Azusa, Calif.— Azusa Pacific University and the Kern Family Foundation share a common goal—to prepare future Church leaders. As a result, APU recently received a $1.5 million grant from the foundation for the C.P. Haggard Graduate School of Theology (HGST) Kern Scholars Program. APU was 1 of 8 institutions to receive a grant toward this nationwide program, which assists students who desire to serve full-time in pastoral ministry local churches by offering scholarships and support services.

“APU’s Kern Scholars form a close community and this grant will allow that to continue for others into the future,” said Rob Muthiah, Ph.D., director of the Kern Scholars Program. “Four classes of Kern Scholars have graduated, and with this grant we look forward to graduating at least seven more classes of Kern Scholars with M.Div. degrees heading into congregational ministry.”

APU’s Kern Scholars Program, established in 2003 with the support of a Kern Family Foundation grant, provides 7-9 full tuition scholarships each year for students enrolled in the seminary’s Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program. Committed to preparing the next generation of pastors to serve the church, the Kern Scholars Program provides resources, opportunities, and relationships to reduce the obstacles that hinder these students’ calling, and help exceptional young pastors who graduate enter ministry well prepared.

The most recent grant, renewed for five additional years, allows the program to continue to help theology students pursue their calling by minimizing M.Div. students’ financial debt upon graduation through scholarships.

“The Kern Family Foundation has been one of the biggest blessings in my life,” said Andrea G. Vaudrey, M.Div. ’10, a recent Kern Scholar alumna. “I have seen my ability to be a pastor, leader, and teacher grow because of the education I received through the foundation and Azusa Pacific University. The network and community the scholarship sets up provide lasting relationships that further prepare and enhance one’s ministry. I am so thankful for the foundation, their generosity and commitment to developing future leaders in the church.”

“To have an M.Div. degree fully funded by the Kern Foundation is a life-changing gift for the students accepted into the program,” said Scott Daniels, Ph.D., dean of the School of Theology. “Having high quality students like the Kern Scholars is a blessing for the School of Theology and the churches they will serve.”

Established in 1999, The Kern Family Foundation of Waukesha, Wis. invests in the future through support of programs that promote values, education and innovation. The foundation aims to effect systemic change through broad-impact, long-term initiatives, including Education Reform, K-12 STEM Education, the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network, American History, Economics & Religion, and the Pastoral Ministry Program. The Pastoral Ministry Program began in 2002 and is comprised of four areas of investment: the Pre-seminary Initiative, the Kern Scholars Initiative, the Postgraduate Initiative, and the Theological Education Initiative.