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Meadville Lombard announces new scholarship

Gift from Spencer and Susan Lavan to encourage academic excellence at Chicago seminary.
By Jane Greer

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Meadville Lombard Theological School announced the establishment of a new merit-based scholarship funded by former Meadville Lombard president and professor the Rev. Dr. Spencer Lavan and Susan Lavan that will cover all tuition and registration fees for a full program of residential study for a student at Meadville Lombard. The scholarship, which can be renewed each year, will be available to a residential M.Div. student scheduled to begin in the fall of 2007.

Meadville Lombard in Chicago is one of two theological schools specifically training Unitarian Universalist ministers. The other school is Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif.

The Rev. Dr. Lavan said that he created this scholarship as a means of stimulating academic work in the areas of church history, theology, ethics, world religions, women’s studies, or other fields. “We must have ministers who can help explore the world’s historical and ethical questions in the twenty-first century,” he said.

Lavan, who served as president and dean of Meadville Lombard from 1988 to 1996, was one of the founders of Collegium, an annual academic conference begun at Meadville Lombard in 1975 and originally funded by a grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y. “The support from the kind of grant that we originally received must continue if we are to have the caliber of scholarly ministry that I have always envisioned,” he said. “The impact of our scholarship will help to lead some theological students in this direction.”

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