Addie Davis Scholarship

The 2024 Addie Davis Scholarships

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

Deadline: Completed scholarship applications must be received by March 22, 2024. 

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.

2024 Addie Davis Scholarships

The Addie Davis Scholarships provide financial support for Baptist women enrolled in Seminary or Divinity School 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. The deadline for receiving nominations is Friday, March 22, 2024. Scholarship recipients will be announced publicly by May 1, 2024. Scholarship checks will be mailed to the school no later than–July 15, 2024.

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Name:*
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Date of Birth:*
Anticipated Graduation Date:*
With which Baptist denomination do you affiliate? (Check all that apply)*

Statements

Statements: Please provide a statement in response to each of the following questions in either written format (500 words or less) or video format (2 minutes maximum). Please upload your videos as MP4 files. You may also upload your videos to Google Drive or YouTube and paste a link to the video in a word document and upload the word document in response to each question.
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, Max. file size: 256 MB.
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, Max. file size: 256 MB.
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, Max. file size: 256 MB.

Recommendation Letters

Please upload your letters of recommendation before the application deadline-March 22, 2024.
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, Max. file size: 256 MB.
Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, Max. file size: 256 MB.

Resume and Unofficial Transcript

Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, doc, docx, mp4, Max. file size: 256 MB.
Max. file size: 256 MB.