In 1999, the predecessor body to Local Church Ministries, The Board for Homeland Ministries, created a scholarship for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender United Church of Christ seminarians in honor of William R. Johnson, the first openly gay man ordained in the United Church of Christ. The scholarship was established as a concrete way of affirming the long-standing conviction of the United Church of Christ that sexual orientation should not be a barrier to ordination. To qualify for this scholarship, students must be open about their sexual orientation, enrolled in an ATS-accredited seminary, and have proof of both local membership in a United Church of Christ church and of In Care status. First-time applicants must exhibit exceptional academic ability typically demonstrated by a 3.0 GPA or better while in seminary. Specific written recommendations are also required. The scholarship is available to second- and third-year students. Scholarship awards typically will be in the $2,500 range. For more information on scholarship requirements and deadlines, please visit the United Church of Christ Website.