Houghton student singing out of hymnal.

Kern Scholarship Program for Ministry Leaders

Pursue your passion for ministry and prepare for a seminary education.

Houghton University’s Spiritual Formation for Ministry Leaders is a program designed to prepare women and men to serve the complex needs of the contemporary church with the necessary courage and humility. The Kern Scholarship Program is made possible by the Wesleyan Church.

Deeply Formed

The Spiritual Formation for Ministry Leaders program will help you develop as a Christian leader who is confident in the love of Christ and comfortable living out your own unique gifting. You will experience trusted spiritual formation, professional development, and community-building opportunities.

Group Mentoring

Gather and meet regularly with students of a similar graduation year for spiritual formation and leadership development.

One-On-One Coaching

By a faculty member, upperclassman student, spiritual director, or a local pastor for intentional guidance in your personal formation.


Experience deeper formation and community development as a cohort.

Prepared for Dynamic Ministry Needs

The Spiritual Formation for Ministry Leaders program is designed to prepare you for the changing landscape of ministry through honest scholarship, sincere collegiality, and practical ministry mentoring.  We aspire to reach this goal through four primary practices:

  • Reading: Each year in the program students will read books together focused on shaping the heart for ministry.
  • Meeting: Regular cohort meetings allowing students to build a collegial support network that will extend beyond their time at Houghton.
  • Mentoring: Students will meet with a ministry mentor or spiritual director throughout their time in the program.
  • Retreating: Retreats taking place each year are designed to engage with historic spiritual practices and observe contemporary expressions of the local church.

Wise Stewards of Resources

You can qualify for $1,000 in aid through a Kern-funded scholarship each academic year of your undergraduate degree and an additional $1,000 per year for a Master's degree at Wesleyan Seminary-IWU. Additionally, Houghton students receive advanced standing for Seminary and will have the opportunity to take Seminary courses at Wesley Seminary- IWU while still in their undergraduate training. Ultimately, we desire to have students headed into ministry with less debt and appropriate preparedness for a seminary education.