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Building covenantal relationships among Unitarian Universalist women that equip us all to be better co-conspirators and allies in the movement for collective liberation.

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Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship Program

Supporting those called to service in the Unitarian Universalist faith.

“Ministry is what we do together – clergy and the laity. It flows from a religious conviction that invites people to become more of themselves, more whole, as we give witness to a vision of a world transformed by our care.”

–  Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley, January 2005


The Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship Program provides financial support to BIPOC women who are on a path to becoming religious professionals within the UU faith. The purpose of the scholarship is to help ease the financial burden associated with this pursuit, and to build a network of BIPOC UU religious professionals who are committed to social justice as a cornerstone of their ministry.  Six applicants are awarded per year, and are selected based on the following considerations:  

Clear path for their career journey in Unitarian Universalism:  Does the applicant have a current, deep relationship with UU institutions?  
  • Formal roles
  • Informal roles
  • Current professional path is UU ministry, music, RE 
Articulates, implicitly or explicitly, the intersection of UU principles and justice work:  How does the applicant view the interplay between UU principles/values, social justice, and career path?  What is the applicant’s analysis of how to do successful social justice work?  
  • Direct connection to principles, expression of faith
  • Anti-oppression practice/point of view
  • Role of gender and misogyny in justice work
Has built, is building, or intends to build connections to communities:  Does the applicant describe belonging to, participating in, and/or building communities that are committed to social justice (UU or not, BIPOC or not)?  
  • Relationship-oriented
  • Active in formal or informal justice work
  • Has built/is building networks and leveraging relationships to advance justice
Articulates, implicitly or explicitly, the connection they see between identities and UU-based justice work: How does the applicant see their various identities informing their ministry?  What do their identities mean to them in the context of the UU faith?
  • Lived experience as BIPOC woman (this includes trans women, femmes, and gender expansive/nonbinary folks)
  • Experience as BIPOC UU


A scholarship recipient must identify as a BIPOC woman. Applicants complete an online form with questions about their calling to UU ministry, religious education, or music leadership. The board and panel appreciate updates on how recipients’ careers and lives have been enhanced by a Bowens-Wheatley scholarship, but there is no requirement for post-award accounting of how funds were spent. Past recipients are not eligible for a second scholarship. 


Awards are generally from $2,000 to $3,000.


There are two funding cycles per year, with deadlines of May 1st and November 1st. Applications must be received on or before the deadline. Recipients are selected by the Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship Panel up to three months after the deadline. All applicants – whether selected for a scholarship or not – are notified in writing of the decisions.


An application form is available here.

Questions? Contact our administrator at

Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


Tel: 414-750-4404

3322 N. 92nd Street ~ Milwaukee ~ WI 53222

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