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Columbia Theological Seminary Students Receive Prestigious National Fellowship



Decatur, GA. Diane H. Kim and Damon P. Williams, Master of Divinity students at Columbia Theological Seminary, have been recognized as young leaders who demonstrate exceptional gifts for ministry by The Fund for Theological Education (FTE). Williams was recognized as a 2010 FTE Ministry Fellow, while Kim received recognition as a 2010 FTE Volunteers Exploring Vocation (VEV) Fellow through her volunteer service with Presbyterian Church (USA) Young Adult Volunteers. 

As FTE Fellowship recipients, Kim and Williams will receive up to $10,000 for educational expenses that will enrich their formation as ministerial leaders and attend national FTE conferences on leadership. Dr. Stephen A. Hayner, President of Columbia Theological Seminary, nominated Williams for the fellowship award, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and the Henry Luce Foundation.

FTE awards the fellowships to foster quality leadership and inclusive excellence in pastoral ministry. Fewer than seven percent of clergy in most denominations today are under age 35, and interest among seminary students in congregational ministry has declined in recent years, underscoring the need for leadership development among students from diverse backgrounds. 

“These exceptional students see ministry as a compelling path to serve others, to renew the church and to create change in the world,” said Kim Hearn, director of FTE Ministry Fellowships. “They bring intellect and compassion to community challenges of every type—spiritual, educational, social and economic.” 

FTE annually awards $1.5 million in fellowships and support to gifted young people from all denominations and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Since 1954, FTE has awarded more than 6,000 fellowships; its alumni serve congregations, schools and communities around the world. For more information, visit   


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