Denver Seminary Receives Lilly Endowment Grant

Littleton, CO, December 11, 2013 --( Denver Seminary Receives Lilly Endowment Grant to Improve the Economic Well-Being of Future Ministers

Denver Seminary has received a $250,000 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. Denver Seminary will use its funding to perform a feasibility study assessing ways to enable students to lower student debt and enter ministry with less financial burden. The funds will also be used to create an objective research tool to understand, and thus address, financial issues facing potential and current students, as well as alumni. Additionally, the Seminary will use the grant to create new church and parachurch partnerships over the next three years to aid students with their finances while in seminary.

Regarding this initiative, Provost Randy MacFarland stated, “Our goal is that each graduate would be given a vision of what greater economic well-being looks like and with that, be motivated to pursue that vision. Our graduates need to be given a number of means to pursue greater economic well-being and guidance in the selection of what fits their current life situation and context the best. This generous grant from the Lilly Foundation will help us move towards our goal.”

“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 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

Contact: Katie Brewerton
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Denver Seminary
Katie Brewerton