Summer Discovery Grant

Bluffton University encourages you to take a break from wage work for part of your summer to create an experience that allows you to consider new vocational possibilities. This is an opportunity for you to dream a little!

Are you an education major considering teaching in an urban school setting but have never experienced the inner city? Are you a science major who would like to volunteer your lab skills for an exciting project at a research institute? Are you a religion major who would like to spend some reflective time at a monastery?

With a Summer Discovery Grant, current first year or sophomore students have the opportunity to design their own 4-6 week summer experience to explore the relationship between vocation and faith. A Summer Discovery Grant may help you discover your calling!  Up to two students will be awarded grants in the amount of $1,500. Grant funds are provided by the Karl Schultz Discovery Funds, an endowment established through the gift of Bluffton alumnus, Karl Schultz.

2013 awardees

Kayla Craig, a sophomore psychology and social work double major from Tallmadge, Ohio, spent time with Child Guidance Family Solutions, EMERGE Ministries/ EMERGE Counseling Service, Akron Children's Hospital Medical Center, Summit Co. Juvenile Court - Crossroads Program, Ashland County Lifeworx, and Tarry House. 

Chay Reigle, a junior Public Relations major from Ada, Ohio, provided various public relations necessities for the TLU shelter in Bluffton. In addition to this work during these weeks, Chay will attend the Mennonite USA Convention to assist with the media coverage there.


Guidelines for eligibility

    • An interest in designing an experience for yourself that will allow you to creatively explore vocation
    • Open to current first years or sophomores with a declared major
    • Registered for classes at Bluffton University for fall of the year for which you are applying for funds.

Experience guidelines
Typically these experiences are:
    • Organized for a 4-6 week period of time during the summer
    • Positions that you will not be paid for in addition to the $1,500 grant 
    • Not experiences for which you hope to gain college credit.

Application guidelines

Application packets are available in the student life office and at Marbeck Desk. To  apply, please submit the following items:

    • Completed application form and grant proposal (PDF) 
    • Current Bluffton University transcript
    • Two recommendations (PDF)
      •  one from a Bluffton University faculty member
      •  the second from another Bluffton faculty member or from a Bluffton staff member

Application deadline for summer 2014 is April 18, 2014. Decisions will be made by April 25.
For more information, contact Shari Ayers at or phone 3317.
Download, print and return application and recommendation forms to Amber Smith Marbeck box 70:

application PDF   recommendation PDF