Southwest Students Receive SIM Scholarship


The Society for the Increase of the Ministry (SIM) has announced its new Becoming Beloved Community scholars for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. 

According to the SIM website, “Their unique commitments to compassion and justice are the lifeblood of this organization and also of the Body of Christ… The Becoming Beloved Community scholarship supports theological students with a strong call to the ministries of justice and reconciliation or who, by their very histories and backgrounds and prior engagements in ministry, contribute to the racial, ethnic and cultural diversification of leadership in the Episcopal Church. This scholarship bears the descriptive name of what Dr. Martin Luther King referred to when he spoke of the flourishing human community as it stands for and enacts justice, or “the public face of love.””

“We are proud to have so many of our students recognized by the Society for the Increase of Ministry,” The Rev. Hope Benko, Director of Enrollment Management and Admissions at Seminary of the Southwest, said. “SIM shares SSW’s commitment to forming leaders who will work for justice and reconciliation and to helping diversify the voices of leadership for our church. These students are already demonstrating their commitment on our campus and we know they’ll make an impact on the church for many years to come.”

Seminary of the Southwest students who received this scholarship are:

Alyssa Stebbing, Class of 2022
Anthony Suggs, Class of 2023
Derek Larson, Class of 2021
Santi Rodriguez, Class of 2021
Julie Rodriguez, Class of 2022
Megan Allen, Class of 2021
Megan Carlson, Class of 2023
Toni Belhu, Class of 2021

“I appreciate this generous gift,” recipient Julie Rodriguez said. “This scholarship lightened our financial burden, which allows me to focus more on my family and my seminary formation.”

Anthony Suggs said, “Having this support from SIM is invaluable as I continue in my studies and preparation for my future ministry. This support is not only helping to prevent excessive financial burdens so that I can more fully pursue my vocation and prepare for a future in ministry, but is also connecting me to other emerging leaders in the Church.”

“Being a SIM scholar is particularly meaningful to me because my hope for my ministry intersects with their hope for the church – to increase ministries that promote justice, compassion, reconciliation, and peace,” recipient Megan Allen said. “I do not just receive financial support, I have been invited into a relationship of shared vision that allows each of us to use our gifts for the edification of the church.”