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Ministerial Aid Funds
Ministerial Aid Funds
Benefits & Compensation for Congregations, Awards, Scholarships, & Grants

Everyone should be treated with kindness and compassion, particularly in times of need.  The Office of Church Staff Finances administers the following funds that provide financial assistance to ministers in fellowship and other eligible persons. Financial assistance is generally available for both one-time emergency grants and on-going quarterly grants in situations where the need for help is prolonged. Most of these funds have been contributed over many decades to provide assistance to ministers, their surviving spouses, and their children. In most cases, the eligibility requirements have been specified by the donors.

Debt Reduction Grant. Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Debt Reduction Grants are awarded to assist ministers to reduce theological school indebtedness to a manageable level within five years.

The Living Tradition Fund. This fund was established by the UUA Trustees in 1990 and receives the proceeds from the offering at the Sunday Service of the Living Tradition held at each UUA General Assembly. Other significant income is received from offerings at installations and ordinations held by local congregations during the year. The entire amount is distributed each year, with proceeds used for grants to reduce the burden of seminary student loans, scholarships to seminary students, and general aid to ministers in need.

Cruft Memorial Funds. Established in 1928, this fund provides grants to women ministers in financial need.

Horatio Atwell Hovey Fund. The donors stipulated that the income from this fund would benefit women age 60 and older in financial need.

Chandler Robbins Fund. The proceeds of this fund are also designated for women in financial need. Established in 1913, this fund is used primarily for one-time emergency grants.

General Aid Funds. Income from several separate funds is used for grants or loans to ministers in financial need.

Aid to Ministers' Widows Fund. Income is designated for aid to the widows of Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministers.

Aid to Ministers' Wives Fund. Income is available for grants to the wives or widows of UU ministers.

Aid to Families of Deceased Ministers. One-time grants are provided to surviving family members of UU ministers.

Aid to Retired Ministers and Widows. Funds established in 1959, 1984 & 1987 provide aid to retired ministers in hardship situations.

Grants for Children of Religious Professionals. This fund provides annual scholarship grants to undergraduate students who are the children of UU ministers, credentialed religious educators, and certified musicians .

Susan Fuller Fund. The donors stipulated that income could be used for grants to deserving Unitarian Universalists.

Fund to Increase the Sustentation of Ministers. This fund was created in 1920 for general ministerial aid purposes with specific emphasis on assistance to those "whose salary levels create living hardships."

Alan B. Doran Fund. This fund was established by a gift to the UUA from the Northshore UU Society in Plandome, NY in 1983 (now the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY.) Proceeds are used to provide financial support to ministers or spouses whose total family income creates hardship circumstances.

Betty and Ray Goodman Ministerial Aid Fund. This aid fund was established by Betty and Ray Goodman to help supplement newly settled ministers, particularly those whose churches are poorly funded, at some point during their fi rst three years of ministry.

The Ingeborg Haseltine Aid Fund. Ingeborg Haseltine made a gift from her estate to establish a permanent scholarship and aid fund to support the education of women pursuing a career in the ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The T. Ewell Hopkins Ministerial Aid Fund. This aid fund was established by Dr. Esther Hopkins in memory of her late husband T. Ewell Hopkins. The purpose of this award is to ease the fi nancial burden of becoming or remaining a minister, so that our clergy’s minds may be freed to attend to their higher calling.

Kaufmann Ministerial Student Mental Health Fund. In 2007 Katherine S. and John W. Kaufmann established this fund to assist with personal therapy expenses for Ministerial Students who are preparing for ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. These grants are intended for personal therapy and not for help with spiritual direction and/or career assessment. For more information, contact the Ministerial Credentialing Office at (617) 948-6403, or by email at mcoadministrator [at] uua [dot] org.

Westwood Ministerial Aid Fund. This aid fund was established by the Westwood Family, all of whose members were dedicated to successfully spreading the faith and nurturing Unitarian Universalist congregations.

Aid Programs by Other Organizations

The Unitarian Service Pension Society holds trust funds that provide Service Gratuities to ministers who have reached the age of 67 and who have served at least 21 years in Unitarian, Universalist, or Unitarian Universalist ministries. Approximately 350 recipients receive quarterly gratuities averaging $400.

The Society for Ministerial Relief. Founded in 1850 to assure assistance to aged and infirm ministers in financial need, the Society for Ministerial Relief provides continuing quarterly needs-based grants in varying amounts currently to retired ministers or widows.

The Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society. The Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society, founded 1786, provides needs-based quarterly grants to the widows or daughters of Congregational ministers who served congregations in Massachusetts or Maine. Trustees represent the UUA and the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC), and grants are made to persons of UU and UCC affiliations.

The UU Womens Federation (UUWF). The UUWF makes one-time and continuing grants from the Lanning Fund to assist the wives, widows, or daughters of UU ministers.

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