New Theological Studies Scholarship Established for Ministry Students

Friday, July 9, 2021

In recognition of Emerson and Elsie McDowell's commitment to the ministry of the Mennonite Church, their vision for ecumenism, and to support of the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program at Conrad Grebel University College, the Emerson and Elsie McDowell Theological Studies Scholarship has been established. The McDowells had a long relationship with Grebel as donors, parents, and grandparents. The McDowell family has a strong interest in church leadership and a passion for theological studies and ministry, and they have chosen to establish this award in honour of their parents. 

Emerson and Elsie McDowellEmerson (1918-1976) and Elsie (Ramer) McDowell (1923-2018) served in various ministry and pastoral settings over their lives in Ontario. Emerson attended Toronto Bible College and later studied at the University of Toronto, where he received his BA. He continued his studies at Emmanuel College in Toronto, receiving a BD degree in 1956 and a MTh degree in 1966. From 1945-1964, Emerson served at Toronto Mennonite Mission (later Danforth Mennonite Church) where Emerson and Elsie found much satisfaction. During these years, Emerson was ordained as a bishop in the Mennonite Church. He later pastored the Hagerman Mennonite Church (1965-1975) and the Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church (1968-1975).

Emerson McDowellEmerson developed camp programs at Fraser Lake Camp and Willowgrove Day Camp, served on several Mennonite boards and committees, and was chairman of the Inter-Mennonite Executive Council in Ontario which eventually led to the formation of the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada. Elsie enjoyed serving on the Women's Inter-Church Council for six years in the late 1970s, working on the Women's World Day of Prayer Committee.

In an interview shortly before his death, McDowell said one vision he had for the church was to "work at breaking down barriers so that people now outside our church can experience faith and fellowship and right relationships with God and people."


Recipients of the award will be selected with consideration to these principles in order of priority: 

  1. Students enrolled in good standing in the Master of Theological Studies program who have demonstrated an interest in exploring ministry. 
  2. MTS students who have an entry average of at least 80% or have achieved an average of  80% in the MTS program. 
  3. MTS students who have demonstrated financial need.

It is anticipated that each year, $1000 will be awarded to a deserving student and a first recipient will be chosen for fall 2021. This endowed award is part of the numerous student support options for MTS students at Grebel.  

____
Notes from: Steiner, Samuel J. "McDowell, Emerson (1918-1976)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2018. Web. 7 Jul 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=McDowell,_Emerson_(1918-1976)&oldid=165321 

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