July 1, 2022
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Endowment Expands Grantmaking Through
Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative


INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved grants to help 21 theological schools in the United States and Canada strengthen their educational programs and enhance their financial viability so they are better able to prepare and support leaders for Christian congregations now and into the future. These grants are in addition to 84 grants made to theological schools in 2021 also through the second phase of the Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.

In the first phase of the three-phase Pathways initiative, 234 schools received assessment and planning grants of up to $50,000 to identify, prioritize and design programs to address their most pressing challenges. In a competitive second phase, theological schools were then invited to submit proposals for grants of up to $1 million to implement their plans.

These latest second phase implementation grants, which total more than $20 million, range from $690,999 to $1 million. Combined with previous awards, the Endowment has now awarded phase two implementation grants to 93 U.S. theological schools and 12 Canadian theological schools. All are accredited by the Association for Theological Schools.

“Lilly Endowment was so pleased with the response from theological schools that we added more funds to the Pathways Initiative. We invited several schools that submitted highly promising proposals to resubmit their second phase implementation grant applications,” said Christopher L. Coble, the Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We believe these new grants will expand the impact of the initiative to help theological schools serve an even broader variety of Christian congregations.”

Collectively, these schools will implement programs that strengthen their connections with churches, better prepare graduates to serve in increasingly diverse ministry settings, enhance fundraising, and help make their programs more affordable and accessible to students—especially for students from communities of color. Among these 21 new grant recipients are several Historically Black Theological Institutions, a theological school serving Korean American Christians, a Spanish-language seminary in Puerto Rico and a theological school in Canada that prepares pastoral leaders to serve indigenous Christian communities.

The latest Pathways phase two grants are:

Anderson University, Anderson, IN  |  $1 million
Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO  |  $1 million
Ashland University, Ashland, OH  |  $999,776
Augustine Institute, Greenwood Village, CO  |  $690,999
B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, Irving, TX  |  $827,746
Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Georgetown, KY  |  $998,725
Berkeley School of Theology, Berkley, CA  |  $1 million
Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, IN  |  $1 million
Biola University, La Miranda, CA  |  $996,885
Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA  |  $998,606
Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, NC  |  $1 million
Howard University, Washington, DC  |  $1 million
North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies, Montague, Prince Edward’s Island (Canada)  |  $ 1 million
Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX  |  $1 million
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI  |  $1 million
Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico  |  $1 million
Shaw University, Raleigh, NC  |  $1 million
Southeastern University, Lakeland, FL  |  $1 million
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY  |  $1 million
Tyndale Seminary of Tyndale University, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)  |  $999,993
World Mission University, Los Angeles, CA  |  $1 million

Together, the 105 theological schools receiving phase two grants 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).

A complete list of grants can be found here.

In a competitive third and final phase of the Pathways initiative, the Endowment is funding compelling large-scale, collaborative projects in which theological schools work with other faith-based organizations to strengthen their capacities to prepare and support pastors and lay ministers and that offer sustainable models or strategies that, if successful, could be adopted by other schools. The Endowment anticipates announcing phase three grants in fall 2022.

The Pathways initiative is part of the 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 now and in the future.  The Association of Theological Schools and In Trust are providing resources to the Pathways initiative grantees and convening them in a learning community to encourage innovation and collaboration.

About Lilly Endowment
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.