Friday, December 19, 2014
Luther Seminary has received a $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., to support a four-year project called The Learning Preacher: Instilling a Trajectory of Lifelong Homiletical Instruction. The Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education and community development.
According to Karoline Lewis, associate professor of biblical preaching and Alvin N. Rogness Chair of Homiletics at Luther Seminary, the grant funds will be used to identify and implement a variety of enhanced learning opportunities for those who want to preach more effectively.
“We intend to use this generous grant to help us design and offer a spectrum of resources that preachers need throughout their pastoral ministry,” Lewis said. “Current students, recent graduates and seasoned preachers will all be enriched by the outcomes of this initiative. We are thankful to the Endowment for making this exciting opportunity possible for us.”
The Endowment’s support for Luther Seminary’s work with seminarians and pastors is part of its commitment nationwide to foster excellence in seminary education and the development of programs that support clergy. Luther Seminary’s project will provide instructional resources for pastors at three points in their homiletical development: seminary instruction, first call theological education and lifelong learning for pastors who have been in ministry for seven or more years. This will help preachers find relevant support and educational resources from Luther Seminary that will enhance their preaching skills.
“I believe the Endowment selected Luther Seminary as a recipient of this grant because of our demonstrated commitment to preaching,” Lewis said. “We are known for our strength in homiletics instruction and for our preaching resources on our website, www.workingpreacher.org. In addition, we present the Festival of Homiletics and the Celebration of Biblical Preaching events each year, both of which draw hundreds of people to learn and discuss ways in which they can improve the quality of their preaching.”
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 more than one-third of ELCA pastors, in addition to an increasing number of 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 and Company. In keeping with the wishes of the three founders, the Endowment supports the causes of religion, education and community development. The ultimate aim of Lilly Endowment’s religion grant-making is to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians, primarily by helping to strengthen their congregations.