Sixteen universities active in training Baptist ministers in the United States are among 84 recipients of the Lilly Endowment’s latest round of $ 82 million grants.
Indianapolis-based Lilly announced the second round of grants under her Pathways for Tomorrow initiative on November 29. Grants range from $ 500,000 to $ 1 million, with the vast majority of grants being $ 1 million per school.
Lilly’s current three-phase initiative is designed to help theological schools strengthen and maintain their capacity to prepare and support pastoral leaders of Christian congregations. Each beneficiary school proposed different ways of using the funds. For example, the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, where Baptist theologian Molly Marshall is president, will use its $ 1 million grant to establish a Leadership Center for Social Justice that will prepare pastoral leaders to strategically engage their congregations in constructive actions that move their communities. towards holistic justice.
Lilly’s current three-phase initiative is designed to help theological schools strengthen and maintain their capacity to prepare and support pastoral leaders of Christian congregations.
Lilly announced separate grants to the Association of Theological Schools and the In Trust Center for Theological Schools to coordinate the Pathways initiative over the next five years.
The current initiative was launched in January 2021. In the first phase, 234 of 263 ATS-accredited schools received planning grants of up to $ 50,000 to help them explore the challenges and opportunities. opportunities they wanted to pursue.
The newly announced grants represent the second phase of this work, which will be followed by a third and final competitive phase to fund large-scale collaborative projects in which theological schools work together to build their capacities to prepare and support pastors and ministers. lay ministers and who offer sustainable models or strategies that could be adopted by other schools. These grants will be announced in July 2022.
Over the past two decades, in particular, The Lilly endowment has been a major source of funding for innovative congregations and schools in preparing clergy for ministry. In the beginning, the emphasis was on creating pastoral residences inside churches that provide a practical post-seminary experience.
Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, a congregation affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, was among the earliest grant recipients and over the past two decades has sent 35 young ministers to its Pathways to Ministry program. Later, similar grants were made to faith-based organizations – including the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship – to start similar programs. Due to Lilly’s influence, pastoral residences are now a well-known option for seminary graduates highly motivated to gain on-the-job experience.
Now, Lilly’s religious division has focused on the seminaries and universities that train the clergy, but with the same ultimate goal of fostering longevity in healthy pastoral ministries.
âTheological schools have long played a central role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,â said Christopher Coble, vice president of the Foundation for Religion. âToday these schools are in a period of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathways initiative, theological schools will take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified in the way that makes most sense to them. We believe their efforts are essential to ensure that Christian congregations continue to have a constant flow of pastoral leaders who are well prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow.
Among the latest scholarship recipients are these schools that are either Baptist in identity or active in the training of Baptist ministers through a Baptist house of study or similar intentional programs or by student numbers:
- Baylor University
- Campbell University
- duke university
- Eastern University
- Emory University
- More comprehensive theological seminar
- Hartford Seminary
- Interfaith Theological Center
- Mercer University
- Northern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Palm Beach Atlantic University
- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Union Presbyterian Seminary
- United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
- Union University of Virginia
- Wake Forest University
Lilly Endowment is a private philanthropic foundation established in 1937 by JK Lilly Sr. and his sons, Eli and JK Jr. through donations of shares in their pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly and Co. Although donations of shares remain a financial foundation of the endowment, it is a separate entity from the business, with a separate board, staff and location.
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