Bishop Clarence Elwell
Diocese of Columbus

Since 1981, the Bishop Elwell Fund for Catholic Educators has assisted religious educators throughout the Diocese with scholarships for courses at academically accredited institutions in theology, religious studies, and religious education.

This scholarship program provides up to one-half the cost of tuition for one course and must be met by grants from the parish or school in which the religious educator is employed.

The Elwell Fund is administered by the Office of Religious Education and Catechesis.

This committee consists of a catechetical leader of parish school of religion, a school principal, a pastor, a representative from the Education Department and a representative from the Department of Religious Education.

A committee appointed by the Bishop reviews the applications by:

  • July 15th
  • November 15th
  • February 15th
  • April 15th

Adults serving in parishes or schools of the Diocese of Columbus are eligible for scholarship funds and are encouraged to apply, including:

  • Catechetical leaders of parish schools of religion, salaried and unsalaried
  • Catholic school principals or teachers
  • Parish school of religion catechists
  • RCIA team members
  • Youth ministers

Application forms may be downloadedhere.

Completed applications for scholarship funds should be sent to:

The Diocesan Scholarship Program for Religious Educators

ATTN: Office for Religious Education and Catechesis

197 East Gay Street

Columbus, OH 43215-3277

  • July 1st for Fall quarter/semester
  • November 1st for Winter quarter/semester
  • February 1st for Spring quarter/semester
  • April 1st for Summer quarter/semester

All applicants are notified of the committee’s decisions by:

  • August 1st
  • December 1st
  • March 1st
  • May 1st

Successful applicants are notified of the amount of their award at this time.

Applicants who receive scholarships must forward (or have college or university forward) a transcript showing successful completion of the course.

In consideration of the funds received, the applicant agrees to continue employment in the Diocese of Columbus for one semester per course completed with scholarship aid.

The applicant agrees to repay all of the funds if s/he is unable to meet this commitment.

The applicant is obliged to repay both the diocesan award and the parish/school award if s/he does not successfully complete the course.

The scholarship committee uses the following criteria in awarding scholarships:

  • Money for the scholarship must be available from the Bishop Elwell Fund.
  • The applicant must be currently working, full-time or part-time, salaried or unsalaried, in a school or parish of the diocese.
  • Scholarships are limited to one course per applicant per quarter or semester, unless money is still available after all eligible applicants have been awarded scholarships in the fiscal year. (This exception applies only to grants for summer courses.)
  • The course must be in theology, religious studies or religious education.
  • The course must be taken for academic credit, undergraduate or graduate.
  • The appropriate local authority (pastor or principal) must agree to provide an amount equal to the diocesan award.
  • Decisions should take into account the relative strength of the written recommendations.
  • Decisions should take into account the relative benefits to the co-sponsoring institution.