Lilly Endowment Inc. announced a new initiative aimed at strengthening theological schools to help them prepare pastoral leaders for Christian churches. Called the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative, the program will make $87.5 million available for schools accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.

There are three phases of funding that will provide money to help schools address issues and take advantage of opportunities. The first, a $50,000 non-competitive grant, is open through March 15. Funding for the first phase can be used for stand-alone projects or to help schools prepare proposals for the next rounds of funding.

The second two phases of funding will be competitive among schools and will offer awards of up to $1 million in the second phase and $5 million in the third phase. The third phase is focused on collaborative efforts.

The initiative provides an exciting new opportunity for theological schools to help envision and shape how they are preparing church leaders.

You can learn more about the initiative here

The request for proposals is here

An appendix of challenges and opportunities facing theological schools is here.

An FAQ about the initiative is here.

Posted Jan. 26, 2021