Two Goshen College students awarded theological fellowships

GOSHEN, Ind. – Two Goshen College students have been awarded a 2011 Fund for Theological Education (FTE) Undergraduate Fellowship. Ben Sutter, a sophomore, and Sarah Dieter, a junior, received a fellowship to help fund their ministerial explorations. FTE is a nonprofit organization that seeks to cultivate and support young Christian leaders.

Sutter is a history and communication double major from South Bend, Ind. His parents are David and Janice Sutter and he attends Kern Road Mennonite Church. Last school year, he served as a ministry leader in the Miller Residence Hall. This summer, he is participating in the college’s Ministry Inquiry Program with Franconia Mennonite Conference in Pennsylvania.

“I’m interested in continuing to learn better ways to live out God’s dream for the world in my own life,” said Sutter. “I’m really excited to have this opportunity to enter into conversations with other young adults who have that same passion for Christ and for bringing God’s dream to the world.”

Dieter is an interdisciplinary major from Hopkins, Minn. Her parents are Michael and Debra Dieter. She participated in the college’s Ministry Inquiry Program last summer at First Mennonite Church in Denver, Colo., and will serve as the college’s student chapel assistant next year.

“I think that there is a shift in the type of ministry needed today and I can’t wait to see what that might mean for me in terms of a career,” said Dieter. “I am not sure if I want to go into traditional ministry, but I know that my time during the FTE conference will be transformative. I am honored to be a part of such an esteemed fellowship.”

Bob Yoder, Goshen College’s campus pastor, nominated both award recipients for the fellowship, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. Goshen College students have been chosen for this program several years in a row, and according to Yoder, having two award recipients in one year is uncommon for most schools.

According to its website, FTE was created in 1954 when leading educators, clergy and philanthropists joined together “out of the common concern that the quality of those entering the ministry had declined and that highly talented students were too often choosing other careers.”

Each year, FTE awards about 150 new fellowships to students to fund their exploration of preparation for pastoral ministry.

FTE Undergraduate Fellows are selected by a national committee of theological educators and church leaders. Students must be nominated by a professor, school administrator, pastor or campus minister; hold a minimum 3.0 grade point average; have an interest in pastoral ministry and demonstrate leadership in a church or school community. For more information about the fellowship, visit 

– By Alysha Landis

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit