate how your participation will positively impact your family, coworkers, colleagues, and congregation or faith community

Part Four: Applicant History and Information

  1. Describe your current occupation
  2. Describe your faith community and your personal involvement
  3. Include any other information that you feel may be relevant
  4. Attach your current resume as Appendix 3


(Open May 1 to August 31, 2018)

To complete the grant applications process, email your application to Diane Stultz at