By Nancy Zugschwert, M.A.
North Central University is proud to announce the renaming of its scholarship for missionary kids (MKs), now known as the Grant-Pennington Scholarship. This generous award provides financial assistance and support for children of missionaries to attend college tuition-free. With this scholarship, North Central University seeks to recognize the sacrifices of missionary families around the world and help ensure that their children have access to an affordable college education.
Since the inception of the scholarship in 2019, more than 150 MKs have come to North Central for a world-class education. The scholarship was instituted by President Scott Hagan, Ph.D., to honor the university’s heritage as a missionary-sending institution since its founding in 1930 and to ensure that missionary families can remain on the field while their children attend college.
“I believe the Grant-Pennington scholarship is a God-breathed bolt of lightning,” Hagan said. “Not only does it honor and alleviate the financial burden for our current generation of missionaries, but it’s also filling the pipeline with fully trained future missionaries who will be able to enter the mission field—whether in the traditional sense or as marketplace missions—debt free.”
The AGWM Pennington Scholarship for MKs was recently renamed the Grant- Pennington Scholarship in recognition of significant support for the fund provided by David Grant, D.Min., and Beth Grant, Ph.D. The Grants are the co-founders of Project Rescue, a multi-national network of partners and affiliates who share a commitment and passion for restoring hope in the lives of survivors of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking through the love and power of God.
The Grants’ commitment to spreading God’s love around the world is also evidenced by their commitment to MKs. “I don’t know of any group in the world that has more potential than missionary kids,” Beth Grant says.
David Grant is enthusiastic about supporting the MK scholarship and encouraging others to do so, as well. “This impacts the student powerfully,” he says. “It helps financially, first of all, but besides that, it helps give direction and guidance. We think it’s fabulous that North Central and the leaders of North Central are willing to invest in generations. Let’s give, let’s believe, lets’ see this thing happen in a miraculous way.”
The Grants’ generosity will ensure the expansion and impact of the scholarship program for years to come. Tim Hager, D.Min., North Central’s Vice President of Advancement, Business, Operations, sees the Grants’ support as pivotal to growing the scholarship program.
“Our words of appreciation and gratitude are inadequate to describe what this partnership means for students from missionary families,” Hager says. “David and Beth Grant’s generosity upholds the university’s long-term commitment to training the next generation, and their long history with the university will live on through this scholarship and the students who will be impacted. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership!”
The scholarship has helped North Central University develop a strong community of MKs on campus. The MKs serve as leaders in many facets of student life, and the growing group of MKs also supports one another when they are far away from their families.
In 2020, one of the MK scholars, Micah Pennington, passed away on campus from long-term health issues. His parents, Steve and Trina Pennington, who serve AGWM in Africa, were overwhelmed by the support they received during this tragic time for their family. To honor Micah, North Central renamed the AGWM scholarship after him and is now pleased to continue to honor the Pennington family as representatives of missionaries everywhere and the Grants as examples of the Lord’s generosity in action.
Beth Grant believes in the promise of missionary kids. ”MKs will do amazing things on behalf of the Gospel and missions around the world,” she says. “I think it’s visionary and strategic to the mission of God to invest in MKs. Only God knows what could come out of that investment in those lives.”