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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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North Park Theological Seminary Receives Support From $1M Lilly Endowment Grant

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CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — North Park University (North Park) has been awarded a $1M grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support North Park Theological Seminary (NPTS) in establishing the One Thriving Seminary initiative. By applying this grant towards strategic alignment and a healthy infrastructure, NPTS will secure a future with unified programming and recognizable outcomes for its diverse constituencies.

The project is funded through the second phase of Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative, a three-phase initiative designed to help theological schools across the United States and Canada prioritize and respond to pressing challenges and prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.

North Park President Mary K. Surridge said, “Our theological seminary has been at the heart of our mission throughout our 130-year history — and over the past decade it has been the model of traditioned innovation. This high-impact grant from Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative will be tremendously valuable in bringing needed infrastructure — and the power of strategic alignment — to all of our programs as we prepare pastoral leaders for lives of significance and service.”

Through this grant, North Park will:

  • Resource programs to support the flourishing of diverse student populations
  • Integrate cohorts and students across degree programs
  • Strengthen financial models
  • Enhance institutional health and development of faculty and staff
  • Herald our mission amongst stakeholders and the broader world of theological education

Backed by Lilly Endowment’s long-standing interest in theological schools playing a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches, NPTS is one of 84 schools receiving a total of $82 million in grants to support Christian congregations, including pastors from Black, Latino, Korean American, Chinese American, and recent immigrant Christian communities.

“Today, these schools find themselves in a period of rapid and profound change,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Through the Pathways initiative, theological schools will take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified in ways that make the most sense to them. 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.”


North Park University is city-centered, intercultural, and emerging as the model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.

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SOURCE North Park University

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