Published on July 6, 2011  

Samford Communication Studies alumna and Campbell University Divinity School student Caitlin Jones ′10 is one of 20 North American students recently recognized by The Fund for Theological Education (FTE) as a young leader who demonstrates exceptional gifts for ministry.

As a recipient of a 2011 FTE Ministry Fellowship, Jones will receive $10,000 for educational expenses and a self-designed project to enrich her formation as a ministerial leader. Fellowship recipients also attended the 2011 FTE Leaders in Ministry Conference, Renewing the Church in Service to the Common Good, June 15-19 at Dillard University in New Orleans, and will participate in other special retreats and learning events that foster leadership development.

FTE awards the fellowships to foster quality leadership and diversity in pastoral ministry. Fellows must be nominated by their seminary dean or president, have a minimum grade point average of 3.3 at the end of their first academic term and demonstrate gifts for leadership. A national committee of educators and church leaders selected the 2011 FTE Ministry Fellow from a pool of applicants from across the U.S. and Canada.

“These young leaders see ministry as a path to helping others and serving the common good,” said Kim Hearn, FTE Director of Ministry Fellowships. “In these difficult times, the church and the world need their extraordinary gifts of compassion, intelligence and commitment to community.”

Jones, who just completed her first year at Campbell University Divinity School working toward a Master of Divinity/Master of Arts in Community Counseling dual degree, said her Samford education prepared her well for the challenge of the FTE award. " The Fellowship involves 18 months of hard work and research that includes a heavy personal research component, a project that I will implement and direct and numerous presentations on my findings and project," Jones said. "Thanks to the Communication Studies department, I already have experience in all of these areas through our research and workshop classes and my senior presentation".

"So many people aren't sure what you do with a Communication Studies degree, but the answer is really that you are prepared to do anything," Jones added.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.