Eastern  Star Training Awards
Religious Leadership



Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership were established by action taken at the General Grand Chapter Assembly held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 1952. Since then, the project has been written into the By-laws of the General Grand Chapter thus becoming a permanent project of the Order.

Nebraska Grand Chapter has sponsored this grant program since 1953.  It is familiarly known as “ESTARL”, the first letter of each word of the formal title.


It is a program providing financial grants to students preparing for a religious vocation or faith leaders continuing their education.


The Nebraska ESTARL fund is created each year by voluntary gifts and memorials given by chapters and individual members across the state and by generous contributions from the Grand Chapter of Nebraska.  The amount of the grants may vary from year to year depending upon the funds available.

The awards are determined by the ESTARL Committee, a committee of five members of the Order who meet in April to review applications and determine the awards.

Awards are made for one year, however recipients may reapply.  The Committee determines how long a student may receive assistance. Policy favors the more advanced students when a choice must be made.

The awarded funds are disbursed to the school the applicant is attending and the school administers the grant.  Funds must be used to defray school expenses such as board, room, tuition, fees and books.

ESTARL grants are usable at schools anywhere in the United States.  Nebraska has also sent ESTARL awards to European Theological Seminaries.



Students preparing for leadership in various fields of Christian service may apply for a grant. 

  • Applicant must be preparing for religious service.
  • At some point must have status as a legal resident of Nebraska.
  • Must submit the completed application form and all supporting data by the deadline date of March 1st.
  • The following types of students will be considered eligible:
    • Those enrolled in an accredited Seminary with a goal of Ordination
    • Those enrolled in an accredited Bible College with a goal of Ordination
    • Those enrolled in a “Course of Study” program at an accredited seminary with a goal of ordination and who are currently assigned to a parish
    • Current ordained clergy who are pursuing additional training to enhance their ministry or obtain additional degrees .

The ESTARL Committee will verify eligibility based on the above requirements. Race, gender or age will not be a consideration. The Committee has the sole responsibility of determining which eligible applicants shall receive grants and the amount each applicant shall be awarded.  There is no requirement of Eastern Star affiliation, however, preference may be given to Eastern Star members. It is desirable to have an Eastern Star Chapter sponsor or recommend the applicant.  Recommending a student does not obligate the chapter financially, but emphasizes the applicant’s dedication and sincerity of purpose.

If the recipient does not enter a religious vocation, there exists a moral obligation to repay the money.  ESTARL grants are gifts to those who devote their lives to Christian service.



Applications may be obtained by writing to:

The Grand Chapter of Nebraska
Order of the Eastern Star
301 N. Cotner Blvd, Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68505

(402) 937-7056


The initial application must include the completed form; references from a minister, school official and an Eastern Star member; the student’s most recent transcript of grades and a one-page essay describing the experiences and goals of the applicant. Renewal applications require the application, transcript and a one-page essay detailing the student’s progress toward her/his goals. 

    The completed application (hard copy complete with signature) and all supporting documents must be received by the Grand Chapter by March 1st.   It is the responsibility of the applicant to see that all letters of reference and transcripts are received. Late applications will not be considered.



Recipients will be notified in a timely manner following the April meeting of the Committee.

Those who receive grants agree to keep the ESTARL Committee informed of home addresses in addition to the addresses of the schools they are attending.



The Nebraska Eastern Star Educational Association controls a permanent fund to provide educational loans to members of the Order of the Eastern Star in Nebraska and their relatives.  Loans at a low rate of interest are granted to those who qualify. More information can be obtained by writing to the office of The Grand Chapter of Nebraska, 301 N Cotner Blvd, Suite 200, Lincoln, NE 68505.