The $10,000 fellowship is awarded to a second-year Master of Divinity student who demonstrates strong leadership abilities for ministry and a deep commitment to the life of the Spirit and ministry as a vocation. The stipend is for educational and living expenses as well as a self-designed ministry project.
Marquez, 24, started his ministry, Chicago Kingdom Generation (CKG), in April 2010 to help unite youth across denominations, churches, theological commitments and personal experiences.
In a city often torn by youth violence and known for its strict delineation of ethnic and racial neighborhoods, CKG members gather each month for worship, praise, teaching and prayer. Marquez, who grew up in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, and fellow volunteers created an urban space where youth and young adults gain exposure to differing theological perspectives and collaborate in ministry both in their home churches and throughout Chicago. As a result, relationships formed during these gatherings often result in members inviting each other to participate in or lead special events in each others’ churches.
Marquez underscores the importance of bridging all manner of cultural gaps.
“I’ve participated in interfaith dialogues but you don’t usually have opportunities to meet people and make friends who are different from them but within the faith. CKG exists to bridge this gap,” he said.
The Fund for Theological Education supports excellence and diversity in pastoral ministry and theological scholarship and works to help identify and invite capable, faithful young people to lead and renew congregations, campuses and communities.