Lilly Endowment Rewards Immaculate Conception Seminary Nearly $ 1 Million Grant to Strengthen Pastoral Leadership



Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST) received a grant of $ 989,384 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to facilitate “The 4:12 Pathway for Pastoral Leadership: Building an Authentic Culture of Discerment, Encouragement, and Accompanment”, a project designed to foster new energy and growth in the academic and training programs of the ICSST.

Over the next four years, the ICSST will implement six strategic initiatives aimed at educating, training and supporting the next generation of pastoral leaders, such as engaging the diverse student body of the ICSST, improving programming of the Deacon Formation Center and collaboration with the Lay Center. at the Foyer Unitas and at the Catholic Evangelization Center, among others.

The ICSST took the title of the project from Saint Paul’s Letter to Ephesians 4: 11-13:

11Christ himself gave to the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up13 until we all come to unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, reaching the full measure of the fullness of Christ.

“These verses remind us that we must rely on the grace of God to fulfill our unique calling, which is directed to us as individuals and to the Body of Christ, the Church. We believe that we are called by God to collaborate in the work of equipping God’s people to build up the Body of Christ and that this work takes on new implications in the context of today’s unique challenges and crises. Each proposed initiative responds to the demand of theological schools to assist in the spiritual and character formation of future pastoral leaders. The project takes this aspect of training to heart in every initiative ”, declared Monsignor Joseph Reilly, STL, Ph.D., rector / dean.

Launched in 2022, the Pathway 4:12 project will be funded by Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow initiative, a three-phase effort designed to help theological schools in the United States and Canada set priorities and meet challenges. most pressing challenges they face as they prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and in the future.

“The implementation of The 4:12 Pathway project at ICSST will be an act of love in the minds of St. Paul the Apostle and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, patron and namesake of Seton Hall University,” said Dianne M. Traflet, JD, STD, associate dean of graduate studies and administration and assistant professor of pastoral theology. “In addition, we dedicate our collective efforts, that is to say the work of our spiritual and academic community, to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from which our seminary School of Theology takes its name. It is therefore a joy for us to put our hearts and minds forward with the work of our hands and the help of Lilly Endowment. We are convinced that together we are on the path to a true disciple and a leadership in the service of Our Lord. ”

The ICSST is one of 84 theological schools receiving more than $ 82 million in grants under the second phase of the Pathways initiative. Award-winning schools represent Evangelical, Protestant, non-denominational, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Black religious traditions, and historic churches of peace (eg, Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, Quakers). Many schools also serve students and pastors from Black, Latin American, Korean-American, Chinese-American, and recently immigrated Christian communities.

“Theological schools have long played a central role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, vice president of the Foundation for Religion. “Today these schools are in a period of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathways Initiative, theological schools will take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified in the way that is best for them. We believe their efforts are essential to ensure that Christian congregations continue to have a constant flow of pastoral leaders who are well prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow. “

About ICSST
The Immaculate Conception Seminary is a formation house for the Roman Catholic priesthood and the School of Theology at Seton Hall University. A house of formation, the Seminary offers men who are preparing for the priesthood the personal, academic, ministerial and spiritual formation essential for their conversion to Jesus Christ and their commitment to a life of service to the Church.

As a school of theology, the seminary provides a theological and philosophical basis for men and women pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies; prepare for ministries among God’s people; and various possibilities for continuing theological education.

The training of priests for God’s people has remained the constant goal of Seminary, and the Seminary faculty – well-trained authors and scholars in their own fields – devote their time and energy to preparing these men for the priesthood in midst of the challenges of the 21st century. The School also focuses on the formation of lay men and women in theology, permanent deacons, religious who do not study for ordination and priests already ordained, ensuring them not only their academic training, but also their personal, pastoral and spiritual formation. .

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private, Indianapolis-based philanthropic foundation established in 1937 by JK Lilly, Sr., and his sons Eli and JK Jr. through donations of shares in their pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly and Company. Although stock donations remain a financial foundation of the Foundation, it is a separate entity from the company, with a separate board, staff and location. In keeping with the founder’s wishes, the Foundation supports the causes of, education and religion while maintaining a special commitment to its founder’s hometown of Indianapolis and his home state of Indiana. The primary focus of its nationwide religion grants focuses on strengthening the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States. The endowment also seeks to foster public understanding about religion and to promote in a fair, accurate and balanced manner the contributions that people of all faiths and religious communities make to our greater civic well-being.


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