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Na’Tasha Jones
Communications Specialist


Howard University School of Divinity Receives Lilly Endowment Grant
to Improve the Economic Well-being of Future Ministers



WASHINGTON (January 16, 2014)—Lilly Endowment, Inc., has awarded Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD) a $250,000 grant to support the school’s effort to improve the economic well-being of future ministers. The grant comes as part of a $12.3 million award given to 51 theological schools across the United States.

To help address the effects of rising debt levels of seminary graduates, the Lilly Endowment created the Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers. The initiative’s aim is to encourage theological schools to study and enhance their financial and educational practices to improve the economic well-being of future ministerial leaders.

“We are honored to receive this funding from the Lilly Endowment,” said HUSD Dean Alton B. Pollard, III. “The funds will be used to examine and strengthen our financial and educational practices which address professional financial stewardship as well as sound theologically-informed education.”

HUSD will create programs with the goal of improving the financial literacy of future religious leaders, with a particular focus on reducing student loan debt. In addition, students will be empowered with the “Each One Teach One” curriculum training models to be implemented within their respective communities of faith as well as the larger community.

HUSD was part of the 2012 experimental pilot of the Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers in which grants were given to 16 theological schools to develop programs for students and graduates. The promising programs created by these initial grantees led the Endowment to offer a larger, second round of this initiative in December 2013.

“Theological schools are uniquely positioned to address the educational debt issue and to lead broad efforts to improve the financial circumstances facing pastoral leaders,” said Christopher L. Coble, the Endowment’s vice-president for religion. “Our hope is that these grants will help them build relationships with church organizations and others to lessen the debt burden and increase support for future ministers.”

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Lilly Endowment, Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli —through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. More information can be found at


Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD) is one of the oldest fully accredited (1940) theological schools affiliated with the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. As one of the 13 schools and colleges within Howard University, it is the only African-American theological school connected to a comprehensive category I research institution.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at


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