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Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Student Receives Prestigious National Fellowship Award Supports Young Leaders Exploring Ministry

St. Paul, Minn. - May 28, 2009 -Kristin E. Riegel ‘10, a Humanities and Media and Cultural Studies major, has been selected to receive a 2009 Fund for Theological Education (FTE) Undergraduate Fellowship. FTE Undergraduate Fellowships recognize students who have gifts for leadership and are exploring the possibility of ministry as a vocation. As an FTE Undergraduate Fellow, Riegel will receive $2,000 for tuition, other educational expenses or a self-designed experience related to the exploration of ministry. She will also attend the 2009 FTE Conference on Excellence in Ministry, “Becoming Rich toward God: Pastoral Leadership and Economic Justice,” June 17-21, 2009, at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.

Macalester’s Rev. Lucy A. Forster-Smith nominated Riegel for the fellowship award that is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

FTE Undergraduate Fellows are selected competitively from a pool of applicants from across the U.S. and Canada.  They must be nominated by a professor, school administrator, pastor or campus minister; hold a minimum 3.0 grade point average; have an interest in exploring ministry as a vocation; and demonstrate leadership in a church or school community. The 2009 FTE Undergraduate Fellows were chosen by a national committee of theological educators and church leaders. FTE awards the fellowships to increase the number of highly capable young people exploring or preparing for ordained ministry as a profession. Fewer than seven percent of clergy in most denominations today are under age 35, and interest among seminary students in congregational ministry has declined over the past five years. 

The Fund for Theological Education is an ecumenical advocate for excellence and diversity in pastoral ministry and theological scholarship. It awards $1.5 million in fellowships to gifted young people from all denominations and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Since 1954, FTE has awarded nearly 6,000 fellowships in partnership with those committed to the future of quality leadership for the church.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,858 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.