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Grant to address clergy finances

Lilly Endowment Inc. recently awarded Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary a $750,000 grant to help pastors obtain the education and business skills they need to be financially literate and address the economic challenges facing congregations today.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is one of 13 United Methodist seminaries funded by your support of the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment.
To help pastors meet these economic challenges, Garrett-Evangelical has created a far-reaching program, "Leading Vibrant Congregations: A Collaboration of Faith and Finance," that has four progressive and inter-related parts.

First, Garrett-Evangelical will create and provide online courses that give clergy the opportunity to learn theologically grounded financial practices in their own homes or churches. In addition to these courses, Garrett-Evangelical will sponsor a series of free, live webinars that will reinforce the online curriculum and allow pastors to ask any questions they may have.

Second, the faculty from Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management will offer in-person, one-day seminars that will help clergy implement what they have learned thus far and become effective leaders in their congregations.

Third, in-person seminars will also be used to encourage interested pastors to pursue a doctor of ministry degree in a leadership track at Garrett-Evangelical. To be certain that all pastors are able to pursue a doctoral degree at Garrett-Evangelical, the seminary will now provide scholarship support to Black and Latino/a students pursuing a doctor of ministry degree in either the Strategic Leadership in Black Congregations Track (2017 cohort) or the Congregational Leadership Track (2018 cohort). Up to 12 students in the 2017 cohort and up to 12 students in the 2018 cohort will receive a 50 percent scholarship, making up the third part of the program.

Finally, Garrett-Evangelical will broaden the academic writings on the economic and financial management challenges facing pastoral leadership today by bringing together faculty from Garrett-Evangelical, the Kellogg School of Management, and other seminaries. These faculty members will co-write and publish articles with other academics and church leaders, addressing the themes of stewardship, generosity, gratitude, material well-being, and the role of faith in managing debt, budget building, and fundraising.

"We are delighted to receive this grant from Lilly Endowment," said Garrett-Evangelical President Lallene Rector. "It will not only further strengthen our collaboration with the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, but it will also allow us to expand educational offerings that support the development of effective congregational leadership for the church. We are convinced pastoral leadership skills that include financial literacy and understanding are critical to the vitality of a congregation's ministry."

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary website, Evanston, Ill.

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.

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