July 2, 2019
Contact: Judith Cebula

Lilly Endowment Names New Program Director in Religion


Indianapolis – The Rev. Verity A. Jones has joined Lilly Endowment as program director in the religion division. Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Jones has served as a pastor in congregations in Connecticut and Indiana. She is the former publisher of DisciplesWorld, a magazine of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Her writing has appeared in Christian Century, Faith and Leadership and U.S. Catholic.

Jones has provided leadership for several Endowment-funded initiatives conducted by grantees to strengthen Christian congregations and support pastoral leaders. She directed the New Media Project, which helped pastors and congregational leaders examine how to use digital communications to enhance their ministries. She also is the former associate director of the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program at Wabash College and served on the board of directors at Louisville Institute, based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

In recent years, Jones has worked as a consultant to the Endowment’s religion division to convene pastors, theological educators and other religious leaders from around the country to explore critical challenges facing Christian churches. In her new role at the Endowment, she will build on these efforts and develop new vehicles for sharing insights from grant-supported projects with leaders of Christian communities. Her responsibilities will include launching a newsletter, which will highlight the work of Endowment grantees in religion, and gathering leaders to examine how they can work collaboratively on common challenges, among other tasks.

“Verity has worked as a pastor, publisher and theological educator,” said Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion.  “She is highly respected among religious leaders and brings a wide range of experience and a depth of knowledge to her new role. We are excited that she will help guide the Endowment’s efforts to foster collaboration and share more broadly important discoveries and insights from Endowment-funded initiatives.”

A native of Oklahoma, Jones earned a Masters’ of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a B.A. in humanities from Yale University. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and daughter.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J. K. Lilly 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, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion, and it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. The principal aim of the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion is to deepen and enrich the lives of American Christians, 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.