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Divinity Receives Lilly Endowment Grant

| December 4, 2013

Regent University Chapel and Divinity Building.
Photo courtesy of University Marketing.

Regent University's School of Divinity has received a $250,000 grant as part of Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc.'s Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers. Regent is one of 67 theological schools across the country to receive this funding.

Personal financial pressures are severely limiting the ability of seminary graduates to accept calls to Christian ministry and undermining the effectiveness of too many pastoral leaders. To help address this issue, Lilly Endowment created the Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers. The initiative's aim is to encourage theological schools to examine and strengthen their financial and educational practices to improve the economic well-being of future pastors.

All theological schools fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada were invited to submit grant proposals. Regent's School of Divinity will use its funding to develop partnerships with churches and other ministry organizations to resource students pursuing theological education in ways that empower learning and minimize accrual of student debt in the process.

"The School of Divinity is fully committed to formation of the next generation of Christian ministers that can effectively lead the church to engage with the complexities of the 21st century global context, and this Lilly grant will help alleviate some, perhaps even much, of the student debt that burdens seminary graduates," said Dr. Amos Yong, dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli—through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment's religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.

"Pastors are indispensable spiritual leaders and guides, and the quality of pastoral leadership is critical to the health and vitality of congregations," said Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment.

"Theological schools play a critical role in preparing pastors and are uniquely positioned to address some of the economic challenges they face," Coble said. "The Endowment hopes that these grants will support broad efforts to improve the financial circumstances facing pastoral leaders so that pastors can serve their congregations more joyfully and effectively."

Learn more about Regent's School of Divinity.


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