The Compelling Preaching Initiative

Date Published

October 19, 2023

Home / News / The Compelling Preaching Initiative

Published by Scott Hoezee

Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching

News Release from the Center for Excellence in Preaching
at Calvin Theological Seminary

The Compelling Preaching Initiative


Calvin Theological Seminary’s The Center for Excellence in Preaching (CEP) has received a grant of $250,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a supplement to support a new addition to the existing Compelling Preaching Initiative grant program.

This program was developed with the support of an earlier grant from Lilly Endowment through its Compelling Preaching Initiative.

Currently Calvin’s CEP is in the first year of a five-year grant program to explore the current preaching environment in order to determine what constitutes compelling preaching today and uncover practices to help pastors compose sermons that will achieve this. The additional $250,000 supplemental grant will enable CEP to add a Spanish-speaking program component for Latino pastors and church leaders. CEP will be partnering with Calvin Seminary’s Latino Ministries Office and its Director Gabriela Tijerina-Pike to form Latino Peer Learning Groups for the next four years. Additional program elements will include Listening Tours by Director Tijerina-Pike as well as holding on-campus seminars for Latino preachers. Out of these initiatives the program will also develop resources for pastors that can be made widely available.

Latino Ministries Director Tijerina-Pike says, “We are so grateful for God’sprovision in the new program of Calvin Seminary’s Latino Ministries! In partnership with CEP, our plan is to provide helpful resources to preaching in contemporary contexts in the many Spanish-speaking cultures in the U.S. Our goal is to better equip these ministers and leaders to serve Christ and his Church, grounding them in good doctrine and sound reasoning. Along with this, we plan to carefully listen to the emerging pastors and leaders to attain accurate data of current needs of the Church.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Compelling Preaching Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.


About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a 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. 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. The 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. In addition, 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.

About Calvin Theological Seminary
Founded in 1876 by the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Calvin Theological Seminary continues to serve to raise up local church leaders and has expanded to
serve as a Reformed seminary for global church leaders where a student body of around 25 different nations come together to learn and grow together.