Committed to the service of law and justice in the Church, the CLSA regularly awards scholarships to students pursuing a degree in canon law. The scholarship fund, for which an annual Lenten appeal is conducted, reflects the Society’s pledge to educate further generations of canon lawyers. At its forty-seventh annual convention in 1985, the Canon Law Society of America instituted its scholarship fund and later determined the details of the administration of the fund as well as the scholarship criteria at its annual meeting in 1987. The Society initiated the scholarship by internal funding among the CLSA members in 1986, and the annual CLSA Scholarship Fund Appeal continues to the present. The CLSA Scholarship Award is awarded for tuition costs only. The Board of Governors determines the total amount of funding available for the next funding year at its January board meeting; the value of the award is based upon a percentage of the scholarship fund as of December 31st. Applications for a CLSA Scholarship are processed at the Office of the Executive Coordinator of the CLSA by April 15th of each calendar year, in order to qualify for the following academic year. A sub-committee of the Board of Governors recommends the recipient(s) for approval by the entire Board of Governors.
Each applicant must complete a scholarship application (.pdf) no later than April 15th of the calendar year for consideration for the next funding year. Applications should be mailed to:
Canon Law Society of America
ATTN: CLSA Scholarship
415 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20017-4502
A Complete Application Includes:
A completed licentiate or doctoral application form;
A resume/curriculum vitae of the applicant's academic training and professional experience;
Transcripts from the undergraduate, graduate, or licentiate programs, per individual application instructions;
A letter of acceptance/enrollment by a faculty of canon law from a pontifical university, per individual application instructions;
A typed statement (no longer than two pages) from the applicant expressing: (1) the reasons for studying canon law; (2) the need for this CLSA scholarship; (3) the projected five-year plan for work as a canonist after graduation;
A letter of recommendation from one's bishop, religious superior, or a diocesan official;
Three letters of recommendation, each addressing the applicant's academic ability and potential professional competence for canonical ministry.
Application receipt will be acknowledged by the administrative office when all paperwork (as described above) has been submitted.
Terms and Eligibility
- Each year a scholarship will be awarded to applicant(s) who wish to pursue a degree in canon law and who fulfill other qualifications. Students already enrolled in a canon law program may apply.
- The licentiate scholarship award is available only to persons enrolled in a licentiate program in canon law at an Ecclesiastical Faculty of Canon Law. The full amount awarded is prorated over the life of the respective licentiate program.
- The doctoral scholarship award is available to persons enrolled in a doctoral program in canon law at an Ecclesiastical Faculty of Canon Law for the residency and coursework year of studies. The doctoral scholarship is a one-year scholarship.
- No applicant will be excluded by reason of age, race, sex or canonical status in the church. Preference will be given to, but not limited to minority candidates.
- An applicant must be formally accepted or actually enrolled in a licentiate program in canon law at any pontifical faculty. Theological studies, even as prerequisites to canonical studies, do not qualify for funding.
- Scholarship funds will be distributed over the course of a student's program.
- Scholarship funds will be paid directly to a university or school of canon law upon presentation of bills, vouchers, or other such documents to the administrative office. Scholarship awards are used to defray tuition costs only.
- Applicants must demonstrate a true need for scholarship funding, i.e. that they would not be able to pursue canonical studies without this financial assistance. Financial disclosure may be requested.
- An applicant must be: (a) in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church; (b) recommended by their bishop, religious superior, or a diocesan officer; (c) a citizen of the United States of America, and (d) pursuing a licentiate degree.
- An applicant must demonstrate a level of professional competence and personal character compatible with the commonly accepted norms of canonical ministry.
- An applicant is expected to commit himself or herself to five years of canonical work within the United States upon completion of a licentiate or doctorate degree.
- Each applicants must demonstrate appropriate scholarship aptitude for canonical studies. For the first year of licentiate study, formal acceptance by a university is sufficient evidence. For the subsequent years of licentiate study, the recipient must have maintained a "B" average, or its equivalent, in their first year, verifiable by the submission of transcripts.