Fund for theological education now extends to pastors ministering to congregations

Pastors eligible for 50 per cent of tuition costs through Company of 1000 fund

Mennonite Church Canada’s church leadership ministers are pleased to announce that pastors currently ministering to Mennonite Church Canada congregations can now apply to the Company of 1000 fund to help cover the tuition of academic courses they wish to take alongside their ministries.

Initially created in the 1960s, the Company of 1000 fund evolved into a forgivable-loan program. Currently, pastors who apply receive money to complete their theological education before moving into ministry. Pastors serving congregations are now eligible to receive 50 per cent of their course tuition upon course completion.

Numerous pastors across Canada have benefitted from the Company of 1000 fund. By broadening eligibility for the fund, the hope is that even more pastors will benefit, especially those in rural communities.

“This additional funding is necessary for pastors currently employed in a rural ministry setting who wish to take a course online without bearing the entire cost of tuition themselves or having to move away from their congregation and community,” says Rick Neufeld, church leadership minister for Mennonite Church Manitoba. “We believe this is a win-win for both pastor and congregation.”

The change comes into immediate effect. The fund covers courses taken through Conrad Grebel University College, Canadian Mennonite University, Columbia Bible College or Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Consideration will be given to pastors pursuing doctoral studies with an Anabaptist/Mennonite focus at an approved educational institution.

“In expanding eligibility for this fund, we recognize the changing ways in which pastors receive their training and education,” says Marilyn Rudy-Froese, church leadership minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. “Our desire is to make Anabaptist/Mennonite theological education more accessible so we can form pastors grounded in Anabaptist/Mennonite understandings of ministry and the church. This strengthens not only pastors, but congregations as well.”

Pastors eligible for this grant are encouraged to contact their regional church leadership minister. Applications and donations to the Company of 1000 fund are available on the Mennonite Church Canada website at

Media contact: Katie Doke Sawatzky, Communicators Officer,