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The Reid Trust
for Reformed and Presbyterian
theological education in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions
about the Reid Trust

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse this list of "Frequently Asked Questions" about who we are and what we do.

Why is it called the Reid Trust? The full name of the Trust is "The Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust." Dr. W. Stanford Reid, Canadian historian and theologian, and his wife Priscilla, determined jointly that upon their deaths the proceeds of their estate should be used for the support of Reformed and Presbyterian theological education in Canada. Through this decision the Reids are continuing to make a significant contribution to the Christian community in Canada.

When did the Trust begin? Dr. Reid died on December 28, 1996. His wife Priscilla died in June of 1997. The original Trustees of the Trust were named in their wills and began to serve in June of 1997. The legal process of formally establishing the Trust and defining its objectives and manner of operation took place during 1998. The Trust had publicly announced its existence and was beginning to receive formal applications by the beginning of 1999. The Trust considered 16 applications and approved 8 grants during 1999. The Trust has awarded a significant amount in grants in each year since 1999.

What are the objectives of the Trust? Priscilla and Stanford Reid established the Trust for the purpose of Reformed and Presbyterian Theological education in Canada. It was left to the Trustees of the Trust to determine the most fitting ways for the objectives of the Trust to be accomplished. The original trustees named were all personally acquainted with both Priscilla and Stanford Reid and understood their appreciation for and concerns about theological education in Canada.

Does the Reid Trust solicit additional contributions? Up to the present time the Trust has focused on administering the funds entrusted to its care from the Reid's estate. Although we have secured legal status as a Foundation we have not yet resolved all of the legal and practical issues related to implementing the options that foundation status might open to us. At some point in the future the Trust, acting as foundation, may invite other individuals who share the Reid's vision for Reformed and Presbyterian theological education in Canada, and who share the Trust's vision for accomplishing this, to add their contributions to the current resources of the Trust.

How is the Trust administered? The original documents establishing the trust designated five trustees. Those named were Mr Hugh Anderson (Executor of the Reid's estate and designated to act as chair of the Trust), The Rev. Ed Den Haan, the Rev. R J. Bernhardt, the Rev. Peter Darch, and Mr. Jack McLaughlin. The Trustees were given the right to choose successors. Three of the original Trustees have died since the Trust was established: Mr. Hugh Anderson (1998), the Rev. Peter Darch (2003) and Mr. Jack McLaughlin (2010).

How often does the Trust meet? Presently the Trust meets at least twice per year to review the business of the Trust, to review ongoing projects, and to consider new applications to the Trust. Those regular meetings occur in the Spring and Fall. In addition, the Trustees meet as often as necessary to further the work of the Trust. They are also in frequent communication with each other via telephone and e-mail.

Does the Trust have a Mission Statement? Yes. The declared Mission Statement of the Trust is: "To encourage and develop a scripturally based integration of faith and life that honours our sovereign triune God through the formations of persons and society as lovers of God and neighbours."

For what purposes are the Trust funds to be used? When the Trust first issued an invitation for applications at the beginning of 1999 it expressed its intentions in the declaration that follows. So far no need has been found to revise this declaration. "The Trust will seek to support initiatives within congregations or communities to promote education within the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition. The Trust will look for opportunities to work co-operatively with existing organizations and institutions in the sponsorship within Canada of conferences, public presentations or lectures that are in keeping with the objectives of the trust. The Trust proposes to offer scholarship assistance to worthy candidates who wish to pursue theological education or research, especially at a graduate level. While this education or research may take place outside of Canada it will be expected that those receiving the assistance intend to make a contribution to the Christian Church in Canada. (Special consideration will be given to applicants who are endeavouring to engage in such work while in mid-career.) The Trust will welcome opportunities to work cooperatively and supportively with authors and editors who aspire to publish books or produce educational resources that are in keeping with the objectives of the Trust. The Trust is also prepared to consider providing support for the capital needs of organizations or institutions whose aims are compatible with the terms of the Trust. The Trust is not focused exclusively on academic or technical theological endeavours but sincerely welcomes proposals which would foster a popular presentation of and appreciation for our Reformed theological heritage. While the Trust is open to consider all applications the desire is more to facilitate new endeavours than to fund existing ones. These defined categories of endeavour eligible for consideration by the Trust are not intended to exclude other creative proposals that would offer an opportunity for the promotion of vital, vibrant Reformed and Presbyterian theological education in Canada."

What types of projects or programs has the Trust supported so far? On the academic side the Trust has sponsored courses in theological institutions, lecture series, publication projects, and conferences of scholars. On a more popular level the Trust has sponsored lecture series on the Christian faith on University campuses, adult education programs in congregational settings, publication projects (in both print and digital format) of both an academic and popular nature, experiments in developing models for ministry and general Christian conferences.

How many grants or scholarships has the Trust awarded so far? Since the Trust began receiving formal applications in 1999 it has, by the end of 2011, approved grants totalling almost seven hundred thousand dollars - an average of over $50,000.00 per year.

Can you give some specific examples of grants that have been given? While we are reluctant to single out individual recipients of grants our Achievements Page gives some fairly concrete examples of projects for which the Trust has provided financial assistance.

Who may apply to the Trust for funding? Any individual, congregation, organization or institution that has a vision for work that falls within the terms of the Trust, and a practical plan to accomplish it, is welcome to apply. Potential applicants will wish to study both the Application Form and the Guidelines that we have offered for prospective applicants.

Must someone belong to a Presbyterian or a Reformed Church to apply? No. Eligibility is not conditioned upon denominational affiliation. Our concern as a Trust is that proposed grants meet the general criteria of being within the scope of "Presbyterian and Reformed theological education."

