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Pacific School of Religion Receives $5M Grant From Lilly Endowment Inc. To Build Innovative Educational Ecosystem

Pacific School of Religion Receives $5M Grant From Lilly Endowment Inc. To Build Innovative Educational Ecosystem

PR Newswire

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific School of Religion (PSR), a progressive seminary and graduate school, has received a grant of $5 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to equip a diverse new generation of Christian leaders with the tools they need to transform their communities.

PSR will create a platform to connect diverse, emerging leaders to educational resources and each other

Delivered through an online platform currently in pilot under the brand name The Ignite Collective, PSR's educational ecosystem will be funded through the third and final phase of Lilly Endowment's Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. The platform will connect emerging leaders — from inner cities and rural areas, from congregations and social movements — to each other and to educational resources often not accessible to them. Participants will have access to courses, coaching, and events to strengthen their preparation and build their networks. 

Employing a distributed learning model, the platform will also offer space for partner seminaries, organizations, and individuals to host and deliver their own content. PSR will establish an incubator to help a curated group of partners, with a focus on communities of color, to adapt or create content for the platform and offer training in community building and promotion. The networked model combined with tiered membership options will create educational opportunities that are affordable for learners and financially sustainable for partner organizations.

Founded in 1866, Pacific School of Religion is a multi-denominational seminary graduate school, and center for social justice committed to a radically inclusive Gospel. Grounded in the rigorous study and practice of progressive Christianity, PSR partners with students of all backgrounds to deepen their spirituality and enhance their capacity to lead in transformative ways. PSR is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. A primary aim of its grantmaking in religion is to deepen the religious lives of Christians, principally by supporting efforts that enhance congregational vitality and strengthen the leadership of Christian communities.


Hallie Fryd, Dir. Of Communications

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SOURCE Pacific School of Religion

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