Evangel University received a seven-figure grant to improve theological training for Black and Hispanic ministers.
Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation, contributed $1 million to the Springfield university, according to a news release.
"This grant funding enables us to take our training to a new level, offering ministers from Black and Hispanic backgrounds new pathways to obtain a theological education," Evangel President Mike Rakes said in the release. "These diverse graduates will enter our alumni pool and serve on oversight boards and governing bodies to better shape our institutions.”
The funding will focus on underserved student groups at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, the embedded seminary of the university. Evangel and AGTS plan to develop specific programming and a platform for ongoing discussions between all races on social justice issues.
Evangel is one of 84 theological schools receiving a total of more than $82 million in grants through the second phase of the Lilly Endowment's Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative, according to the release.
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for ministry,” said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion, in the release. “Today, these schools find themselves in a period of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathways initiative, theological schools can take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified."
The expanded facility is expected to reach annual revenue of $650M.