In December 2012, the Episcopal Church announced that Episcopal Divinity School will be the recipient of a Roanridge Trust grant of $17,600 to support students who are interested in field education in a dynamic rural environment. The grant will cover travel expenses, financial support to host families, and a stipend of $3,500 for a field placement in Northern Michigan.
The overall purpose of the grant is to allow a student to experience rural ministry in a diocese that has a history of developing local lay and ordained leadership. Episcopal Divinity School has had a long relationship with the Diocese of North Michigan beginning with the Pastoral Excellence Project, funded by the Lilly Foundation, designed to meet the needs of underserved congregations in rural areas. Priests and bishops from the diocese have co-taught courses with Dr. Fredrica Harris Thomsett and laity and clergy have participated in courses held at EDS.
The collaborative process between EDS and Northern Michigan of selecting a student to begin this work is underway.