The John Wesley Fellowship Program
assisting gifted scholar-teacher-leaders
The centerpiece program of AFTE has always been the John Wesley Fellowship scholar-leader program. A commitment to the inspiring, serving, encouraging, and equipping theological education in a historical, biblical orthodox tradition is primary. AFTE seeks people who will embody leadership skills as thoughtful scholar-teach-leaders to provide the Church with First-rate scholars trained in the classical Wesleyan tradition to fill faculty and leadership positions in higher education, the church and related institutions.
AFTE awards John Wesley Fellowships to assist gifted scholar-teacher—leaders who embody this commitment to traditioned innovation and are equipped to provide leadership for the renewal of the Church in their doctoral studies at the finest universities. Candidates are selected for their commitment to Christ and the Church as well as for their academic scholarship, educational excellences as teachers, and promise for intellectual leadership in serving the Church in its mission in the world.
Fellowships are usually given for up to four years. The maximum grant is $15,000 per academic year. In addition, AFTE at times, provides the fellowship through a partner doctoral institution in order to enhance the potential for admission. The selection committee also reserves the right to withdraw an offer of a fellowship if the applicant enrolls in a doctoral institution that, in the judgment of the committee, will not significantly advance the mission and work of the John Wesley Fellows Program. With approximately 16-20 funded Fellows in the program at any one time, AFTE typically spends more than $180,000 per year on direct fellowship grants.
In addition to scholarship support, expense for annual gatherings of fellows, continuing education and professional development are provided.
From the point of view of the students, the Fellowship program is absolutely necessary. The cost of graduate school is significant. Tuition, not counting books, fees, room or board, easily exceed $15,000 annually. By the time students obtain their doctoral degree, debts can surpass $60,000. This level of debt is very difficult for modestly paid professors to repay.
Eligibility for these grants are for John Wesley Fellows only.
Encouraging and Promoting Continued Writing, Speaking, Teaching and Research is also part of AFTE
Going forward, AFTE has widened its vision to encourage John Wesley Fellows to continue to impact the church through grants for International Teaching and Collaborative Research.
The Christmas Conference
Each year, present and former John Wesley Fellows gather for personal and professional exchange. The undertaking of a doctoral program can be a lonely and grueling experience. The Christmas Conference (named in honor of the founding annual conference of American Methodism) helps developing scholars get to know and share ideas with other Fellows.
The Harry Denman Fellowship Program
In partnership with The Foundation for Evangelism, AFTE also has available one fellowship for scholars in the Wesleyan tradition who are pursuing doctoral studies in evangelism and related disciplines. The fellowship is intended to encourage and equip individuals who might one day teach evangelism in Wesleyan-tradition colleges and seminaries, and who are committed to the classical Christian faith and spiritual renewal of the Church.
The funding for Denman Fellows is consistent with those of the John Wesley Fellows, and Denman Fellows participate fully in all of the activities of the John Wesley Fellows program.
Candidates interested in the Denman Fellows program apply using the standard application form for the John Wesley Fellowship, and include a separate one-page description of how your doctoral study is connected to the study and practice of evangelism.
News & Events
Announcing that 2024 John Wesley Fellowship Scholarship Applications are now being accepted. Please see the at…
John Wesley Fellows and special guests, we look forward to you joining us Thursday-Sunday, January 11-14, 2024…
Edgardo Colón-Emeric, a theologian and international leader in ecumenicalengagement who has served as dean of …
Dr. Ted Campbell was installed as the Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins School of Theolo…
“Although I am not a John Wesley—or Harry Denman—Fellow myself, I have been blessed to know and to work with a goodly number over the years. Without exception, I have found them to be thoughtful and faithful scholars, teachers, and leaders who have made, are making, and will continue to make a lasting impact upon theological education and congregations in and beyond Wesleyan life.
In recent years, since Baylor’s Truett Seminary launched a Wesley House of Studies, I have been asked and able to attend the annual Christmas Conference of the John Wesley Fellows, which has quickly become a highlight of my year, as I have been nourished and enriched by the programming and especially by the people. As a relative newcomer to this ongoing mission to revitalize theological education, I would encourage others to lend both prayer and support to this strategic and significant fellowship and foundation.”
Todd D. Still, Ph.D.
Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean &
William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures
Baylor University, Truett Seminary
"The John Wesley Fellowship provides not only financial support, it is an extraordinary community of Christian scholars — and friends."