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CM CARES, the Church Mutual foundation, awards $250,000 in scholarships to future religious leaders

MERRILL, Wis. - CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company foundation, has awarded 50 scholarships totaling $250,000 to religious students as part of its new Religious Scholars Program. Designed to offer a helping hand to future religious leaders and support faith communities nationwide, the program garnered an overwhelming response in its first year.

The 50 recipients were chosen from almost 1,600 applicants of diverse faiths and backgrounds. “An impressive group of people from across the country applied for these scholarships,” said Rich Poirier, president and CEO of Church Mutual Insurance Company. “It’s a testament to the high caliber of students preparing to lead their faith-based communities.”

Each scholarship winner will receive $5,000 to use toward the completion of his or her 2017-18 academic year. Recipients include future leaders of many denominations, including Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, Roman Catholic, Unitarian Universalist and Jewish. To view a complete list of winners, go to

The new scholarship program was open to full-time students enrolled in an advanced degree (post-secondary) religious studies program at an accredited theological seminary, college or university during the 2017-18 academic year. Students serving in their final year of an internship program were also eligible for the scholarships.

“We send our congratulations to these 50 outstanding religious scholars. By helping them prepare to lead faith-based communities, we are demonstrating our commitment to protecting the greater good,” Poirier said. “We also want to thank everyone who made this program a success, including teachers, students, brokers and agents who helped spread the word.”

About Church Mutual Insurance Company

Church Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, as well as schools, camps, denominational offices and senior living facilities. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual provides a spectrum of value-added solutions that benefit its customers. Church Mutual holds the following honors:

  • A.M. Best Company "A" (excellent) rating 
  • 2016 Ward’s 50 Top Performing Property and Casualty Insurers
  • BenchmarkPortal Top 10 National Customer Service Center
  • 2016 Wisconsin 75 by Deloitte US
  • Futuremakers Partner, by Wisconsin Technical College System


Established by Church Mutual Insurance Company in 2016, CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company foundation, supports charitable, educational and religious causes that improve the human condition. For more information, contact us at


For media inquiries, contact Dawn Bernatz, Director of Marketing Strategy and Communications, at (715) 539-4574 or

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

© 2022 Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. All rights reserved. Protecting the Greater Good is a registered trademark of Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.