Last spring, the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas announced a new John Ireland Scholarship program that annually will provide full tuition for up to three graduating St. Thomas seniors to pursue full-time graduate studies at the School of Divinity.

Beginning in January, 2010,  the School of Divinity will accept applications from graduating seniors for the second year of this scholarship program.  Applications will be considered following successful admission to a master’s degree program in theology, pastoral ministry or religious education.

Last fall, the School of Divinity awarded scholarships to Andrew Allen, Sarah Farnes and Kyle Sellnow. As undergraduates, Allen majored in Catholic studies, Farnes in sociology and political science and Sellnow in philosophy and Catholic studies.

Dr. Chris Thompson, academic dean of the School of Divinity, said scholarship winners will be selected on the basis of academic record, commitment to service, and enthusiasm for the School of Divinity’s mission to form men and women for service and leadership in the church and society.

“The scholarship is an excellent opportunity for those who wish to pursue this field,” Thompson said. “The close connection between the university and seminary is advantageous because it will allow students to build on the intellectual formation they already have received at the undergraduate level.”

Archbishop John Ireland, for whom the scholarship is named, was the first archbishop of St. Paul. He founded both the St. Paul Seminary and the University of St. Thomas, which together created the School of Divinity as part of a 1987 affiliation agreement.

“The scholarship honors Ireland’s commitment to Catholic education and service to God’s people,” Thompson said.

For more information about the School of Divinity or the scholarship program contact Nancy Utoft, director of community relations, at njutoft@stthomas.edu or (651) 962-5967.