Since the objective of the Trust is to support Presbyterian and Reformed theological education in Canada must all applicants be Canadians? No, we do not make citizenship a condition of eligibility nor do we require that the project or program be restricted to a Canadian settting or exclusively to Canadian participants. For example, we might grant an academic scholarship to a Canadian studying in another country. Similarly, we might choose to fund a program or project that would also have benefits to people in locations other than Canada. However, in each instance we would expect the applicant to clarify the Canadian dimension to the proposal and to demonstrate how the proposed program or the benefits that may flow from it relate to the Canadian scene.
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Is there a maximum amount for a single grant? No. Each application is considered on its own merits. Consequently, neither a minimum nor a maximum grant amount has been established by the Trust.

Can projects that are approved for a grant also be receiving grant funding from other sources? Yes. In fact we often encourage those undertaking major projects to seek diversification in their funding sources. We also realize that co-coordinating funding from a variety of sources can be complex. Consequently, the Trust has on occasion approved funding for a project with the provision that the amount granted would remain available for a designated period of time and would be released upon the Trust receiving assurances that sufficient additional funding had been secured from other sources for the whole project to proceed.

How does one apply to the Trust for a grant? There are application instructions on this site. What we call our Application Form is not a fill in the blanks document but a descriptive one. We have also prepared a series of helpful Guidelines for those who may be preparing an application to the trust.

Is there a deadline for applying to the Trust for a grant? Although applications to the Trust may be submitted at any time it is the policy of the Trust to meet at least twice each year to review all current applications. Any applications received by April 1st. or October 1st. will be considered at those meetings. Applicants may expect to hear from the Trust within about six weeks following those deadlines as to the status of their application.

Is there some way to find out if a proposal will qualify for a grant without going to the work of making a formal application? This is a recurring challenge for the Trust and one which we understand even if we cannot always resolve it. It is reasonable for an applicant to make a preliminary inquiry before undertaking the significant amount of work that is involved in preparing a formal application. Sometimes the answer is obvious and even potential applicants visiting this web site may have their question resolved. Sometimes we can respond to a general inquiry with sufficient clarity that the applicant will know whether or not to proceed. However, on many occasions we can only advise people to submit an application and we will give it our careful consideration. The reality is, of course, that favourable responses to applications depend not only on the suitability of the application but on the resources of the Trust that are available for distribution at that particular time.

What sorts of personal academic programs qualify for grants or scholarships? The Trust has chosen to restrict its academic scholarship assistance to worthy candidates who are engaged in theological education or research at a doctoral level. (Special consideration will be given to applicants who are endeavouring to engage in such work while in mid-career.)
Note: While it is within our mandate to do so, the Trust is not currently accepting applications from those seeking scholarship assistance in order to pursue an M.Div. program or its equivalent. The Trust is currently only considering scholarship applications from those working on advanced degrees in theology and related fields.

Can an applicant receive more than one grant from the Trust? The Trust does not impose any restrictions on the number of times that a person or organization may make application to the Trust or on the number of grants or total amount of the grants that one recipient may receive. However, we do caution applicants operating ongoing or annual programs that they should not become too reliant upon Reid Trust resources. We see ourselves as a catalyst for new and creative programs or as a source of funding for an applicant during an initial period during which a wider support base may be developed. Of course, we are also eager to support a variety of projects in the various geographical regions across Canada. These various factors may influence the number of times that we would provide grants to a single applicant.

How are grants supervised once they are awarded? Once the Trust gives approval in principle to the awarding of a grant the application is assigned to one of the Trustees to administer. That Trustee is then in communication with the Aplicant to advise them of the Trust's decision and of any conditions that the Trust may have imposed. That Trustee then works with the applicant and drafts a mutually acceptable written "Covenant Agreement" that governs the grant. The "Covenant Agreement" is signed by both the Trust and the applicant and then the approved funds may be released.

What does a Covenant Agreement involve? The Covenant Agreement specifies the total amount of the grant and the purpose or purposes for which it is to be used. It also specifies any conditions that must be met by the applicant and what reports the applicant is required to make to the Trust. Grants are sometimes approved to be paid out in installments. If that is the case the Covenant Agreement will set out the timetable for the payments and any conditions that the applicant must fulfill to qualify for the continuation of the grant.

Can the terms or conditions of a grant be changed once it is awarded? Projects are often complex and dynamic and it is recognized that sometimes circumstances arise that require the terms of a specific "Covenant Agreement" to be revised. In that event the Trustee administering the grant will consult with the Applicant and, as necessary with the other Trustees, to secure agreement concerning those revisions. Such changes must have the mutual consent of the Trust and the applicant and are then confirmed in writing.

Why are academic institutions and charitable organizations asked to provide the Trust with a formal receipt for grants received? As a Trust we are subject to taxation on our earnings and are accountable for the management and dispersal of our resources. Grants which we make to academic institutions and charitable organizations, and which are verified by a formal tax receipt, serve to reduce our taxable income. Applicants should know, however, that the Trust does not operate on a quota system and that the tax status of an applicant is never taken into consideration in determining whether or not a grant will be approved for them.

What public acknowledgement must grant recipients make concerning the source of their funding? With the exception of individuals receiving academic scholarships we generally ask grant recipients to make some public acknowledgement of the Reid Trust's support. Such acknowledgement helps the Trust to fulfill a two-fold objective. It invites those who are impacted by the project to acknowledge this ongoing contribution that Priscilla and Stanford Reid are still making to theological education in Canada. Such an acknowledgement may also alert other prospective applicants to the existence of the Trust and thus open the way for the Trust's contribution to be even greater in the future.

Please note:   Application deadlines are April 1st. and October 1st. of each year.
See Our Application Process for additional details.