The Master of Theological Studies program at Grebel draws students from a variety of backgrounds and faith traditions. Two current students, Kathryn Cressman and Laurel Rounds Fretz, joined Mennonite churches as adults and both felt a gradual pull toward ministry within their home churches.
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.