Endowment Fund

Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment Fund

About Mary Jean Yoder

Mary Jean YoderMary Jean Yoder was born in India in 1939. She completed her medical training at the University of Indiana with honors in June 1964. She had committed herself to medical missions, a vision cut off in a tragic loss of life by auto accident a few days after graduation from medical school. This endowment fund is established in her memory.

About the Memorial Endowment Fund

The Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Endowment promotes better health and the relief of suffering in areas of the world where funds are limited and where medical development needs are great.

The founders and administrators of the Endowment have stipulated that the Endowment benefits shall be used in the context of and as a part of an active Christian ministry of love and service. Such service shall seek to meet both spiritual and physical needs. It shall follow the example of the Lord Jesus and serve in the spirit of His words (which Dr. Mary Jean Yoder kept on her desk as her motto):

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

 Benefits of the Endowment Fund

Earnings from the Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment will be disbursed for the following categories of activity:

  1. Christians in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) who have been admitted to/are attending medical college with a Christian service motivation in their desire to study medicine. The candidate must be sponsored by a church, mission, or recognized Mennonite or Christian agency to be eligible for such grants.
  2. Christians in LMIC who wish to study for paramedical professional or technical service – e.g. nursing, radiology pathology – and have sponsorship as described in (1) above.
  3. Christians in LMIC training for other Christian medical service that meet the spirit, intent, and purposes of the Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment.

The original intent of the Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment was to provide loans, instead of grants, to qualified individuals. The loans were to be repaid by receiving credits for working in an approved setting. The Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment Benefits Committee encourages individuals receiving grants to repay the grants, in full, at some future date.

All decisions on grants — priority, security, terms, qualifications, and acceptance of applications — is made 2x yearly (Jan and June) by the Endowments Benefits Committee of the Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment. 

Grants from the Endowment Fund

Initial grants to students will be for not more than two years. Applications for additional grants may be considered on an annual basis. In all cases, grants are contingent on availability of funds.

Application for Funding

Applications are to be completed through Microsoft Word or handwritten/scanned.  The three references and supporting documents for the application are then emailed to the Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment administrator, MHF Executive Director Cate Desjardins, at cate@mennohealth.org.  Any questions concerning the application can also be emailed to Cate.  Deadlines for applications are January 1st and June 1st each year. Decisions will be made within a month of deadlines. Important: Applications are NOT considered complete and will not be accepted until all references and supporting documents are submitted. 

Applications may be submitted in Spanish, French, or English. References are ideal in English, Spanish, or French but may be submitted in the referant’s mother tongue or most comfortable language – the Benefits Committee and Administrator will organize translation.

Administration of the Endowment

Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship along with Everence Foundation administers the Mary Jean Yoder Endowment Fund. The Benefits Committee consists of at least two members appointed by the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (as the successor to Mennonite Medical Association), representatives of Mary Jean Yoders family, plus an administrator selected by the Benefits Committee.

All contributions to the Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment are kept intact and only the interest income from the Endowment is used to accomplish its purposes. 

The Benefits Committee shall determine the use of the endowment earnings and authorizes disbursements. The Administrator of the fund handles correspondence and applications and provides communication with the Benefits Committee. Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship provides counsel and informational support to the administrator of the fund.

The Dr. Mary Jean Yoder Memorial Endowment Fund is invested with Everence Foundation, Goshen, Indiana. The foundation provides quarterly financial reports to the Benefits committee. 



Mennonite Health Journal