The Hughes Scholarship


The Hughes Scholarship is part of the Hughes Initiative for Pastoral Excellence. The goal of the Hughes Scholarship is to gather and help prepare the most promising of those called to pastoral ministry. Through an education designed to shape both mind and character, this scholarship will enable life-on-life training to equip the next generation for Gospel ministry in the Church.

A Hughes Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship for incoming residential Master of Divinity students. The total value of each scholarship will be in excess of $55,000 for the 106-hour MDiv program. In addition to 100% tuition, the Hughes Scholarship provides a $1,000-per-year book stipend (up to $3,000 total) for recipients to build their library while in seminary. The book stipend will be available through the seminary bookstore.

These scholarships are available at six of our campuses that offer the MDiv program: Jackson, Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington DC, and Houston. The scholarship is only awarded to new students. Distance MDiv students do not qualify.

RTS awarded 13 Hughes Scholarships from among 57 MDiv applicants for Summer and Fall 2017. At the March 15 round of review for 2018, 11 Hughes Scholarships were awarded to incoming MDiv students from among 68 applicants.

Like other financial aid for the MDiv program, the Hughes Scholarship is awarded for up to five years and is capped for all Distance Education coursework at 50%.

How to Apply

To apply, students first must be admitted to the Master of Divinity program. The Hughes Scholarship application is included as part of the regular Financial Aid Application. On the application, Hughes Scholarship applicants will submit resume highlights, an essay on their calling to pulpit ministry, and a pastoral recommendation. Finalists should expect to come to campus for a personal interview and to have a video interview with the Director of Financial Aid.

Hughes Scholars will be selected from the pool of applicants based on Christian character, a pastoral recommendation, a clear calling to pulpit ministry, academic achievement, ministry experience, and future promise for Gospel ministry. The scholarship is intended for American students.

Hughes Scholarship applications will be reviewed for Summer or Fall enrollment at each campus. The deadline to submit Hughes Scholarship applications is March 15 for all seven campuses: Jackson, Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, and Dallas.

Applicants may only apply for the Hughes Scholarship at one campusthe campus to which they have been admitted. While the Hughes Scholarship is for new students, since the review is based on Summer or Fall entry, students who first enroll in the Winter or Spring may apply for the Hughes Scholarship by March 15 for the subsequent Summer term.

For questions about the Hughes Scholarship, please contact either your RTS campus admissions office or the Office of Financial Aid at

About the Hughes

In November, 1951, Dudley J. Hughes married Robbie Watson. Shortly afterwards, he was called to active duty and was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Returning home, he had a distinguished 40-year career in exploration geology in the oil industry. As devout Christians, they loved each other and their family well and served their Lord together for nearly 64 years until Dudley was called home on April 21, 2015.

Since childhood, Robbie has been conscientiously committed to loving and serving her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When she was 19 years old, she began to teach Sunday School, and has been active in Christian service through her church and beyond ever since. She started a Bible study at their family fishing camp in Canada for their friends and neighbors, and has personally provided Bibles for scores of people who were new to the Christian faith. She has prayed diligently for family and friends that they might grow to know her Savior the way she knows Him in a daily, personal walk. Robbie’s life has been characterized by seeking to know God and making Him known.

Robbie and Dudley believed from the beginning of their marriage that they were called to be good stewards before God of their lives and resources. Both of them have been committed to giving back generously from the abundance God entrusted to them through their success in business. As a result, many, many lives have been impacted for eternal good through the gracious support given through the years by the Hughes.

The Hughes’ life-long commitment to serve Christ and make an impact for eternity has led Robbie to create and endow the Hughes Initiative for Pastoral Excellence at Reformed Theological Seminary. RTS is honored to be entrusted to provide the training that will be made possible by their generosity.

Notable Quotes

Ligon Duncan, Chancellor & CEO:
“In today’s world, pastors need more preparation for ministry, not less. And they need it of the highest quality. The Hughes Scholarship will enable those who couldn’t otherwise afford it to join us for rigorous, face-to-face, theology-in-community, residential preparation for ministry. To be able to fully scholarship tomorrow’s leaders for the entire MDiv program is a massive gift, not just to those students, but to the Church.”

Brad Tisdale, Chief Operations & Financial Officer:
“RTS already provides approximately $4 million in financial assistance to our students every year. The addition of the Hughes Scholarship will bolster our ability to allow tomorrow’s leaders to prepare for their ministry calling without accruing debt.”

Brian Gault, Director of Financial Aid:
“RTS is committed to academic excellence at an affordable cost. Robbie Hughes’ generosity will gather the best students to study together at RTS, and those students will enrich each other’s lives in community, which will enhance everyone’s preparation for ministry. And those students will be friends for life.”

Guy Richardson, President, Jackson Campus:
“The Hughes Scholarship is a result of Robbie’s desire to serve her Lord by making an investment to benefit the future of the Church - to provide a steady stream of men who are called to be educated and prepared for pulpit ministry through RTS. It is, as we have called it, a ‘legacy on legs.’ We truly believe that this will be an instrument in the Lord’s hand that will help build and strengthen Christ’s Church both now and for generations to come until He returns. Thank you, Robbie. Thank you, Dudley. Thank you, Lord, for what you will do!”

Contact Us

Whether you're a prospective student, current student, alumnus, donor, or friend of RTS, we would love to hear from you.