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John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship


  • The John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship is awarded to top ministerial candidates.
  • Newly enrolling Master of Divinity (MDiv) applicants are eligible to apply.
  • Emmanuel’s most competitive and prestigious scholarship (2 scholarships awarded).
  • Full tuition, all required fees, and annual book stipend of up to $1300/year.
  • Worth nearly $50,000 over the course of the program.
  • Apply by March 1, 2018.

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How do I apply for the John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship?

  • Complete the Application for Admission to Emmanuel Christian Seminary. If you have not yet applied for admission, you can do so here.
  • Provide Three Recommendations. If you are applying for admission while simultaneously applying for this scholarship, please submit three recommendation requests on your admissions application. If you have already applied for admission, please send your third reference using the link above.
  • Complete the Honors Scholarship Application for Master of Divinity program. All Neely Scholarship applicants must also apply for the Alexander Campbell Scholarship.
  • Write an essay using the prompt on the John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship Application. Upload your Alexander Campbell Scholarship and Neely Scholarship essays at the bottom of the online scholarship application.
  • Make sure all of your required materials arrive at Emmanuel prior to the scholarship application deadline.

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Scholarship Information

Who is John Robert Neely, Jr.?

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of one of his saints. Psalms 116: 15

As 3CLANE Family Foundation establishes the Neely scholarship, family members seek to honor the memory and legacy of a spirit-filled believer, John Robert Neely, Jr., a professional man who ministered to those around him. Rob was born October 8, 1937, in Atlanta, Georgia.  Before his death on May 30, 2015, Rob lived a faithful life, one that left a family able to celebrate a journey well-lived. A graduate of Russell High School in East Point, Georgia, in 1955, Rob studied mechanical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, playing third base from 1956 to 1958 on the school’s baseball team, including on the 1957 SEC Championship Team, before graduating in 1960. He served on active duty and reserves in the US Army from 1960-1965. He earned the status of Professional Engineer and in 1970 became part owner of Ful-Bro Engineering, Inc. Rob was a member of Southwest Christian Church and former member and deacon of Dogwood Hills Baptist Church. Rob and his wife, Jerry Hunter Neely, were married 57 years before his death, and he is also survived by a son, Greg Neely and his wife, Barbie, of Powder Springs, Georgia; a daughter, Lane Neely Pyke and her husband, Charles Pyke, Jr., of McDonough, Georgia; and five grandsons: Preston, Austin, and Ross Neely and Chad and Chandler Pyke.

Rob took part in Georgia Tech’s cooperative learning program, graduating with experience that made him an attractive job applicant with Georgia Power where he sold commercial and residential air conditioning in 1960 at a time when few businesses and fewer homes had electrical cooling units. Later, he worked briefly for Environmental Systems, Inc., but took the opportunity in 1970 to join Ful-Bro Engineering, Inc.

The young Ful-Bro Engineering, Inc., was somewhat underfunded, and this gave Rob an opportunity to join as a full partner.  Rob put his professional engineering status as well as his business acumen to work, and under his leadership, the company expanded. Rob’s wise judgement was critical in keeping the company balanced with growth and solid monetary reserves.

Rob’s advice to his grandsons included: “Pursue your dreams and especially what you like to do. This is sometimes difficult but you can always be aware of opportunities.  If you don’t succeed at first, try again.  When you start out, be sure you have adequate financing to carry you during start-up.  Plan as carefully and completely as possible and always be flexible and have back-ups.”

Lane Neely Pyke remembers her father as a gentleman, a man with a sweet spirit and warm smile, a man who believed in her, encouraged, and supported her in her academics and her athletics. He was a patient man, early in her life, when she was learning to drive, and at the end of his life, when he showed great grace in his final illness. He supported her and her brother, Greg, and then all five of his grandsons by attending every athletic and school event.  The memory of her parents’ marriage is a precious one, as they told each other, “I wish I could have met you sooner, so that I could have loved you longer.” He praised his wife often for her care for him “in sickness and in health.” As talking became more difficult for him, he found the strength to say repeatedly, “I am so blessed.”

Grandson Chandler Pyke stresses Rob’s “true servant’s heart”—one that led him to rise early when the five grandsons spent the night in order to make stacks of bear pancakes, and one who knew it was important to support his grandsons even when ill, giving the boys “a thumb’s up” and hugging them and mouthing “I love you,” even when he could not speak.

At Rob’s funeral, Chad Pyke read from Galatians 5, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” He said of his text selection, “No matter the situation Papa always acted out of kindness and with a complete disregard for his own wishes.  He lived a life of joy because he chose to always find the blessings that came out of every circumstance in front of him, and he loved putting a smile on other people’s faces—not by telling jokes or making them laugh, but just by showing them kindness.  Papa taught all of us how to love others and trust God by the way he lived his life.” His patience was unending as he hosted the five grandsons who, when young, could be noisy and demanding. He and the other grandsons hope to follow Rob’s model and to live such joyful and giving lives to those in their circle of influence.

In providing these scholarships, the 3CLANE Family Foundation offers support to graduate ministry students at Emmanuel Christian Seminary as they prepare themselves to serve the world, to create new believers, and to strengthen the Kingdom of God. Rob Neely would approve of such support to continue inspiring others to” give their best for the Master,” so that they can hear those words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

What is the John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship?

The Neely Scholarship is awarded to the most outstanding ministerial candidates in the pool of scholarship applicants in the Master of Divinity program. These scholarships are named for John Robert Neely, Jr., a faithful man who exhibited the fruit of the spirit in every aspect of his life. The scholarship recognizes candidates who show evidence of having fruit of the spirit in both their personal life and in their ministries, positively impacting the world for Christ.

Who may apply?

Any person applying for enrollment into the Master of Divinity program at Emmanuel Christian Seminary may apply. The scholarship is awarded to two newly enrolling students in the MDiv program in the fall of each academic year.

What is the value of the John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship?

The Neely Scholarship covers full tuition, all required fees, and up to $1300/year book stipend, an award of almost $50,000 over the course of the student’s 90 credit hour degree program.

What are the requirements for maintaining the scholarship?

Recipients should be degree-seeking candidates, enrolled full-time (9 hrs/semester), and must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout their time at Emmanuel Christian Seminary in order to keep their scholarship.

How are the recipients selected?

Applicants must apply for the Honors Scholarship for the Master of Divinity program, which includes writing an essay for the Alexander Campbell Scholarship and an essay for the John Robert Neely, Jr. Scholarship. The Honors Scholarship Committee selects the final recipients from the pool of applicants. Their evaluation of the applicants is limited to the documents within the scholarship application.

When are the recipients announced?

Recipients will be announced on April 1 via a phone call from the Admissions Office. Those not receiving an Honors Scholarship remain eligible for other institutional scholarships.

When is the application deadline?

Please have all parts of the application to the Admissions Office at Emmanuel Christian Seminary by no later than March 1, 2018.