Ordinarily, the following are the guidelines the Pastor Church Resources Continuing Education Grant Committee will use when reviewing grant applications. This will enable the committee to be consistent in their decision making and will greatly assist you in having a clear sense of the guidelines and what is, and is not, fundable.
Who may submit an application?
All CRC pastors and paid church staff that are actively involved in direct ministry with a CRC congregation for at least 20 hours a week may submit an application.
May I request a grant for a multi-year learning opportunity?
No. Grants are for one-time (e.g., conference) or one-year educational opportunities (e.g., class at seminary or coaching). If it is a two-year opportunity, you need to submit another application for the second year. (One application per opportunity per annum.)
How often may I receive a grant?
You may receive two grants within a five-year period. The five-year period begins on the date when the first grant is awarded.
(For example: If the first grant is awarded in April 2019, and you receive a second grant after that, you may apply for another “first-time grant” any time after April 2024.)
When are applications due?
Applications are due by April 1, or August 1, or November 1.
We recommended that you submit your application several weeks in advance of the deadline in order to allow time for any possible clarifications.
Have it approved by your council and include the approval date.
Include either a website address on the application, or submit a brochure for the learning opportunity.
Does the CE opportunity have to take place after the application deadline?
Ordinarily, requests are made before attending the CE event. However, you may apply for funding for an event that took place a maximum of three months prior to the grant application due date.
Are there any special considerations when awarding grants?
Funds are distributed based on financial need. Priority will be given to pastors or ministry staff from congregations who are unable to support continuing education to its full extent.
Requests coming from geographically isolated pastors or ministry staff will be given priority.
How much can I request?
The maximum grant request is $750 (in Canadian or US funds)—ordinarily based on your home address. The grant check will be made out and mailed to your church. You will need to work with your church treasurer to pay your continuing education expenses.
What expenses will be covered?
Spiritual direction (with a certified spiritual director)
Lodging (at reasonably priced hotels)
Pulpit supply (while at the CE event)
Books (for courses)
Travel2 (within the US and Canada)
What expenses will not be covered?
Expenses related to attending events hosted by Pastor Church Resources
Overseas educational opportunities
Travel (flights, etc.) outside of the US and Canada
Coursework leading toward a Master of Divinity degree (which is ordinarily funded by classis)4
Personal reading/reflection time5
Books (for personal reading or from a conference book table)
Software/training materials/DVDs (possible exceptions include BibleLogos for a course, etc.)
May I request funds from both the Continuing Education (CE) and Peer Learning (PL) grant programs for the same learning opportunity?
Yes. The CE request will be specifically for the CE opportunity. The request from the Peer Learning grant program will be for the formation of a year-long peer learning group. Part of the year-long experience will be a CE opportunity. It is for that piece (the CE opportunity) of the group experience that you may receive both CE and PL funds.
When will I know if I received a grant?
You will be notified within a month after the application deadline (in other words, by May 1, September 1, or December 1).
What do I do once the grant has been awarded?
Sign, and get your clerk of council to sign, the contract that you will receive in an email from PCR.
Once you return the contract to PCR ([email protected]), and any required conditions to the grant are met, a check will be mailed to your church for the entire grant amount. You will need to work with your church treasurer to pay your continuing education expenses. PCR does not require any financial reporting or receipts for the grant funds.
After you have attended the CE event, you will need to complete a brief questionnaire and send it to [email protected]. Your eligibility for future grants depend on submitting the completed questionnaire.
1Meals eaten during travel to and from the CE event, and while at the event, will be covered. Alcohol is not covered. Snacks are a personal expense.
2Attending a regional (within reasonable driving distance) continuing education opportunity is encouraged. Ordinarily, attendance at such events will be given funding priority over other events/opportunities. Carpooling is encouraged, if possible. Grant funds will not will not cover travel outside of Canada or the US.
3Multi-year programs require an application to be completed for each year of the program. Keep in mind that you may receive two grants within a five-year period. The five-year period begins on the date when the first grant is awarded.
4If your request to your classis is denied, PCR may consider an application. Note: coursework for a Th.M., D.Min., or Ph.D. is eligible.
5There needs to be formal structure (rather than self-guided learning) within an educational setting
Who can I contact for assistance?
Our staff is able to assist you with any questions you may have. You can email us at [email protected] or call 616-224-5877 x2877.