First Church Fellows

See our brochure [pdf] for more

The First Church Fellowship is a multi-year program to provide paid ministry training to seminary students.


This program is designed for entering students at Asbury Theological Seminary. Please see the Requirements of Fellows before applying.

All fellowships are one-year commitments with an option for the Fellow and First UMC to renew for up to six years. Preference will be given to applicants who plan to serve 4-6 years.

Benefits to Fellows

  • Work experience and mentoring in a respected multi-site United Methodist Church
  • Complete seminary without debt — tuition, housing and living expenses covered by First UMC
    • Full tuition & fees paid directly to Asbury Seminary
    • $1,000 monthly living stipend
    • $600 monthly housing stipend
  • Possible continuing job opportunity after graduation, or connections to a wide ministry network

Requirements of Fellows

  • 30 hours per week of ministry work and training at First UMC, under the supervision of your assigned ministry mentor.
    • Fellows will receive four weeks of paid time off per year for vacation, sick leave and other time off.
    • Duties will be assigned by fellow’s mentor, with increasing levels of responsibility and opportunity.

Application Process

  • Please use our Application Form to complete your application. Application includes your spiritual and ministry experience and three short essays:
    • Your personal testimony – 500 words or less
    • Why you are attending seminary – 300 words or less
    • Why you are interested in participating in this program – 500 words or less
  • An interview and references may be requested during the application process.