Grace Theological Seminary was recently awarded a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help the seminary prioritize and respond to its most pressing challenges as it works to prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this grant,” said Dr. Freddy Cardoza, dean of Grace Theological Seminary. “As a result of the funding, we have plans to scale up our competency-based program, expand our online offerings and create a micro-credentialing pathway for lay leaders. This project capitalizes on the momentum that the seminary has been building since 2017 to enhance existing and create new opportunities for theological education.”
As part of the grant-funded effort, Grace Seminary also will introduce a residentially-tethered financial model that will support the expansion of online offerings while investing in courses offered at the seminary’s Winona Lake, Ind., campus.
The grant is one of 84 awarded as part of the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. Ranging from $500,000 to $1 million, the grants are supporting efforts at 74 U.S. theological schools located in 28 states and 10 Canadian theological schools located in seven provinces. All of the schools are accredited by the Association for Theological Schools (ATS).
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Today, these schools find themselves 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 ways that make the most sense to them. We believe that their efforts are critical to ensuring that Christian congregations continue to have a steady stream of pastoral leaders who are well-prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow.”