Lutheran World Federation Scholarships in Theology, Diaconal and Development 2023 for Developing Countries

The Lutheran World Federation scholarship applications are for studies and training related to theological, diaconal and development work.

Application deadline: October 15, 2022.

Eligible Countries: Developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

About the Lutheran World Federation Scholarships: Through the LWF scholarship program, LWF works with its member churches in developing their capacity to serve effectively in their context. The scholarship program helps churches recruit qualified personnel for spiritual care and diaconal work. The primary criterion for a candidate’s approval is the Church’s corresponding need to enhance its human and institutional capacity, whether in the theology or diakonia/development field.

Type: Undergraduate, Masters, PhD/Postgraduate, Research


Candidate Church Membership: Only applications from active members of LWF member churches will be considered. All applications must be approved and submitted by the Church. Applications from private individuals will not be considered. Nationality of the candidate: Only candidates from developing countries are eligible for scholarships in the field of diakonia/development. The theological scholarships are basically open to candidates from all regions and countries. Age Limits: Only applicants up to a certain age are eligible for Lutheran World Federation scholarships, depending on the degree pursued:

Diploma Maximum age at the time of application* Bachelor’s degrees 35 Master’s degrees 40 Doctorate 45 Post-doctoral/research 50 *Special considerations: for candidates who are church staff at the time of application, the age limits may be exceeded by a maximum of 7 years for female candidates and up to 5 years for male candidates. For candidates who are actively involved in the theological or diaconal work of the Church at the time of application, the age limits may be exceeded by a maximum of 5 years for female candidates and up to 3 years for male candidates. Relatively more, female candidates are taken into account because of social and cultural factors that cause them to study later.

Selection criteria:

Church’s HICD Needs: The proposed field of education and training must properly address the Church’s needs for human and institutional capacity development. The requesting church must convincingly demonstrate how a particular request would meet a specific and critical staffing need in its overall church and community ministry. Candidate Current and Future Position: All candidates are expected to have served the Church and/or community as an employee or volunteer. There must be a clear commitment from the Church to deploy the candidate as an employee or volunteer in an area related to the proposed training upon completion of the candidate’s education/training. Quality of the application: The candidate must convincingly demonstrate his/her commitment, ability and motivation to continue training and then support the Church (good educational and professional qualifications, recommendations and certificates, persuasive character). Study place. The LWF encourages candidates to study in their home country or region. If a study or training program abroad is proposed, the application must be substantiated convincingly. Gender and youth quota: at least 40% of the approved candidates will be women; at least 20% are young people under the age of 30. These quotas will apply not only to the general approvals, but also to each church and region. Regional Balance: The LWF wants to ensure that candidates from different regions, countries and churches are supported.

Number and Value of Lutheran World Federation Scholarships: A total of 50-70 scholarships are awarded for studies in diaconate and development and 20-25 for theological studies.

Duration of Lutheran World Federation Scholarships:

Regular Scholarships for Minimum 1 Year Degree: The candidates will be approved for a minimum of 1 year of support to take up or complete their proposed program of study. For candidates who have already started their training, this means that the training must last at least 1.5 years at the time of application, i.e. 1 year at the time of approval. Short-term scholarships for training of up to 6 months: Applicants will be approved for short-term training which can last up to 6 months. Think of training courses, workshops, exchange programs or research projects that respond to the needs of the requesting church. Application forms and selection criteria are the same as for regular scholarships.

How to Apply for the Lutheran World Federation Scholarships: You must apply through the new online application system. Applications can only be submitted through LWF member churches. Individuals interested in a scholarship should contact their church office.

Visit the Lutheran World Federation Scholarships webpage for more information

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