Addie Davis Scholarship

2024 Addie Davis Scholarship Recipients

Jessalyn Brown

Jessalyn Brown is a preacher and poet from Lexington, Kentucky. She is a graduate of Georgetown College where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in American Studies and Theatre & Film Studies. Jessalyn is going into her final year at Baylor’s Truett Seminary where she is pursuing a Master of Divinity. At Baylor she also serves as a resident chaplain for undergraduate students in Heritage House, a fine arts residential community.

Keneshia Bryant-Moore

Keneshia Bryant-Moore is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in the College of Public Health. In this role, she led the development of the Faith-Academic Initiatives for Transforming Health (FAITH) Network. She co-owns Mariposa’s Place of Wellness located near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Keneshia is a member of Second Baptist Church – Little Rock and the mother of four daughters.

Maggie Clark

Maggie Clark, a North Carolina native is a third year at Wake Divinity, she earned a BA in Philosophy from UNC-CH and a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. Called to congregational ministry, she is an advocate for inclusive communities reflective of Christ’s teachings, whose focus is on embracing all individuals, regardless of their background or identity. As a queer, disabled woman in ministry, Maggie believes her role as pastor is to journey alongside those she is called to lead, creating space for theological exploration, while supporting and guiding others as they seek understanding to grow in their faith and spirituality.

Makala Carrington

Makala Carrington is native of Fort Bragg, North Carolina and is completing a Master of Divinity degree at Duke Divinity School. She is a Theology, Medicine, and Culture (TMC) Fellow and Baptist House of Studies Scholar. She is devoted to uplifting others through faith, community work and fostering inclusivity and leadership in ministry. She received her Master of Public Health (MPH) from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and has served as an injury and violence prevention public health researcher for the past five years while serving as a United States Air Force Public Health Reserve Officer.

The Addie Davis Scholarship

The Addie Davis Scholarships provide financial support for Baptist women enrolled in seminary to pursue a calling to ministry and leadership. The scholarship is named in honor of Rev. Addie Davis, the first woman ordained to pastoral ministry by a Southern Baptist Church in 1964.

To be eligible for the scholarship, you must:

  • Be female with membership in a Baptist church (affiliation with any Baptist denominational organization/group is acceptable)
  • Be enrolled full-time in a Master’s-level program at an ATS accredited seminary or divinity school (MDiv, MA, MTS, etc.). Enrollment at a Baptist-affiliated school is not required.
  • Articulate and provide evidence of a sense of calling to ministry and leadership among Baptist communities

The Application for the 2024 Addie Davis Scholarship has closed. Please check back in 2025 for the next application round.

Scholarships Awarded: The minimum scholarship amount is $2,000, and there will be a maximum of 5 scholarships awarded.

Application Requirements: 

    • Two Statements Relating to Your Calling as a Baptist Woman
      • Statements can be submitted in either written or video (not audio) form.
      • Written format: 500 words or less for each statement.
      • Video format: 2 minutes or less for each statement. Instructions for submitting video responses are below.
        • You can directly upload a .mp4 video to the online application.
        • If your video is in another format, upload your video to either YouTube or your Google drive. For both of these services, you will need to have or create an account. Once you have uploaded the video to YouTube or Google drive, copy the link to your video into a Word document that you can upload. The selection committee will access your video via the link found in the Word document.
        • Reference these videos (YouTube and Google Drive) for instructions on how to upload a video to these services.
    • Two Reference Letters (One reference letter must be from a leader in your church, and one must be from a faculty/staff member at the seminary where you are enrolled.)
    • An Unofficial Transcript
      • Unofficial transcripts can be obtained through your school’s registrar’s office.
      • If you are currently enrolled in seminary or divinity school and have obtained credits, please send your seminary/divinity school transcript. If you will be beginning seminary in the 2024-25 academic year, please upload an unofficial transcript of your undergraduate program. If selected, enrollment at the seminary/divinity school you designate will be confirmed before scholarship funds are sent to the school.
    • Ministry Resume 

For questions, please contact Meredith Stone, Eecutive Director at meredithstone@bwim.info.

Who is Addie Davis?

On August 9, 1964, Addie Davis was the first woman ordained to pastoral ministry by a Southern Baptist Church. Rev. Davis was ordained at Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, NC, while she was a seminary student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a student, Rev. Davis wrote a paper on the issue of women’s ordination and expressed to Watt’s Street Baptist Church pastor, Warren Carr, that she felt the call to preach the gospel as a young girl. Rev. Davis was rejected by Southern Baptist churches as a pastor and instead she served as pastor for several American Baptist churches including churches in Vermont, Virginia, and Second Baptist Church in East Providence, RI where she also served as the president of the East Providence Clergy Association.

What is the history of the Addie Davis Awards?

Baptist Women in Ministry established the awards in 1998 in honor of Addie Davis. These awards are also a way for BWIM to give public recognition to gifted women seminarians. Until 2024, BWIM has requested nominations for the awards from Baptist seminaries, divinity schools, and houses of study. Each theological institution was asked to nominate two women students: one for the Addie Davis Award for Excellence in Preaching and one for the Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry.

Why are you no longer giving out awards?

This year we are transitioning from making awards in the areas of preaching and pastoral ministry to providing direct scholarships to female seminarians so that we can better meet the changing needs of women pursuing their calling to Baptist ministry and leadership. 

One of the early goals of the awards was to provide an opportunity for recognition and resume-building for Baptist women called to ministry. The need for this recognition was vital 25 years ago when far fewer women had opportunities to gain experience and education among Baptist congregations. While women still face obstacles to obtaining ministerial experience and need equitable opportunities to build their skills and resume, BWIM has found connection to also be an important factor to gaining opportunity. By expanding the program from only 2 awards per year to providing up to 5 scholarships, more women will benefit from finding connection with BWIM through the scholarship in addition to receiving financial support for their theological education.

Further, in the most recent State of Women in Baptist Life Report, the obstacle which women reported experiencing most often was having to provide more evidence of their competence than their male counterparts, with 72% of women in ministry indicating that they frequently face this hurdle. By supporting an increased number of women in their effort to obtain theological education, BWIM hopes to help more women obtain theological education which can function as one evidential measure of their competence.

Finally, when given as awards, these funds were given directly to individuals and therefore were subject to taxes. This meant that the recipients did not receive the full amount of the award. As a scholarship, the funding goes directly to the school and the recipient can benefit from the full amount of the award. Transitioning to scholarships will still allow BWIM to give public recognition to called and gifted women while providing even more financial support.

Are there other scholarships for Baptist women preparing for ministry?

Yes! Baptist women from all over the US can apply for BWIM’s Addie Davis Scholarships if they meet the eligibility requirements. But there are also two state Baptist Women in Ministry organizations that award scholarships to Baptist women preparing for ministry. You can find information on BWIM of Georgia’s Sarah Owen Etheridge Scholarship and BWIM North Carolina’s Theological Education Scholarships on their websites.

The application for the Addie Davis Scholarship has closed. If you have any questions, please email Meredith Stone at meredithstone@bwim.info.