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Our primary aim in religion is to deepen and enrich the religious lives of Christians in the United States, principally by supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations. We value the broad diversity of Christian traditions and congregations today and endeavor to support them in a wide variety of contexts. We seek to ensure that all types of congregations have a steady stream of wise, faithful, diverse and well-prepared leaders. We work to strengthen theological schools as well as religious institutions and networks that nurture pastors and support the ministries of congregations. We support efforts that help Christians draw on the wisdom of their theological traditions as they strive to understand and respond to contemporary challenges and live their faith more fully.

We also work to foster public understanding about religion. While we seek to lift up the contributions that people of all religious faiths make to our greater civic well-being, we also encourage fair and accurate portrayals of both the negative and positive effects of religion on the world.

The Religion Communicators Council has recognized “Spiritual Audacity: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story” with a 2021 Wilbur Award for outstanding documentary. Produced by Martin Doblmeier and Journey Films, the documentary is the fourth in a series funded with support from Lilly Endowment.
Through grants to Maryland Public Television, which collaborates with Journey Films, the Endowment has supported the Heschel film and documentaries about Dorothy Day, Howard Thurman and Reinhold Niebuhr. The grants are part of the Endowment’s effort to further the public understanding of religion.
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