Fund for Leaders Scholarship

The Fund for Leaders Scholarship Application for the 2019-2020 academic year is available below. The deadline is midnight,  January 1, 2019  and they will be notified by April 30, 2019. Applications should be submitted to Tracy Moffatt, SWO President, 1944 Crestview Way, Naples, FL 34119 or electronically to
The scholarship will be awarded by the decision of the FL-BA SWO board at their January 2019 board meeting using the following criteria:
 The applicant must be a student in the candidacy process attending one of the eight ELCA seminaries in either the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts program, or a student in an approved extension program of one of the ELCA seminaries and be enrolled in an approved program, such as the Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) program.
 Preference will be given to residents of the Florida-Bahamas Synod.
 Preference will be given to female applicants.
 Preference will be given to an active member of a congregational unit of the Women of the ELCA.
 Applicant should exhibit faith qualities that empower others.
 Applicant should demonstrate leadership qualities in church and the community.

Thank you, Florida-Bahamas Women of the ELCA, for your generous support of our Fund for Leaders Scholarship! It is your financial support that allows us to make scholarships available which, in turn, reduce the amount of debt our recipients will have after leaving seminary. If you would like to donate to the Fund for Leadership Scholarship, please send your donation to our Treasurer, Ann English at 315 S. 57th Ave., Hollywood, FL 33023. Be sure to indicate that it is for the Fund for Leaders Scholarship.

At our January Board Meeting, the SWO Board prayerfully reviewed the Fund for Leaders Scholarship Applications and selected two recipients for this year’s Scholarship, Nicole K. Eastwood and Diana Fajardo.  

Nicole Eastwood, who received our scholarship last year, is a member of St. Stephan Lutheran Church in Longwood and is attending Luther Seminary – Distance Learning.  Nicole continues to be active in Women of the ELCA at her home congregation, helping recruit younger women and coordinating children for WELCA events.  Her passion is for empowering, equipping, and nurturing the faith and gifts in others. She loves to help people discover their gifts and passions and use them to glorify God, by setting them free to serve and giving them feedback and encouragement along the way.  Nicole has been a leader since she was a teenager.  She was a participant at Bishop’s School at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1998; president of her youth group, preached her first sermon in high school, and college youth group leader where she facilitated retreats and weekly activities.  Nicole says: “it has been a joy and an honor to represent WELCA this past year as a recipient of the Fund for Leaders Scholarship.  I am proud to represent what God is doing through this ministry. It is incredible to see the wide variety of ways in which God is using WELCA – which varies from context to context, all over the Synod. Not only is the impact of these efforts felt locally, but together, we discover how great this impact can be – in building relationships and in building the Kingdom of God.” 

Diana Fajardo is a member of Abiding Savior in Fort Lauderdale and is attending Wartburg’s LSPS TEEM Program.  She is doing her studies online while she does ministry in Fort Lauderdale among Latino women of all generations.  Todos los Santos (All the Saints) is a Spanish-speaking worshipping community in Fort Lauderdale where Diana also leads worship.  Prior to starting seminary, Diana gave years of service as the full-time director to the children’s outreach of El Centro Hispano de Todos los Santos without pay for the sake of others in need.  The children’s outreach program provides an afterschool experience that helps children with homework and provides musical and artistic opportunities allowing them to develop new skills and appreciation.  In addition, this program gives the children a safe place in the hours after school until they go home.  

Scholarship History

Several years ago, the Women of the Florida Bahamas Synod developed a fund through the ELCA Fund for Leaders (formerly Leaders in Mission) to award an annual scholarship to a seminary student.  Upon reaching the required fund balance of $25,000, our organization was qualified to offer a scholarship beginning with an award to our first recipient, Michelle Walka (Luther Seminary), in 2011.  In 2012, we chose two recipients, Joan Holden (Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary) and Marissa Tweed (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), to receive scholarship assistance. In 2013 It was Marissa Tweed and Marilyn Beyer. In 2014-15 It was Joan Holden and Jenny Michael. In 2015  Marissa Tweed.   Joan Holden is now a pastor in Florida and attended Fall Gathering 2015 and pastor at the 2016 and 2017 Fall Gathering. - our scholarship at work.! 2016 Jenny Michael and Nicolle Eastwood.We continue to do more as the fund grows thanks to all of you.


Elaine Heine,
Mar 1, 2018, 6:43 AM
Elaine Heine,
Mar 1, 2018, 6:43 AM
Elaine Heine,
Jan 2, 2012, 10:47 AM