Grant Application

Grant Application

Since 1985 AMERC, Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center, a consortium of church organizations and educational institutions, has provided quality educational programs and learning experiences for seminarians and religious leaders. The centerpiece of these programs has been in-depth, contextually based dialogue with local people engaged in creative ministries, exploring with them social, economic, political, ecological, cultural, and religious issues. Intense theological reflection is used to understand these issues through the eyes of faith, equipping students and other leaders for ministry in the Appalachian context.

In 2001, out of a concern for being the best possible stewards of our financial resources, AMERC changed its approach to program delivery, and now makes grants directly to consortium members. The grants program maintains the previous emphasis on ecumenical and experiential education, but has shifted course instruction and programming primarily to the consortium members that receive AMERC grants.

Consortium Member Grants: A Partnership

Membership in AMERC is open to:

         theological schools which are members of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)

         regionally accredited colleges or universities whose aim corresponds with the purpose of AMERC

         oversight agencies of the church

         denominational judicatories or other church organizations whose purpose is overseeing the development of Christian leaders in Appalachia or similar rural or urban settings and who support AMERC's purpose

         and supporting organizations which embrace AMERC's purpose and help to provide and secure resources necessary for its mission (herein referred to as the Grantee(s))


Membership in AMERC is by written request, approved by the Board of Directors and with an annual payment of $1,200 in dues. Membership is for the calendar year and may be prorated.  Grants will be made directly to the consortium member organization, not to the individual who submits the proposal, and payments are made to the organization thirty days prior to the first day of the class.



Eligibility and Guidelines

Only members of the AMERC consortium are eligible to receive a grant.


Consortium member organizations may apply for an AMERC grant of up to $10,000 to assist the member in developing and implementing a course or educational program focused on the Appalachian region. In order to encourage broader ecumenical participation, AMERC will give priority to multi-member grants, and will consider applications of up to $12,000 for these grants, if the larger amount is justified in the budget.


Members receiving AMERC grants must agree to advertise the program in their publications and encourage registration by students from other AMERC consortium members. If the sponsoring member institution is an academic institution, the member registers students and must award academic credit for work successfully completed. The number of credit hours to be granted must be included in the application and in all publicity. If the sponsoring member institution is a denominational oversight agency or other entity, the agency must award continuing education unit (CEU) credit for work successfully completed by students, rather than college credit, if that is the purpose of the course.


An Appalachian mentor or consultant must be designated in the proposal to help plan and conduct the educational experience, thus ensuring a quality program. This mentor will be knowledgeable about the region and able to guide the member in selecting persons, organizations or other resources in the Appalachian region that will enrich the planned experience. AMERC maintains a roster of mentors and the mentor must be approved by AMERC before the grant is awarded.

Grant Policies


1.       All Grant proposals must be received by March 31 of each year to be considered for the next academic year.

  1. Grants will be made only for experiential/contextual educational programs, events, courses or seminars with an Appalachian or other rural immersion component.
  2. Grant proposals must provide for ecumenical or inter-institution involvement. Proposals from single schools or agencies must provide for reasonable access by students from other schools or agencies. Priority will be given to proposals clearly demonstrating inter-institution involvement.
  3. Grants to single schools or agencies will not exceed $10,000.
  4. Grants for multi-school or agency programs will not exceed $12,000
  5. Grants will be made only to schools or agencies that are current with their annual consortium member dues.
  6. Grant proceeds may not be used for capital improvements, the purchase of equipment or for permanent library acquisitions beyond the textbooks or materials for the course.
  7. Only one proposal per consortium member school or agency will be considered for funding in each academic year.


Proposal Guidelines


AMERC seeks proposals:

o    That stress direct experiences within the Appalachian region or another rural context, and a minimum of 10 days of cultural immersion anything less than 10 days should be submitted for review to the Grants Committee prior to submission of the grant application. 

o    That emphasize theological reflection and social analysis,

o    That engage students in the totality of Appalachian or rural culture - including its social, economic, political, environmental, and religious dimensions,

o    From member institutions that have historically demonstrated a commitment to ministry in rural or Appalachian contexts,

o    That offer educational experiences for an optimal number of participants( usually ten to twenty),

o    That demonstrate adequate financial and staff resources to assure a quality program.







Proposals must include:


  • No more than four typed pages with the title, name of the project director, goal(s) and desired outcomes on the first page
  • The name, address, phone, and email address of the project director, faculty, and mentor(s)
  • Identification of the Appalachian regional context where the experiential learning will occur
  • An abstract of the project (no more than 20 lines) and course outline
  • Number of credit hours to be awarded
  • Amount requested
  • Dates for the course
  • Statement of how outcomes will be measured
  • Agree to use and return the student evaluation form provided by AMERC and describe any additional evaluation method to be used
  • Projected enrollment and number of students required to hold the course and upper number that could be accepted
  • Plan for publicity with AMERC to encourage ecumenical mix of participants
  • Required reading and other resources to be used


In addition the following should be attached:

  • Budget (including cost per student, contribution of the  applicant to the program)
  • Projection of resources the applicant will provide (personnel, library, etc.), and a statement of any requests for AMERC resources.
  • Letter of endorsement from the academic dean or the president of the school, or the board president or chair of the organization or agency

Once the AMERC grant is awarded, the applicant institution assumes the fiscal and programmatic responsibility for the course.  It will be the responsibility of the host institution to provide honoraria, housing and food for the participants, and be prepared to pay other expenses as they occur during the immersion.  These items should be included in the required budget, above.   AMERC will serve as a resource partner.

Proposals must be sent electronically by the March 31 deadline to Linda Ashley at , or by a hard copy, which includes signatures, mailed to:


     Attn: Grants Committee

    PO Box 884
    Berea, KY 40403

    For questions, contact Lon Oliver at