What are the Ecclesiastical Ministry Bursary Awards?

Ecclesiastical’s MBA grants are awarded to individual clergy in the Anglican Church in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Europe. The grants are open to Ministers, Archdeacons, Bishops, Deans and Assistants1.

The MBAs can help you breathe life into your ministerial development in ways that enrich both you and the wider church. The experience of a sabbatical can be life-changing for individual clergy and have a long-lasting impact on your congregation and community. Read case studies from previous recipients below.

Since being established in 1987, the Ecclesiastical Ministry Bursary Awards have provided over £1.4 million to help over 1,500 members of the clergy to finance a wide range of extended leave projects and plans.

The application window runs between April and September. During that time all relevant forms and information are available on this page. Applications for 2025 sabbaticals are now open and judging will take place in November 2024 with the awards made in December 2024.

Good luck to all those currently on sabbatical, or planning to next year.

Entry criteria

Entries for an award must fulfil the following criteria:
  • Awards are open to individual clergy in the Anglican Church in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Europe
  • All clergy must have been in ordained ministry for at least 10 years and not taken a sabbatical in the previous 7 years of applying
  • Applications are also open to Ministers, Archdeacons, Bishops, Deans and Assistants1
  • Awards are provided for extended study leave only (fees for a course during the extended study leave may be considered)
  • Entries must be made using the forms provided
  • Completed forms should be emailed to mba@ecclesiastical.com
  • We are particularly keen to see more sabbaticals which aim to support the drive for net zero carbon

Study leave for clergy is an immensely valuable opportunity to re-energise and re-focus their calling.

The Ministry Bursary Awards have made a significant contribution to supporting time away from the parish and a major contribution to clergy well-being and their resourcing.

The Right Reverend Ian Bishop, Bishop of Thetford

How to apply

  • Read the terms and conditions and criteria documents 
  • Complete the ‘Application form' 
  • Ask your Bishop or Archdeacon to complete the ‘Endorsement form’ 
  • Completed forms should be emailed to mba@ecclesiastical.com by 30 September 2024
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the application and endorsement forms are submitted.

Judging criteria

Judging of the 2025 entries will take place during November 2024 and awards will be made in December 2024.
The amount given for individual awards will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Value to the individual applicant
  • Benefit to the wider church
  • Financial support already committed from other sources
  • The strength of the endorsement from a Bishop or Archdeacon supporting the plans.

1 Assistants are classified as Assistant Curates, Deacons and Licensed Lay Workers including Church Army Evangelists engaged in the parochial ministry. Source: GS Misc 1243 published by the Archbishops’ Council 2019.

This section is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.