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University of Indianapolis Receives $1 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Support Aspiring, Active Preachers

INDIANAPOLIS— The University of Indianapolis was recently awarded a grant for $1 million by Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its Compelling Preaching Initiative. The grant will support the efforts of the Lantz Center Christian Vocation and Formation to strengthen preaching practices within congregations.

UIndy will utilize grant funding to develop four new initiatives within the Lantz Center to help prepare aspiring and active preachers in the Indianapolis area by instilling best practices and guiding values found among compelling preachers. 

“I would like to thank Lilly Endowment for once again helping us to fulfill our mission of ‘Education for Service’,” said Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Gibbs, University Chaplain and Director of Lantz Center Christian Vocations and Formation. “This grant and the initiatives it makes possible will help UIndy to deeply impact the quality and engagement of preaching across our community.”

UIndy is one of 32 organizations receiving funding in an invitational round of grants for the Compelling Preaching Initiative, which is designed to help Christian pastors strengthen their abilities to proclaim the gospel in more engaging and effective ways.

“We are excited about the work that these organizations will do to foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Religion.“Their programs will serve a significant number of aspiring and current preachers who are working to reach and engage increasingly diverse audiences both within and beyond congregations.”

The primary goal of the Compelling Preaching Initiative is to cultivate practices among aspiring and active preachers that can help them to proclaim the gospel to diverse audiences in more engaging and effective ways. The Compelling Preaching Initiative is part of the Endowment’s longstanding 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.