Truett Seminary received the $249,132 grant as part of the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment’s theological school initiative to address economic issues facing future ministers. The initiative seeks to encourage theological schools to examine and strengthen their financial and educational practices to improve the economic well-being of future pastors.
51 institutions received grants
The Lilly Endowment invited all theological schools fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada to submit grant proposals, and Lilly recently announced 51 received grants.
“Pastors are indispensable spiritual leaders and guides, and the quality of pastoral leadership is critical to the health and vitality of congregations,” said Christopher Coble, vice president for religion at the endowment. “Theological schools play a critical role in preparing pastors and are uniquely positioned to address some of the economic challenges they face. The endowment hopes that these grants will support broad efforts to improve the financial circumstances facing pastoral leaders so that pastors can serve their congregations more joyfully and effectively.”
Truett Seminary will use the grant to host a major conference on financial wellness for new ministers and three workshops throughout the year to improve the financial education of students and alumni.
Focus on financial issues
Topics covered at the conferences and workshops will include understanding how financial issues affect ministers spiritually, emotionally, physically and theologically; comprehending the long-term effects of loans and debt issues; finances and the church; financial ethics; understanding tax issues relevant to ministers; and how new ministers can understand and negotiate compensation packages.
“Our goal is to help students plan ahead for their careers as ministers as they think critically about relevant financial issues. We will invite a team of experts from the fields of ministry and finance to lead sessions at the conferences and workshops to help us accomplish these goals,” said Jo Ann Sharkey, assistant director of student services at Truett.