Brian Lays, James and Marjorie Gilmore Scholar
A 2006 alum of Pittsburgh Seminary’s Miller Summer Youth Institute, Brian has been serious about theological study since high school in Denver, Colo. During his time at SYI, he came to appreciate the complexities of biblical and theological issues, and his love for study began to emerge. The professors at PTS challenged him to think in many ways about each issue and to be comfortable living out faith within the tension of unanswered questions. Now as a full-time student at Pittsburgh Seminary, Brian’s gifts for ministry have been tangibly recognized. He received the Seminary’s highest merit award for his academically excellent work. The funding gives Brian the support he needs to obtain a high-quality theological education without incurring overburdening financial debt.
Calvin Chong, International Scholar
A 2003 graduate of Singapore Bible College with an M.Div. degree, Calvin Chong has served as a Basel Christian Church of Malaysia pastor for more than a decade. Desiring to further his theological education, he enrolled in a master of theology program in his home state, at Malaysia’s Sabah Theological Seminary. The principal of STS told Calvin of our international student scholarship, so Calvin applied to our STM program. Despite have just gotten married in June, he and his wife, Lu, decided Calvin should study in Pittsburgh this year, while Lu remained at her job in Malaysia. “It is because of the scholarship that I could come,” says Calvin. Along with taking classes, he is working on a thesis studying the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament.
Damian Berry, Mary Dunnington Barbour Scholar
Native Texan Damian Berry made his way to PTS by way of Wichita, Kan. He became a Christian as a student on a football scholarship at Friends University, where he also ran track and did ballet. Majoring in Religion and Philosophy, Damian regularly participated in campus and inner-city ministries. “Being a new Christian, the courses in my major brought many questions to my mind,” says Damian, so he decided to attend seminary. A professor encouraged him to apply to PTS. “The day I got my acceptance letter was one of the best days of my life,” says Damian. “All I want to do is learn.” Damian’s scholarship is allowing him to graduate from seminary with no additional debt.
Erica McIlroy, master of arts student
Practicing attorney Erica McIlroy has dedicated countless hours to pro bono immigration law. She helps refugees come to America and helps asylees stay in the U.S. because of persecution in their homelands. As a member of PTS’s Peace and Justice Fellowship, Erica serves in the nearby East End Cooperative Ministries soup kitchen and helps coordinate a weekly community prayer group focusing on urban violence. After graduating, Erica plans to continue working in the area of immigration law. “I look at my job as a ministry, because through it I help to better peoples’ lives.”
Giving to PTS in honor or memory of someone dear to you can lend even deeper meaning to your gift by extending the work and life of your loved one through a student committed to bridging Christ, the Word, and the world today. Current PTS tribute gift opportunities include new endowed scholarships honoring the Rev. Dr. Robert L. Kelley '51 and the Rev. George Tutwiler, and gifts in memory of Dr. Glendora Paul '68 and the Rev. Dr. Stephen Polley ’59/’75.