Missio Seminary (formerly Biblical Theological Seminary) received a grant of $976,616 to help establish the Program for Urban Leaders and Pastors in Transition (PULPIT). This program is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry, an initiative that supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they create or strengthen programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as mentors and guide them through key leadership challenges in congregational ministry.
The endowment received nearly 600 proposals for this competitive grant initiative and is awarding almost $70 million in grants to 78 organizations, Missio Seminary being one.
PULPIT will equip urban pastors in Philadelphia and beyond with effective strategies to thrive personally and professionally. The program will involve expert teaching/training, small group learning, multi-generational cohort-based peer groups, and individual activities. Led by Drs. Taunya Tinsley and Kyuboem Lee, the program will use best practices found in successful life transition programs for the athlete population and urban ministry programs to facilitate PULPIT for early-, mid-, and late-career pastors in transition.
“Missio Seminary is in a great position to communicate the gospel, teach Christ more clearly and to strengthen, equip, and support urban pastors in the Philadelphia region leading to healthier churches and more effective cooperation among the pastoral leaders in the city,” Tinsley said. “We are humbled and honored to have receive the Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry grant.”
”Missio Seminary is one of 78 organizations across 29 states that are taking part in the initiative. The organizations reflect diverse Christian traditions: mainline and evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox.
Thriving in Ministry” is part of Lilly Endowment’s grantmaking to strengthen pastoral leadership in Christian congregations in the United States. This has been a grantmaking priority at Lilly Endowment for nearly 25 years.
“Leading a congregation today is multi-faceted and exceptionally demanding,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “When pastors have opportunities to build meaningful relationships with experienced colleagues, they are able to negotiate the challenges of ministry and their leadership thrives. These promising programs, including PULPIT, will help pastors develop these kinds of relationships, especially when they are in the midst of significant professional transitions.”
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company.
While those gifts remain the 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.
The endowment maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state Indiana. Its grantmaking in religion focuses on supporting efforts to strengthen the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations throughout the country and to increase the public’s understanding of the role of religion in public life.