Trinity International University has received a $998,020 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., to help Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) explore the ways in which it can better form students for ministry in its newly launched remote Master of Divinity (MDiv) program.
The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. It is a three-phase initiative designed to help theological schools across the United States and Canada as they prioritize and respond to the most pressing challenges facing the preparation of pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.
This grant will fund a variety of initiatives at TEDS intended to enhance formation and teaching in the Remote MDiv program. Among these initiatives will be the development of regional cohorts of students in collaboration with local churches. In addition, the funds will finance the development of courses designed to help students contextualize their learning for the types of ministries and regions in which they are based. Finally, the funds will help enhance the educational components of the program by improving classroom technology and providing support for ongoing faculty development.
“As we launch our remote MDiv program, this significant grant allows TEDS to continue to provide robust training for all of our students as they seek intellectual and spiritual formation through their academic journey. We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for supporting us in our commitment to serve the church,” TEDS Dean David Pao said.
John Simons, associate dean and director of the MDiv program, explained that “these initiatives will enable men and women who are actively engaged in ministry to remain in place and develop their ability to think theologically and serve the church.”
TEDS is one of 84 theological schools that benefiting from a total of more than $82 million in grants that Lilly Endowment has made through the second phase of its Pathways initiative.
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Today, these schools find themselves in a period of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathways Initiative, theological schools will take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified in ways that make the most sense to them. We believe that their efforts are critical to ensuring that Christian congregations continue to have a steady stream of pastoral leaders who are well-prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow.”
Lilly Endowment launched the Pathways initiative in January 2021 because of its longstanding interest in supporting efforts to enhance and sustain the vitality of Christian congregations by strengthening the leadership capacities of pastors and congregational lay leaders.
About Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) exists to serve the church of the living God by equipping servants for the work of the gospel of Christ Jesus worldwide by the power of the Holy Spirit. TEDS enrolls students from across the world in eight master’s degree programs, two doctoral programs and several certificate programs at its main campus, at extension sites and online. TEDS is part of Trinity International University, with its main campus in Deerfield, Illinois, about 25 miles north of Chicago.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
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. The primary aim of its grantmaking in religion, which is national in scope, focuses on strengthening the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.