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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
St. Paul, Minn. – Luther Seminary has received a $239,500 grant as part of Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers. It 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. Luther Seminary will use its funding to pursue a variety of projects to study both the causes and the potential solutions to personal financial pressures. The projects will range from reviewing the impact of education debt to finding ways to increase support and financial education.
“Luther Seminary has a long history of addressing student financial wellness, particularly in helping students understand and manage their debt,” said Rick Foss, president of Luther Seminary. “This grant will allow us to expand on our past efforts and continue to enhance the financial well-being of our graduates and their congregations.”
“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,” said Coble.
About Luther Seminary
Luther Seminary educates leaders for Christian communities across the country and around the world. It is one of eight seminaries in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Established in 1869, Luther Seminary is the result of six separate institutions consolidating through a series of mergers, the first in 1917, into a single seminary. Luther Seminary has educated over one-third of the ELCA pastors, in addition to an increasing number of ELCA lay professionals and leaders of many global Lutheran and ecumenical churches.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based 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. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.