Top 15 Scholarships for Catholic Priests

For centuries, the Catholic Church has been providing education to its priests, and to spice it up, they also offer financial assistance to those called to the priesthood but find it challenging to finance their education. These scholarships for Catholic priests usually come either from the Church or a private organization and they can be used for tuition fees, room and board, and other expenses.

Also, besides the financial resources these scholarships provide, they can also provide some other benefits like mentorship, networking opportunities, and spiritual support. That reminds me of some other Catholic scholarships you might be interested in such as scholarships for graduate students, for international students, and if you’re a black Catholic then these scholarships should be perfect for you.

Without much ado, let’s list these scholarships for students who want to be educated as priests.

scholarships for catholic priests

Scholarships for Catholic Priests

1. The Papal Foundation – Saint John Paul II Scholarships

  • Award: €8,000 per student per academic year

This student support program is not just for priests but also for seminarians, religious, and laity who showcase financial need from developing countries. The financial resources can only be used for tuition and room and board.

The scholarship will help recipients to study in Rome and then return to their Dioceses, equipped to communicate the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. 

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2. ACN International Scholarships

  • Value: Partial funds

This is among the scholarships for Catholic priests provided by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity that supports Christians in difficulty and in need. These scholarships are awarded for postgraduate courses in theology and philosophy at ecclesiastical faculties and universities, primarily in Europe. 

One of the best parts is that you can apply for the scholarship regardless of your country. 

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3. Knight of Columbus Seminarian Scholarships

  • Award: $2,500

Annually, the Knight of Columbus awards a limited number of renewable scholarships for tuition, room, and board to men studying for the Catholic priesthood at significant seminaries. Preference might be given to upperclassmen who are members of the Knights of Columbus, whose fathers are members, and/or those with a background in the military.

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4. Catholic Extension Seminarian Scholarships

  • Award: Varies

Catholic Extension (CE), through the generous donation of several people they have been strengthening the Catholic Church in poor Extension dioceses across America including providing Seminarian Scholarships. Annually, Catholic Extension supports 400 seminarians on their path to the priesthood

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5. Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum Scholarships

This University in Italy provides several scholarships for Catholic priests that can help reduce their financial expenses in school. Some of them include;

  • Scholarship “Man and God”
  • Good Samaritan Scholarship
  • Pontifical Scholarships
  • Sacred Heart Scholarship
  • “Perpetual Succour Scholarship Fund”

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6. Cardinal Foley Scholarship Fund (CFSF)

This is another scholarship for Catholic priests that was created for the purpose of qualifying Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans who will have the capacity to provide proper formation for future Church communicators in local training institutes, communication (and theology) faculties, and major seminaries.

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7. The Catholic University of America Scholarships

  • Award: Up to full tuition scholarship

The Catholic University of America awards two scholarship programs for seminarians and members of religious communities, they are:

  • Saint John Paul II Tuition Scholarship: 50% waiver of tuition
  • Basselin Scholarship Program: full-tuition scholarship

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8. St. Teresa of Avila Chaplains’ Scholarship

  • Award: $1,000

The Chaplains’ Scholarship is awarded annually to priests who have served at St. Teresa of Avila since its original days as Thunderhouse and all throughout its history as St. Teresa of Avila.  

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9. Trinity College Dublin – M.PHIL. in Christian Theology Scholarships

Trinity College Dublin provides different scholarships and financial assistance for Catholic priests to focus on M.PHIL. in Christian Theology, some of which are worth as high as €15,000, some of them include;

  • The Bridget Clancy Scholarship
  • Loyola Trust Scholarships
  • Sean O’Riordan Scholarship
  • The Dominic Barberi Studentship

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10. JPCatholic University – M.A. in Biblical Theology Scholarships

  • Award: 25% to 50% of tuition

This is one of the scholarships for Catholic priests awarded to students with brilliant academic records and are need of financial assistance. But first, for any student to receive this assistance, they need to be admitted to John Paul the Great Catholic University.

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11. Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish Scholarship

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish provides 3 types of scholarships which are;

  • The Saint Mary Parish Liturgical Ministers Scholarship
  • The Jacqueline Gray Memorial Scholarship
  • The Sr. Theresa Lucier, SP Scholarship

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12. Lucile Murray Durkin Scholarship For Women Discerning Priestly Ordination

  • Award: $2,200

From the name, it’s obvious that the scholarship is for women who wish to be ordained Catholic priests (including Ecumenical Catholic and Roman Catholic Women Priests). They might still consider those seeking priestly ordination in other denominations. 

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13. DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry – International Vincentian Scholarship

This program provides academic scholarships and other support to Vincentian priests, brothers, and sisters from provinces and vice-provinces of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity particularly in areas of the developing world.

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14. Catholic Diocese of Cleveland – Diocesan Scholarships

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland provides 4 types of Diocesan Scholarships which are:

  • Geis Scholars Program
  • Thomas Moore Family Scholarship
  • Bishops’ Scholarship for Excellence
  • John L. Patton Memorial Scholarship

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15. Catholic Lay Apostolate Scholarship

  • Award: Upto 50% of tuition

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be a lay person, a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church, a registered parishioner in the Diocese of Sioux City, and you must be currently or have a desire to be in the service to the parishes and/or an apostolate within the Diocese of Sioux City. Funding is renewable but must be requested for each course.

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We believe that these scholarships will be a very good value especially if you’re among those called to priesthood but find it difficult to finance the education. These scholarships, when won, should remove or reduce the financial barriers and allow you to completely focus on your studies.

Also, don’t forget that these scholarships have different eligibility requirements, most of them are solely for Catholic priests while there are some for priests from certain dioceses or religious orders.

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