TIGERVILLE, S.C. (courtesy ngu.edu) — Students seeking a greater academic challenge as they live out their Christian commitment will benefit from the new Lifeshape Fellows initiative fueled by a “game changing” scholarship at North Greenville University.
Recipients of The Lifeshape Scholarship will enter a cohort-based fellowship that involves participation in NGU’s Honors Program, preparing an annual portfolio and university engagement opportunities.
NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., announced creation of the new fund for the Lifeshape Fellows program on July 22, noting the scholarship was created by anonymous donors seeking to invest in the university’s mission to “equip transformational leaders for church and society.”
“The NGU friends who chose to partner with us in this scholarship endeavor are looking to the future, seeking to actively prepare a new generation of Christ-centered leaders who are committed to rigorous preparation for their career roles,” said Fant. “This truly is a game changer. We are deeply grateful for the confidence these visionary individuals have demonstrated in our university’s ability to provide exceptional academic and spiritual nurture for our scholarship recipients.
The process begins with a scholar’s competition hosted November 19-20, 2021, for students who fit the scholarship criteria. The first scholarship awards will be made this fall, for traditional undergraduate students entering NGU in the fall of 2022.
“Since we opened our doors as an academy for local students 128 years ago, North Greenville has focused on creating opportunities for individuals who are committed to using their talents and abilities for God’s glory,” said Fant. “This scholarship will foster new opportunities for high-achieving students to combine servant leadership with focused academic pursuits.”
The Lifeshape Scholarship is structured to bridge the gap between a recipient’s other scholarships and awards and NGU’s direct costs. Designed for students who are enrolled in the university’s Honors Program, the scholarship criteria encourage continued academic study.
Awards, which will be based on the student’s merit, are available to students studying in all programs, but will be prioritized for those pursuing degrees in English, theology/religion, philosophy, political science, languages, and history. Further priority will be given to students who intend to enroll in a graduate degree program.
According to NGU’s academic catalog, the Honors Program, established in 1980, “offers academically gifted students courses, seminars, and activities specifically designed for enriched learning. Students who complete the requirements of the Honors Program earn an Honors Scholar Diploma and receive appropriate designation on their transcripts which should be advantageous for entrance into graduate school or the business world.”
“The Honors Program at North Greenville University is rooted in a leadership model that cultivates an applied biblical worldview, equipping transformational leaders for church and society and often producing students who enter graduate and professional schools upon commencement from the university,” said Dr. Nathan Finn, NGU provost and dean of the university faculty. “Applicants for The Lifeshape Scholarship must be committed followers of Jesus Christ and demonstrate they are doers of the Word through proactive, Christ-like servant leadership and academic discipleship.”
The scholarship can cover NGU direct costs for a maximum of four years.
“With the total scholarship tied to direct costs, we anticipate that Lifeshape Fellows will have the opportunity to graduate without college debt,” said Rachael Russiaky, NGU vice president for student services. “We want our graduates deployed in their work as quickly as possible, without the burden of major student debt. The national student loan debt for private nonprofit institutions is $26,400. NGUs average student loan debt is $21,200.”
While the amount of the scholarship gift was not announced, President Fant said it is the largest non-endowment scholarship gift in the university’s history.
“The donors want to build a legacy by pouring resources into individual lives. They desire to see these funds put to work immediately, so qualified students will be able to benefit from their investment and move into careers as well-prepared servant leaders,” he said. “This gift carries with it a sense of urgency to make a difference for Christ. It not only blesses those who receive The Lifeshape Scholarship. It inspires NGU faculty and staff to carry forward our important work with a fresh reminder that what we do is vital not just for our students, but also for the places where they will work and serve around the world.
“This takes our legacy-building higher education enterprise to a new level of effectiveness.”
For more information about The Lifeshape Scholarship, visit go.ngu.edu/the-lifeshape.