NNU was recently awarded $993,500 from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its 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 they face as they prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.
“We feel incredibly blessed to receive this grant,” Dr. Brent Peterson, Dean of the College of Theology and Christian Ministries and Director of the PTI grant, said. “It will enable NNU to enhance, equip, empower and create more pathways for theological education for our Hispanic sisters and brothers who are called into pastoral ministry.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for NNU to partner with the Hispanic community as we continue to reflect the Kingdom of God,” Dr. Joanne Solis-Walker,NNU Associate Professor of Practical Theology, added.
NNU is one of 84 theological schools that are benefiting from a total of more than $82 million in grants through the second phase of the Pathways initiative. Their grant-funded projects include efforts to make educational programs more accessible and affordable; recruit and educate more students and pastors from communities of color; improve opportunities for seminarians to hone their skills in congregations so they are better prepared for the realities of ministry; strengthen connections with the congregations they support; incorporate hybrid and online course offerings; and enhance long-term financial viability.
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,” Lilly Endowment Vice President for Religion Christopher L. Coble said. “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.”
NNU’s grant was written in partnership with the Office of Multicultural ministries in the Church of the Nazarene, several Nazarene universities and over two dozen districts in the Church of the Nazarene across the United States and Canada Region. NNU is the only Nazarene university to receive a grant through this phase of Lilly Endowment’s Pathways initiative.