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The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) welcomes applications for its 2024 scholarships program to pursue studies in theology or diakonia and development-related subjects.


We are a global communion of churches in the Lutheran tradition, living and working together for a just, peaceful, and reconciled world .We strive to put our Christian faith into action through humanitarian and development work, advocacy, shared witness, and dialogue

How to apply

Applications can be made for regular diploma, bachelor, masters or PhD programs, as well as for short term scholarships that may be used for online courses, workshops, seminars or research projects. The latter are designed for church workers who can apply newly gained skills to benefit the daily work of the church or related institutions.

Each LWF member church is eligible to apply for five regular and two short-term scholarships. At least 40% of the endorsed candidates, both in the category of theology and diakonia, should be female and at least 20% should be youth below the age of 30 years.

All applications must be endorsed by a candidate’s church leadership and must reflect the needs and priorities of that institution.

Kindly read the Scholarship Implementing Guidelines before submitting your application.


Only candidates who fulfill the following criteria are eligible to apply for an LWF scholarship:

  • Church affiliation of the candidate: Only applications from active members of LWF member churches are considered. No applications submitted by individuals will be considered.
  • Nationality of the candidate: Only candidates from developing countries are eligible for scholarships in fields of diakonia/development. The theological scholarships are open to candidates from all regions and countries.
  • Age limits: The following age limits are in place, depending on the pursued degree and with certain exceptions, particularly for female applicants*:DegreeMaximum age at the time of application*Bachelor degrees35Master degrees40Doctorate45Post-doctoral/research50*Special considerations:
    • For candidates who are church employees at the time of application, these age limits may be exceeded upon special request.
    • Relatively higher consideration is made for female candidates who exceed the age limits due to social and cultural factors which cause them to pursue studies later.

Selection Criteria

  • Strategic priorities and human resource needs of the church: A proposed study field and degree must respond to strategic priorities and human resource needs of the church in the area of theology and diakonia. The requesting church must demonstrate convincingly how a given application would meet a specific need and priorities and how the particular scholarship will benefit the church and the local communities beyond very general terms.
  • Current and future position of the candidate: All candidates are expected to be serving the church and/or community as employees or volunteers. There must be a clear commitment by the church to engage the candidate as employee or volunteer in an area related to the proposed training after completion of the candidate’s studies/training. All applications must be accompanied by a description of the planned future role.
  • Motivation and commitment of candidate: The candidate must demonstrate convincingly his/her commitment, ability and motivation to pursue the training. It is also required that the candidate demonstrates how the knowledge and skills gained through the proposed studies will benefit the church and/or local communities. The candidate must show strong commitment to support the church after completion of studies and to contribute to the life of church and local communities.
  • Study place: The LWF encourages candidates to study in their home country or home region. In case a study or training program abroad is proposed, valid reasons must be provided in the application.
  • Gender and youth quota: At least 40% of the approved candidates will be female; at least 20% will be youth below the age of 30 years. For each applying church, these quotas must be met overall for all the proposed candidates, as well as for each of the proposed area of study (theology and diakonia).
  • Regional balance: The LWF seeks to ensure that candidates from different regions, countries and churches are being supported.

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