Scholarship Past Recipients

Learn about the church leaders of tomorrow.

The annual  GuideOne Foundation Scholarships program seeks to benefit students who are actively pursuing a career in ministry. Students who meet certain criteria are eligible to earn one of four $2,500 scholarships. As one of America’s leading insurers of churches, this program was created because GuideOne believes in the church leaders of tomorrow and helping them advance in ministry.

Past Scholarship Winners

View a Video of Past Foundation Scholarship Recipients Explaining What the Scholarship Meant to Them.

2017 GuideOne Foundation Scholarship Winners

Daniel Clemens
St. Louis, Missouri

Daniel is pursuing his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He felt the call to become a pastor at an early age, encouraged by exhortations from his pastor back at the age of 11 or 12 that “Danny Clemens, you’re gonna be a pastor someday.” Daniel has served as a summer ministry intern for a church in St. Peters, MO, and served three churches in various roles while completing field education in seminary. He is currently serving as vicar (pastoral intern) at a Lutheran church in Flemington, NJ, and is looking forward to receiving a call to serve a church as pastor following his graduation from seminary.

Matthew Richard
Waco, Texas

Matthew is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, TX, and has served in the past as a summer staff worker at church camp, summer youth intern, supply preacher, associate pastor and pastor at various churches in Texas. He is currently working on a project in his Doctor of Ministry studies that will address the way small groups in church engage in spiritual practices together to foster overall character formation and spiritual growth.

Grant VanderVelven
Dubuque, Iowa

Grant is studying to receive his Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA, in a program focusing on the interplay between church and culture while also serving as the pastor of a Presbyterian church in northeast Iowa. At church, Grant is known to dig deep in the weekly Bible studies, asking congregation members “How does this speak to your life today?” and “How does it relate to our community, our nation, our world?” He has helped lead an ecumenical effort to provide free community meals, and has participated in strategic and practical conversations with business and civic leaders about revitalizing the downtown area of his community.

Stephen Wonkbenyakeh
Ankeny, Iowa

Stephen is pursuing his Master of Arts in Theology degree from Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in Ankeny, IA. He has a passion for evangelism and has served as a key agent in the formation of a growing church planting movement in Liberia, West Africa. Stephen has also been on the front lines in founding a church that reaches out to the African immigrant community. His own pastor highlighted Stephen’s “tireless work ethic and his passion to reach people with the gospel of Christ” in the scholarship application.

2016 GuideOne Foundation Scholarship Winners

John Bremer
Charlotte, North Carolina

John is pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. At the age of 12, John found his calling into the ministry and has had a strong desire to be proficient in the art of preaching. He has had over 10 years of ministry experience serving as principal, chaplain and pastor at various churches since 1998. John also served as an Emergency Response Chaplain at Railroad Chaplains of America for eight years where he helped others with trauma, grief and loss counseling. John would like to use his education to help other pastoral leaders within the local congregation. In the future, he hopes to write Bible studies, books and devotionals. John expects to graduate in May 2017.

Bradley Pinkerton
Alexandria, Alabama

Bradley is pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the recipient of the Woodward Scholarship for Missions from Beeson Divinity School. Bradley has served as a Pastoral Intern at Emmanuel Baptist Church (2010-2011) and is currently interning at Anniston Bible Church (2011-Present). In these roles, he was the founder and leader of ESL outreach to the local Hispanic community, served as a youth minister, worked at a Wednesday Children’s ministry, taught Sunday school classes and was the associate director for a missions team. He also has participated in the International Student Ministry where he worked with international students and My Israel Encounter, where he traveled to Israel for 10 days. Bradley plans on graduating in December 2016.

Marcio Sierre Quesada
Middleton, Wisconsin

Marcio is pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In January of 2016, he was nominated as one of Wisconsin’s 48 most powerful Latinos. Marcio has extensive ministry experience dating back to 1999 where he served as a Youth Pastor at Lighthouse Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Since then, he has worked as the Associate Pastor and now the Senior Pastor at Lighthouse Church. Marcio also is the Christian Network Coordinator for Madison Christian Giving Fund, a member of the MP3 pastor’s group and has had the opportunity to help lead Christian schools and daycares through being the Senior Pastor at Lighthouse Church. In the future, Marcio would like to obtain his Doctorate in Theology. Marcio plans to graduate in May 2018.

Joshua Steele
Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Joshua is pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout his schooling, he has received many awards, including National Merit Scholar, Faculty Scholarship Award, Dean’s Academic Scholarship and the Oxford University Press Award, to name a few. Joshua has served as the Youth Minister at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama since January 2014. Once a month, he preaches on Sunday afternoons at the Columbia Cottages, an assisted living facility. He also leads Morning Prayer services on Monday mornings before staff meetings. During his time in college, Joshua’s ministry experience included pulpit supply, small group discipleship leader, a Christian summer camp employee and worship leader. Joshua wishes to develop the church academically, pastorally and globally through being a theologian, pastor and missionary. After graduation, Joshua plans to minister in a Spanish-speaking parish while he pursues his Doctorate in Systematic Theology. Joshua plans to graduate in December 2016.

