The William Seymour Black Leadership Scholarship

Rev. William J. Seymour (1870-1922) was born to former slaves in Louisiana. Raised as a Baptist, he eventually became an ordained minister. After hearing the message of the emerging Pentecostal movement in the racially segregated American South, Seymour responded to the call to minister in Los Angeles, California in 1906. Seymour and a group of believers began meeting in a small house on Bonnie Brae Street in Los Angeles. There an outpouring of the Holy Spirit began attracting so many people that they had to relocate to what would become the world-famous Azusa Street Mission.

This movement, powered by the Holy Spirit that took place at the Azusa Street Mission under Seymour’s leadership, swept across the world affecting nearly every branch of Christianity and every ethnicity of the human race. This great outpouring was the catalyst for what became the global Pentecostal movement that we are part of today.

Seymour then continued to pastor a congregation where people of different races worshiped and prayed together despite the intense criticism from both secular and religious sources for bringing together people of different races under the leadership of an African American pastor and an interracial group of elders.

William Seymour’s leadership of bringing racial unity under the power of the Holy Spirit, serves as the inspiration for the Minnesota School of Ministry to offer the MNSOM William Seymour Black Leadership Scholarship. Forty-two percent of the Assemblies of God USA are from ethnic and minority groups. Since 2005, black believers have been the fastest growing ethnicity in the Assemblies of God. The goal of this scholarship is to equip and invest in black Spirit-led pastoral leaders to plant and strengthen churches, transform communities, advance biblical justice and restore families. To meet the growing need in the Minnesota District, MNSOM is committed to investing in and empowering the next generation of Minnesota’s black pastoral leaders.

Qualifications and Requirements

There are three components to the scholarship application: self-ethnic identification, two recommendations from community or church leadership citing community involvement and demonstrated leadership and a submission of an essay. (details to the right)

  • Recipients must be Minnesota residents of Black/African American, African or mixed ethnic descent.
  • Must be filled with the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4)
  • Scholarship applicants must agree to adhere to the MNSOM Standards of Academic Integrity and MNSOM policies as stated in the MNSOM Student Handbook.
    • (pg. 6) Any conduct that may be considered dishonest, cheating or not up to Christian living standards by the instructor of the class, classmates, or staff of MNSOM is unacceptable and may result in the loss of the scholarship.
  • Candidates will be responsible for the one-time enrollment fee into MNSOM and books for classes taken.
  • If the scholarship recipient registers for a MNSOM class and does not attend without rendering the required twenty-four-hour advance cancellation notification for any reason, the MNSOM Scholarship funds will be withdrawn and no longer available for future classes. The student will be responsible for the full price of each class going forward.
  • The student must achieve a minimum grade of C – 70% in each MNSOM class to receive future MNSOM Scholarship Funds.

Application Process

Applicants must have two written recommendations from community and/or church leaders citing community involvement and demonstrated leadership roles. Links will be provided on the online application for you to give to the two people who will submit recommendations.

Each scholarship candidate will submit an essay via document upload in the application form in order to be considered for the scholarship. The essay must be 500 words or more but no more than 2000 words and address the following:

  1. What motivated you to apply for the William Seymour Black Leadership Scholarship?
  2. What is it that God is speaking to you for ministry or goals for the future after you complete your studies with MNSOM?
  3. Please describe any current or previous involvement in leadership, either through service-based activities within your community or in a former school setting.
  4. How would this scholarship enable you to impact your local community, your fellow MNSOM students and society as a whole, both during your course of study and beyond?

Scholarship applications will be accepted ongoing until January 31 each year. The scholarships will be awarded the first part of February each year.