ONTARIO (BP) — Gateway Seminary has received a $250,000 gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift is intended to assist with student scholarships, focused on helping students continue their studies in the midst of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The value of these new scholarship funds cannot be overestimated,” Gateway president Jeff Iorg said.
A recent survey of Gateway students found they are facing a variety of new challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly half of the respondents expressed concerns about the financial consequences of the pandemic and their ability to continue their studies.
“Many students are enduring significant decreases in work hours or loss of employment, unexpected childcare costs and shifting ministry responsibilities,” Iorg said.
During the move from the Bay Area to southern California, the seminary committed to a number of conservative fiscal policies and technology enhancements. Those policies, along with investments in educational technology and training, have paid dividends during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are in a position financially and educationally where we can focus our current fundraising efforts on scholarships and student support,” Iorg said.
The Seminary maintains a benevolence fund to assist students in precarious situations. Iorg anticipates an increase in fund requests as the pandemic exacerbates the financial difficulties some students are facing.
“This situation is unprecedented but it is giving us an opportunity to concentrate on helping the most important people at Gateway — our students,” he said. “For years, we have used the phrase ‘the mission matters most’ in organizational decision-making. Our mission centers on students preparing for their ministry callings and contextualizing the Gospel in their communities. We are not going to compromise that priority.”
Editor’s Note: The first paragraph of this story was edited after publication to reflect the source of the donation.