Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary has received a grant of $1,000,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Collaborative Church Embedded Ministry Education Model program.
The Collaborative Church Embedded Ministry Education Model program is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. It is a three-phase initiative designed to help theological schools across the United States and Canada as they prioritize and respond to the most pressing challenges they face as they prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.
The overarching goal of this collaborative program will be to equip pastors and ministry leaders in rural and urban inner-city environments by providing them with a robust theological education that allows them to remain in their local context and be supported by pastoral mentors. The result of this program will be to reduce the seminary graduate’s acclimation time to their relevant ministry setting and increase the retention rate of pastors in ministry.
“We are extremely grateful to Lilly Endowment for providing the funding for Puritan Reformed to expand our robust education offerings to include embedded church leaders and pastors. The collaboration with other like-minded Reformed seminaries will further the reach and help develop a program that reflects diversity in denominational backgrounds, racially, economically as well as in languages with the goal of better serving Christ and His church,” stated Dr. Jerry Bilkes, Director of MDiv Degree Program.
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary is one of 105 theological schools receiving phase two grants. Together they represent the broad diversity of Christianity in the U.S. and Canada. The schools are affiliated with evangelical, mainline Protestant, nondenominational, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic, Black church, Latino, Asian-American and historic peace church traditions (e.g., Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, Quakers).
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, the 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.”
The Pathways Initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s wider efforts to strengthen theological schools and other religious institutions and networks that prepare pastoral leaders to ensure that a diverse array of Christian congregations are guided by a steady stream of wise, faithful, and well-prepared leaders.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A primary aim of its grantmaking in religion is to deepen the religious lives of Christians, principally by supporting efforts that enhance congregational vitality and strengthen the leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment values the broad diversity of Christian traditions and endeavors to support them in a wide variety of contexts. The Endowment also seeks to foster public understanding about religion by encouraging fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of the positive and negative effects of religion on the world and lifting up the contributions that people of all faiths make to our greater civic well-being.
About Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (https://prts.edu)
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary founded in 1995, offers an accredited education for MA, MABC, MDiv, ThM, DMin, and PhD degrees. Its mission is to prepare students worldwide to serve Christ and His church through biblical, Reformed, experiential, and practical ministry. With campuses in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Europe (London, Middle East (Alexandria), Asia (Taiwan), Africa (Pretoria), and Latin America (Sao Paulo), the seminary has more than 250 students.