2015 GuideOne Foundation Scholarship Winners

Aleese Baldwin
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Aleese is studying to receive her Master of Divinity Degree at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. She has gained several years of experience by working with different ministries and taking on varying roles within them. Examples include serving as a Summer Ministry Coordinator, Camp Counselor, Bible Study Leader and Liturgical Ensemble Coordinator. She even started a small group at Wartburg Theological Seminary that is focused on the intersection of faith, learning and how it impacts college students and their everyday lives. Not only is Aleese active within the ministry, but she also is very passionate about music. She has accompanied and directed many children and adult choirs, while also sharing her passion and talents in music by being a part of the Luther College Orchestra Symphony as a violinist and harpist, as well as the Chamber Orchestra, Central Iowa Symphony and the Iowa City Community String Orchestra. Aleese expects to graduate in May 2016.

James Canevaro
Clinton, Mississippi

James is pursuing his Master of Divinity degree from the Reformed Theological Seminary, located in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a devoted husband and father and works as an intern at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi. With this position, James has had the opportunity to teach Sunday school and preach. His involvement in the ministry doesn’t stop there; he also hosts a bi-weekly small group and preaches at small churches throughout Mississippi twice a month. James also is the recipient of the Chick-fil-A $1,000 scholarship, which required working 1,900 hours at the restaurant, along with a manager recommendation. James is expected to graduate in December 2015.

Daniel Flucke
Dubuque, Iowa

Daniel is studying to receive his Master of Divinity degree at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Before attending Wartburg Theological Seminary, Daniel was a student at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he found his calling to become a pastor. He served on the college ministries student congregation, and was also involved with both the Outreach and Teens Encounter Christ teams. Besides his involvement at Luther College, Daniel has served two years on a church council, has worked as a worship and youth group volunteer and has been on staff at Crossways Camping Ministries as a summer camp counselor. Daniel also completed a summer unit of pastoral education at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he worked as a staff Chaplin intern in the hospital. He also was involved in mission trips traveling to places such as Belize, Guatemala, Kentucky, St. Paul, Chicago and Milwaukee. Daniel is currently completing a year-long pastoral internship at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Dubuque, Iowa, where he is engaging in pastoral ministry, preaching, teaching, pastoral care and visitation, youth and family services, and outreach ministry. Daniel plans to graduate in May 2016.

Brett Rushing
Brandon, Mississippi

Brett attends New Orleans Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is studying to receive his Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Expository Preaching. Brett found his passion to become a pastor from working with students and thoroughly exposing the Bible to them. Brett has a passion for ending Bible illiteracy in students and adults by proclaiming the truth of Scripture, even if it is difficult to understand. For the past 3 years, Brett has been an intern at various churches, including Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, Mississippi, First Baptist Church in Brandon, Mississippi, and is currently working at the First Baptist Church in Slidell, Louisiana. Brett plans to graduate in December 2016.

2014 GuideOne Foundation Scholarship Winners

Lory Fahle
Lawton, Oklahoma

Lory attends Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is studying for her Masters of Divinity degree. Lory has dedicated more than 10 years of volunteer service for Redemption Church, a prison ministry, and has many years of experience working as a Senior Pastor in five different churches. In addition to her ministry life, Lory has over 10 years of experience teaching special education in Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico. Looking to the future, she will continue providing ministry to Redemption Church, as she will soon be appointed Senior Pastor and named Director of Prison Ministry. Lory anticipates that she will graduate in May 2015.

Kenneth Krueger
St. Louis, Missouri

Kenneth is studying for his Masters of Divinity at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Before his desire to become a pastor, Kenneth served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a strategy consultant and an executive for various organizations. While these experiences enriched his life, he felt a greater calling to become a pastor. In 2013, Kenneth founded The Foundation for Called Workers, an organization that helps remove barriers to the proclamation of the Gospel. The goal of this organization is to help pastors and other called workers focus on ministry and not money. Since entering seminary, Kenneth has devoted much of his time and dedication to serving in various roles, including vicar, at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Missouri, and Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri. He expects to graduate in May 2015.

Angela Larson
Clive, Iowa

Angela is currently studying at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. As a graduate of Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, she received degrees in religion and human services. Angela spent 10 years between two churches playing a role that closely interacted with youth ministries. Beyond her ministry practices, she has been a writer for ELCA’s youth Bible study blog, Director of Vacation Bible School and a mission trip leader to Ghana. Currently, Angela serves as the Director of Peer Ministry at Grand View University. She anticipates graduating in May 2015 with a Masters of Arts in Children, Youth and Family Ministry.

Warren Williams
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Warren attends Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina. His inspiration to become a pastor stemmed from his experience as an adult Sunday School teacher. For the past six years, Warren has been serving as a pastor in Alabama at two different churches. He is dedicated to helping others, as he and his family have volunteered for the Salvation Army and collected supplies for those in need after the Tuscaloosa storm of 2011. Warren expects to graduate in May 2015 with a Masters of Divinity degree.