Calvin Theological Seminary Receives Grant for Ancient Practices for Missional Churches Initiative

Date Published

March 6, 2024

Home / Blog / Calvin Theological Seminary Receives Grant for Ancient Practices for Missional Churches Initiative

Published by Calvin Seminary

February 2, 2024

Calvin Theological Seminary has received a $1,250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Ancient Practices for Missional Churches initiative. It will be based at the seminary’s Institute for Mission, Church, & Culture (IMCC).

The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The initiative’s aim is to encourage the flourishing of congregations by helping them deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the vitality of their communities and the world.

IMCC’s Ancient Practices for Missional Churches initiative will directly engage pastors and lay leaders. The initiative will center on two main formation projects: 1. Seminars for churches to empower the various and scattered callings of Christians, and 2. Retreats that offer an experiential encounter with the Psalms for prayer and worship. These projects will lead participating congregational teams through a process of deepening their relationship with God through ancient formation practices and recentering their ministry vision around equipping congregants for their priestly mission in the world through their daily life and work.

In response to the grant award announcement, seminary president Jul Medenblik expressed appreciation for how this grant helps further the mission of Calvin Seminary, saying, “The health of the seminary is directly related to the health of the church. We are excited for this grant to help us learn and serve alongside churches as they find ways to bridge historic discipleship pathways in our Covid-impacted world.”

Calvin Theological Seminary is one of 105 organizations that received grants though a competitive round of Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. Reflecting a wide variety of Christian traditions, the organizations represent mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, peace church and Pentecostal faith communities.

“Congregations play an essential role in deepening the faith of individuals and contributing to the vitality of communities,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We hope that these programs will nurture the vibrancy and spark the creativity of congregations, helping them imagine new ways to share God’s love in their communities and across the globe.”

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private 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. While those gifts remain the 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
hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.


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