Academic Catalog

Pirsig Fellowship

Cornerstone Theological Seminary is committed to the local and global church. Our mission, in part, is to contribute to the growth and vitality of local churches by preparing and equipping students to serve in ministry and leadership. With this commitment in view, CTS has established a fellowship program for Master of Divinity students that is uniquely focused on preparing them to serve in diverse ministry contexts. This fellowship was made possible through a generous gift from the late Julius and Barbara Pirsig who had a heart for assisting seminarians in preparing to serve the Lord. The Pirsig Fellowship features three primary emphases.


One goal of the Pirsig Fellowship is to make the M.Div. degree more affordable and reduce student debt, providing students more freedom for future ministry opportunities after graduation. The program offers a generous escalating tuition scholarship to qualified students (see eligibility requirements below).

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Pirsig fellows are men and women from diverse contexts who feel a calling to serve the church locally or globally in a variety of ways. They are growing in their love for Jesus Christ, are committed to helping others know Him and His Word and are eager to give their gifts and talents in service to the kingdom. Pirsig fellows are chosen in accordance with the following requirements and criteria.

Eligibility Requirements

Pirsig fellows must exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0. (Students in the final year of their bachelor’s degree are encouraged to apply.)
  • Acceptance in the Master of Divinity program. (This fellowship is only available to new and transfer students.)
  • Ministry calling and gifting. The following forms of ministry are preferred: pastoral ministry, discipleship/spiritual formation, chaplaincy, urban ministry and missions.
  • Love for the church (global and local) and compassion for people.
  • Growing in Christlike character.
  • Demonstrated academic performance and commitment to completing the M.Div.

Other Relevant Selection Criteria

The following criteria are taken into consideration when awarding Pirsig Fellowships.

  • Diversity: CTS desires to be a diverse and reconciling community. Therefore, priority is given to building diversity. Candidates who believe they will contribute to that commitment are encouraged to apply.
  • Age: The early years of one’s career are pivotal for developing a long-term ministry. Therefore, priority is given to candidates 35 years old and younger. Recent college graduates are encouraged to apply.
  • Financial need: CTS recognizes the high financial cost of education, especially for those who cannot expect their income to increase through work in ministry. Therefore, priority is given to those with limited financial resources.

Commitment During Seminary

Pirsig fellows affirm the following commitments:

  • Maintain 3.0 cumulative GPA in seminary.
  • Complete the M.Div. in five years or less.
  • Participate in all fellowship enhancements.
  • Meet annually with the seminary dean.
  • Encouraged to “give back” to the Pirsig Fellowship in the future (as the Lord leads).