Late last summer I received the following letter from a Philadelphia couple who wished to remain anonymous.

The desire of our hearts … is to help bring more of God’s flourishing and peace to earth (and in Philadelphia’s predominantly Black neighborhoods, in particular) as it is in heaven. We repent of our own conscious and unconscious racism, and the systemic racism we have inherited and not been as aware of or concerned with as we ought. We acknowledge our inability and failure to adequately and lovingly see, understand, and respond to the unjust systemic racism and resulting disparities that exist in our world, country and city. We hope that this scholarship fund will help enable Black Philadelphians to build better communities and lives, through the work of Gospel ministry by Missio trained ministers and counsellors in their own neighborhoods. We believe this is one thing we and Missio can do to respond to the unjust disparities that at their root have resulted from personal and systemic racism and injustice.

This is the most extraordinary letter I have received from a donor in all my years in seminary education. Missio Seminary fully intends to honor the goals set forth by the donors.

We have established a committee to guide our efforts. The members of that committee are:

  • Dr. Natalie Alford, Presiding Elder of AME church in the Philadelphia District
  • Rev. Jay Broadnax, Senior Pastor of Mount Pisgah Church in Philadelphia
  • Dr. Damone B. Jones, Sr., Senior Pastor of Bible Way Baptist Church
  • Dr. Alyn Waller, Senior Pastor of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • Dr. Clarence E. Wright, Senior Pastor of Love Zion Baptist Church

The scholarship program formally begins fall 2021. The due date for applications is July 1, 2021. The scholarship would be 50% of tuition per semester. All accredited degree programs are open to this scholarship: MA, MDiv, MAC, ThM and DMin.

The general criteria for awarding the scholarship include:

  • Must be of African American heritage
  • Lives in Philadelphia metro area
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Must have a passion to do ministry in Metro Philadelphia after graduation
  • Must be accepted into a program at MISSIO.
  • Must be a full-time student
  • Is currently involved in ministry
  • Must maintain a 3.0 GPA

The Arthur R. White scholarship is named in honor of Rev. Dr. Arthur White, an African-American pastor in Philadelphia who was very active in the civil rights movement. He was a doctor of ministry graduate from Missio Seminary and was widely respected across the city and across denominational lines.

Many of our students are very involved in their church. Many are pastors which means that they do not have time to earn additional income. Financial needs and time constraints keep many potential students from receiving a solid seminary education. As a seminary with a missional commitment, we are honored to join hands with our donor and other donors, to aid African American students in receiving the education they desire and to create a flourishing community of shalom.

Frank A. James III, DPhil, PhD
President and Professor of Historical Theology
Missio Seminary


Arthur R. White Scholarship Challenge

This very generous couple is matching every donation we receive for the Arthur R. White Scholarship up to $500,000! Please partner with us to fulfill the great commission through Missio students by making a gift today!

Online giving available HERE (please write “Arthur R. White” in the comment field), or mail a check (please write “Arthur R. White” in memo line):

Missio Theological Seminary
P.O. Box #179
720 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19105