(Montgomery, Ala.) The Board of Directors of the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation recently voted unanimously to increase the minimum cash scholarship to each seminary student to $5,000 per year. During the Board of Directors quarterly meeting in Montgomery on June 27, the decision was made to increase the annual gift by $1,000 more than the amount for the preceding year. Scholarships are awarded to seminary students from the Alabama – West Florida Conference. The initial minimum scholarship amount at the time of the foundation’s beginning in 2007 was $1,200 per student, per year. The scholarships have consistently grown each year since because of the loyalty and generosity of donors. “The faithful donors to the Stegall Foundation deserve all the credit,” says Dr. Karl K. Stegall, foundation president. “Our foundation began at the beginning of the recession, and over the last five years it has been remarkable how people have responded to the call to support our future clergy leaders. “To date, our donors have sacrificially contributed over $4 million and, as a result, we are now beginning to make a significant difference in the financial support of all of our seminary students,” says Stegall. It is estimated that it now costs over $40,000 per year to attend seminary. Through the generosity of the Stegall Foundation donors, seminary students are now borrowing fewer dollars to complete their educations." The uniqueness of the Stegall Foundation’s program is the personal connection students have with donors. Connections through letters, e-mails, and quarterly newsletters help bridge the often wide gap between life in seminary and life in the local church. Donors are able to build real relationships with those they are supporting. “Over the years, we have gotten so many heartfelt thank-you notes from young seminarians who didn’t know how they were going to financially make it through, but still trusted that God would supply their needs,” says Temple Millsap, Stegall Foundation donor and board member.  “A gift now to these worthy seminarians will make it possible for them to spend their future sharing the Good News with others. I can’t think of a better investment.” Scholarship recipients know that the checks they receive in the mail are much more than just dollars; they are an extension of love and support from the donors providing them. “The Stegall Scholarship has been an absolute blessing for me during my three years at Candler School of Theology (Emory University),” says Samantha Lewis, 2012 graduate. “Not only did the money always arrive exactly when I needed it, but I knew that it was coming from people who truly cared about me.” “Each of our seminary students today is fully aware that because of the faithfulness of our donors, they are not making the journey through seminary alone,” says Stegall. “I want to express a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all of our donors for their continued prayers, dedication, and gifts.”