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Grants up to $10,000 are available from UMC Discipleship Ministries to help local United Methodist churches build ministries that strengthen and support racial and ethnic church concerns.

Racial Ethnic Local Church Concerns (RELCC) grants provide funding to strengthen the ethnic local church through leadership training, small groups, worship, stewardship and spiritual formation as they engage in developing disciple-making systems inside the church walls – as well as in the local community.

New programs and ministries that move churches to be places where disciples are formed, grow and make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world will receive priority.

While applications are due to Discipleship Ministries by Sept. 1, applicants will want to get started well before then. Here’s a suggested timeline:

  • 2 months prior to Sept. 1 – Solidify your plan and edit for clarity. Begin completing application, making contacts, developing budget, and preparing all other attachments.
  • 4 weeks prior to Sept. 1 – Finalize proposal, including an evaluation plan based on the goals and objectives.
  • 2-4 weeks prior to Sept. 1 – Share completed application and attachments with endorsers and get endorsers’ signatures.
  • 1 week prior to Sept. 1 – Submit application.

Before submitting your application, South Carolina applicants must obtain endorsements from:

  • Your local church pastor, if your application is for a local church-sponsored ministry or project.
  • Your caucus chairperson, if your application comes from an official UMC racial/ethnic caucus.
  • Your district superintendent.
  • Conference Director of Connectional Ministries Kathy James.
  • Conference Treasurer Beth Westbury.
  • Bishop L. Jonathan Holston.

Click here to begin the online application process.

Paper applications are available from Discipleship Ministries upon request, but priority will be given to applications submitted through the online system.

Applicants are encouraged to consult with Discipleship Ministries staff for guidance in preparing the application. For more information, contact Naomi Annandale, director of Research and Strategic Evaluation, at 615-340-1743 or

The ministry/project contained in the grant application must be a project of a local United Methodist church or of the United Methodist connectional system, and also must:

  • Contribute directly to the mission and ministries of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • Be consistent with the doctrine and social principles of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline.
  • Focus on developing and strengthening the racial/ethnic local church for witness and mission.
  • Involve racial ethnic church members in the planning, leadership and decision-making.
  • Reflect Discipleship Ministries’ strategic priorities of strengthening disciple-making systems in the local church and/or engaging people outside the church

In addition, the ministry/project must be related to one or more of these essential services provided by the Discipleship Ministries’ ministry areas:

  • Accountable discipleship
  • Christian education
  • Curriculum resources
  • Evangelism
  • Family and life-span ministries
  • Lay ministries
  • Leadership development
  • Spiritual formation
  • Stewardship
  • Worship

Priority will be given to new programs rather than programs that have been previously funded. Funds are not provided for personnel and equipment.

Click here for more information.


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