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The Gary Wollersheim Rostered Ministers Educational Debt Retirement Fund exists to address the concern for increasing debt levels of rostered ministers, which has been a concern of this synod. The resources for this program are coming from designated gifts from congregations, from interest from the Synod’s Endowment Fund and, most recently, gifts made in honor of Bishop-Emeritus Gary Wollersheim’s eighteen years of service as Bishop of this Synod.

The intent of this fund is that it will be ongoing and important way to support our leaders well into the future. The amount of each individual grant is based on the number of applicants for the given year, the amount from the Fund which is allocated by Synod Council, and the individual’s total debt amount.


  • Recipient must be an ELCA Rostered Minister serving in the Northern Illinois Synod.
  • Through documentation the recipient must demonstrate a responsible payment history.
  • Process:
  • Complete and submit the Application Form no later than November 1 of the current year.
  • Include as part of the form, an uploaded record of payment
  • All submitted information is confidential. If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Cheryl Erdmann at or via telephone at 815-236-6657.

Apply here