H. George Anderson Fund for Leaders

A Promise to Provide Scholarships for Seminarians from the Northeastern Iowa Synod


The Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly initiated the Fund for Leaders Endowment in 2004 as a way to help seminary students from the Northeastern Iowa Synod with the high costs of education and to encourage more people to enter ministry. Renamed the H. George Anderson Fund for Leaders Endowment in 2015, the fund is committed to providing scholarships for seminarians from the Northeastern Iowa Synod to reduce their financial debt for education.

Scholarships can help relieve debt and attract new pastors to Northeastern Iowa.

  • The average annual tuition and fees for ELCA seminaries are about $16,500 for the 2015-2016 school year. A typical student may also incur living expenses estimated at $28,000 or more while in seminary.
  • In 2012, 84 percent of ELCA seminary master of divinity graduates had educational debt, which averaged $41,245.
  • Extensive educational debt can hinder seminary graduates from accepting calls to smaller or lower-paying congregations because the salaries will not allow them to meet monthly loan payments of $300 to $600.
  • Scholarships remove potential debt for seminary study, making it easier for young adults and those with families to pursue a call to ministry.
  • With less debt, new pastors can better afford to serve in small, rural congregations, such as those in the Northeastern Iowa Synod.


Your gifts can help others answer the call to ministry.

Learn how your gifts to the H. George Anderson Fund for Leaders Endowment can help ensure that faithful and talented men and women from the Northeastern Iowa Synod will be able to answer the call to leadership in the ELCA.

About H. George Anderson

ANDERSON-H-GEORGE-95wThe Rev. Dr. H. George Anderson served as the second Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from October 1995 to October 2001. He served as president of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, from 1982 to 1996, and prior to that he was on the faculty of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina, where he served as president from 1970 to 1982.

As Presiding Bishop, Anderson saw the need for a nationwide system to financially assist ELCA seminary students with the rising tuition costs and debts they faced. His vision led to the establishment of the ELCA Fund for Leaders endowment in 2000.

The Northeastern Iowa Synod’s H. George Anderson Fund for Leaders Endowment honors Anderson’s wisdom and vision to create a nationwide means to fully fund tuition scholarships for seminary students.




If I would not have had a tuition scholarship, I would have had to work five to 10 years before entering seminary, so the scholarship really made 10 years of ministry possible.
seminary kid 22

The Rev. Daniel Hanson, Recipient of an ELCA Fund for Leaders Scholarship



Download the Fund for Leaders handout.

Visit the ELCA Fund for Leaders website.

To learn more, call 319-352-1414 or email Rev. Mark Anderson.


How to Donate

Checks to support the H. George Anderson Fund for Leaders Endowment should be made payable to the Northeastern Iowa Synod with the memo indicating the Fund for Leaders.


Mail your check to:
Northeastern Iowa Synod
201 20th St. SW
PO Box 804
Waverly, IA 50677-0804


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