The Sider Center

ESA’s work is supported by Sider and Wilberforce Scholars, who work 10-15 hours a week and receive a scholarship for 50% or more of their tuition for graduate programs at Palmer Seminary of Eastern University.



Each academic year, Palmer Seminary awards qualified applicants with a Sider Scholarship, which covers half the cost of tuition at Palmer. The scholarship remains in effect through the student’s entire academic career at Palmer so long as he or she is a full-time student (at least 16 units per academic year), maintains a G.P.A. of at least 3.3, and continues to meet the criteria for acceptance described below.

More About the Sider Scholarship

The Sider and Wallis Scholarships may be applied toward any of the Seminary’s masters degree programs, but they do not apply to tuition for an outside institution or any dual degree program at Eastern. The Sider Scholarship is named for Palmer professor and world renowned evangelical social activist Ron Sider. Sider Scholars give 280 hours during the academic year to supporting the activities of the Seminary’s Sider Center on Ministry and Public Policy.

Through their association with the Sider Center, these scholars gain valuable experience in research, writing, and networking in holistic ministry and public policy, as well as a greater understanding of how to merge scholarship with popular writing and organizing for social action. In addition, Sider Scholars are mentored by the faculty and staff of the Sider Center.


To receive a Sider Scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:

Academic Criterion:

  • A minimum of a 3.3 GPA for the most recent earned degree.

Personality Criteria:

  1. Known to be a person of integrity.
  2. Demonstrates emotional maturity; has a clear sense of self in relation with others.
  3. Growing as a disciple of Christ.
  4. Shows evidence of commitment to the embodiment of the Gospel’s call for justice and compassion.

Community Criteria:

  1. Shows concern for others in speech and action.
  2. Evidences commitment to personal spiritual and emotional growth in the context of the university community (campus life, chapel, small groups).
  3. Has been actively engaged in the life of a local church community.

To Apply

Those applying for a Sider Scholarship must complete the regular application process for admission to Palmer Seminary. They must also complete the Scholarship Application Form and arrange for a letter of reference from an undergraduate professor to be sent to Palmer. Relevant forms may be obtained from the Seminary’s admissions office.

Application Deadline/Notification Timetable

To receive highest consideration, all admissions and scholarship-related materials should arrive at Palmer’s Admissions Office by August 1 for fall enrollment and December 1 for spring enrollment. After an applicant has been accepted as a student at Palmer and all required materials have been received, the review process begins. This enables the Seminary to inform applicants of their status in a timely manner.

For any questions regarding the Sider Center and available scholarship opportunities, please contact Sarah Withrow King, the Sider Center’s Deputy Director, at 484-384-2988 or