Samford University’s Preministerial Scholars is an unprecedented preprofessional and scholarship program. Combining the academic study of religion with the practical experience of internships and cadres, the program seeks to equip students for church-related and Christian ministries. Each year, a limited number of merit scholarships are offered to entering freshmen. Priority will be given to applicants who score a minimum of 26 on the ACT; however, qualified individuals with lower test scores are encouraged to apply. Students who are invited to join may receive a scholarship for up to $15,000 annually. Due to the nature of this scholarship, it is mutually exclusive with all other scholarships at Samford, with the exception of the Legacy Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship.

All application materials and recommendations are due no later than December 1. Scholars Day is held in late January or early February. Scholarships are announced in March. Decisions of the Preministerial Scholarship Committee are final.



The scholarship is available for entering freshmen only.

Sense of calling

Applicants must have a sense of calling to full-time ministry in one of the following professional ministry vocations: senior pastor, associate pastor, church administrator, minister of education, age group minister, music and worship minister, career missionary, hospital chaplain, campus minister, pastoral/family counselor, seminary/religion professor, bivocational senior pastor, church-related social worker, justice ministry, or church-related nonprofits. Students who intend to engage in part-time or voluntary ministry do not qualify for this scholarship.

Religion major

Applicants must commit to a Religion major.

Requirements for admission

Applicants must meet all requirements for admission to Samford and must be admitted at the time of any official announcement of award.


Applicants must demonstrate leadership inclination or capacity, energy, industry and self-reliance in extracurricular activities.

Highest moral standards

Applicants must represent the highest moral and ethical standards and principles.


Priority will be given to applicants who score a minimum of 26 on the ACT or 1190 on the SAT. However, applicants with lower test scores may apply and be considered based on all relevant criteria.


December 1

Completed application materials and recommendations deadline

January 27, 2018

Interviews conducted on Preministerial Scholars Day


Scholarship recipients announced

May 1

Scholarship recipients confirmation deadline

Recipient Requirements

Students must commit to a Religion Major. Two religion classes must be completed by the end of their sophomore year.

GPA requirement

Failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA in any semester at Samford will result in revocation of the scholarship for at least one semester. A second failure will result in permanent revocation of the scholarship.

Religion major

Students must commit to and complete a Religion major. Two religion classes must be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

Preministerial Internship

Students must participate in four semesters of Premin internships. These internships involve regular hours of service in a local church or church-related not-for-profit or mission organization, or through the Samford Sunday preaching program. Students are placed in ministry settings that are customized to expose them to their areas of interest.

Preministerial Cadres

Students must participate in at least two semesters of Preministerial Cadres. Cadres supplement classroom and field experiences by providing communal, vocational and spiritual growth through scheduled gatherings. Students share ministry experiences, and specialists address critical issues of church related ministry. Cadres meet weekly on Tuesdays or Thursdays at 10 a.m. Students receive convocation credit for attending Preministerial Cadre meetings. All freshman Premins are required to attend the fall Preministerial Cadre in their first semester.

Facilitate Preministerial Scholars Day

Premin students will assist the Preministerial Scholars Committee in facilitating Preministerial Scholars Day for future members of the program.

Scholarship Awards

Preministerial scholarship amounts are up to $15,000 per year. Continuing eligibility for the scholarship is based on academic performance, internship evaluations, positive promotion of scholarship experience, and semester-end interviews. Continuing eligibility for the scholarship, as well as reductions or revocations of the scholarship, is determined by the Director of Preministerial Scholars and the Preministerial Scholars Committee. Scholarships are available for eight semesters for full-time students.

Samford University is committed to fielding and developing ministerial students with the highest potential for effectiveness in ministry. The Preministerial Scholarship contributes to this effort by offering a limited number of merit scholarships to students who exhibit:

  • A clear calling to full-time ministry in professional, Christian ministry vocations.
  • High academic standards, preferably a 26 ACT or 1190 SAT.
  • Giftedness and competence in areas demanded by church-related ministries.

*To apply for scholarships, you must have an online Samford account. If you've started your Samford/Common App admission application, you can apply for scholarships using the same login information. If you haven't started an admission application, please log in as a new user.



Preministerial Internships

Preministerial students must participate in four semesters of internships. Internships involve regular hours of service in a local church, church-related mission organization, church related non-profit, or through the Samford Sunday preaching program. Students are placed in ministry settings that are customized to expose them to their areas of interest. Two out of four internships must take place in a local church setting. One hour of elective course credit is available for participating students who are also enrolled in any Religion course.

Mentor Introduction

One of the unique characteristics of the Premin Internship is the commitment of the mentors to invest in the student intern’s life. The mentor relationship is the key to the success of the program. Interns serve, not as employees, but as students seeking opportunities to learn from those further along in their journey. The pairing of mentors and students sets our internship program apart from others. Through the evaluations and mentor feedback, it is apparent that the mentors often benefit as much as the student. Mentors agree to spend at least thirty minutes a week with the intern. This time is set aside weekly for ministry evaluation, planning, relationship building, and spiritual formation.

Become a Partner

Samford University seeks out new Premin Mentoring Partners each semester. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please download the Mentor Application and return to Premin Scholars at Samford University. Students are paired in ministry settings of their interest. We cannot guarantee we will have an intern to fill each request we receive. However, we do have new interns seeking placements each semester.


The committee includes members of the Department of Religion, other faculty and staff, and local ministers. Decisions of the Preministerial Scholarship Committee are final.

Our Team

Photo of James Barnette

James R. Barnette

Associate Professor, Director, Preministerial Scholars

Biblical and Religious Studies

Office: Chapman Hall 221


Photo Unavailable

Anna Harris

Preministerial Scholars Coordinator

Biblical and Religious Studies

Office: Chapman Hall 134


Photo of Brenda Ridgeway

Brenda Ridgeway

Administrative Assistant

Biblical and Religious Studies

Office: Chapman Hall 217