Rushville Republican

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December 6, 2013

AU School of Theology receives $248,000 Lilly Endowment grant

The Anderson University School of Theology has received a grant of $248,772 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. The Anderson University School of Theology will use its funding to enhance its historic connection with the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.) and its graduate students preparing for ministry.

“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.

“We are hopeful as never before to discover causes and provide solutions regarding student debt,” said Dr. David Sebastian dean of the Anderson University School of Theology. “This grant will afford the seminary opportunities to help pastors and congregations create viable pathways for sustainable futures.”

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