The Religion Newswriters Foundation, the charitable arm of the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) in North America, is encouraging journalists to apply to its Lilly Scholarships in Religion Program. The scholarships give full-time journalists in the USA and Canada (only) up to US$5,000 to take any college religion courses at any accredited institution at any time.
"Religion headlines are dominating news coverage—politics, religion, Islam in America — now is the perfect time to dig deeper into today’s hottest stories. More than 250 people have already taken advantage of Religion Newswriters Lilly Scholarships in Religion Program for Journalists," RNA says.
Topics reporters have studied include: Islamic Movements, God and Politics, Religion and Conflict Resolution, Politics of International Religious Freedom, Buddhism in the West, Violence and Liberation, Muslim-Christian Relations in World History and many more.
“This class (Introduction to Religious Studies) gave me new tools and pedagogical frameworks with which to approach religion and religious subjects in my work producing daily headline news and features,” said Jenka Soderberg, KBOO Community Radio.
The scholarships can be used at accredited colleges, universities, seminaries or similar institutions. Journalists can choose any religion, spirituality or ethics course. Scholarships cover tuition, books, registration fees, parking and other course-related costs. Online and travel classes are also eligible (as long as travel costs are part of the curriculum).
All full-time journalists working in the general circulation news media—including reporters, editors, designers, copy editors, editorial writers, news directors, researchers and producers—are eligible, regardless of their beat.
The next scholarship application deadline is 1 January 2013. Scholarships must be used within three months of their award date.
RNA is the world’s only association for journalists who write about religion in the mainstream news media.
Complete information about the Lilly Scholarships in Religion Program is available at http://bit.ly/j8MOOg  Direct questions to Amy Schiska, Schiska[at]RNA[dot]org