BEST is Crosslinks bursary scheme for clergy, church leaders and workers. The scheme enables these study partners to embark on training in theology and Bible ministry. Through BEST, we link our study partners with churches and individuals in Britain and Ireland who can pray for them and support them financially.
We work in many countries where churches have few or no trained leaders. One region in Kenya, the size of England, has 10 active parishes (each with many congregations) but just 10 clergy and two evangelists to serve them.
This sort of situation is very common. Often, churches lack consistency in Bible teaching, discipleship and evangelism. Many dioceses have few resources available to make a difference.
Our BEST study partner scheme helps to:
- fund local courses that are contextually and culturally relevant to mission
- ensure promising candidates have the financial means to take courses
- resource local churches by providing trained leaders and ministers
- foster valuable links between study partners and supporting churches and individuals
We have years of experience in training church leaders and workers. Through BEST, we continue to help churches and individuals to take God’s Word to God’s world.
Who does BEST help?
We assist current or potential leaders who seek a first-level qualification (for example, a certificate, diploma or degree). We also help people on foundation courses. We aim to equip those who wish to take up or strengthen a ministry in pastoring, Bible teaching and evangelism. We also equip people to train others to know and handle the Bible, and in discipleship and mission.
What costs does a BEST bursary cover?
A bursary will usually cover academic costs, including tuition fees, exam fees, and books. In some cases, we may consider paying towards other costs, such as accommodation and living expenses. Normally, however, study partners are expected to meet these costs, sometimes with the help of their church or diocese.
Does the bursary last for the whole course?
We offer all our BEST study partners a bursary to cover the duration of the course.
However, our support depends on the partner completing each academic year successfully and on meeting requirements in providing news and reports, personally and from the college.
How do we choose BEST study partners?
We set two deadlines each year to receive applications. As the number of applications often exceeds the amount of funds available, it is important that we choose the right partners. We use well-defined criteria to consider all applications carefully.
How can I get involved?
As with all our partnerships, we encourage you to get involved through prayer and giving. Our BEST bursary scheme depends on the support of others: individuals, churches, house groups, Christian Unions and charitable funds.
Through the scheme, we can match supporters with specific study partners. We will send you your study partner’s profile, and regular prayer news and updates about his or her studies, college life and family. To find out more, email us.
We welcome one-off or regular direct donations to BEST, which boost our bursary fund. You can also sign up [add link] to receive our quarterly prayer newsletter, giving news about BEST and the progress of our study partners.
If you would like to support BEST or a particular study partner, please contact our partnership and fundraising manager if you are an individual, or our church partnerships co-ordinator on behalf of your church.
Where does my support go?
Our study partners, together with their churches and dioceses, contribute as much as they can manage toward personal costs, allowances and medical fees. We pay colleges directly on behalf of study partners, so when you make a payment, we usually put this toward your study partner’s tuition and academic fees, as agreed in advance. In some cases, your support may go to cover other costs that we have agreed.
To cover the scheme’s running costs, we take a percentage of all donations (10 per cent).
‘BEST gave us the financial resources... for theological training. It provided a gospel friendship and partnership with a mission-minded, gospel-centred institution that endures today.’
BEST study partner
‘As a result of your great financial assistance, I have worked as a tutor, then as principal of Morogoro Bible College, and now as Diocesan Secretary of the Anglican Diocese of Morogoro.’
BEST study partner
How can I apply for a BEST bursary?
We assess all application using a rigorous set of criteria. Applicants must be:
- recommended by their diocese;
- recommended by a Crosslinks worker or contact (if possible);
- in receipt of a place on a relevant course, run by an evangelical theological college that we recognise;
- ready to begin their course;
- based in their own country, or one that is nearby;
- aged under 40;
- able to assure us that they will spend only a limited time separated from spouse and children,
- if they are married and if they have a family;
- involved in practical ministry during a period of at least two years since their last study course;
- capable of and committed to providing regular reports and prayer news updates.
Students who have already enrolled on a course or are studying are not eligible for consideration.
If you think your application meets the criteria, contact our BEST co-ordinator
or write to us at:
Crosslinks, 251 Lewisham Way
London, SE4 1XF