April 10, 2024

Lilly Endowment Inc. Awards Grant of $1. 25 Million to Palm Beach Atlantic University to Support School of Ministry Project

PBA News

West Palm Beach, Fla., USA (April 10, 2024)Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University has received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help the PBA School of Ministry establish the Mark 16:15 Preaching Initiative: Incubating the Florida College of Preachers. The initiative seeks to bring together the diverse and disconnected, ecclesial landscape of South Florida through a focus on preaching, the critical common denominator across all Christian faith communities. The effort is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. The initiative aims to foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully.

In Mark 16:15, Jesus commands his disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” and the purpose of the Mark 16:15 initiative is to develop preachers ready to preach the Gospel through intracultural and intra-ecclesial encounters. PBA’s School of Ministry will develop a “Florida College of Preachers” that will become independent by the conclusion of the grant yet remain linked in collaboration with the common mission to celebrate and enrich the ministry of preaching. Additionally, the Florida College of Preachers will be developed alongside an annual Preaching Festival and Circle of Preachers that will become part of the activities and formation approach of PBA’s School of Ministry long after the grant period concludes.

“We are extremely humbled to receive this generous grant from the Lilly Endowment,” said Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, president of PBA. “It is an incredible blessing to partner with individuals who believe in our mission to equip students to grow in wisdom, lead with conviction and serve God boldly. PBA is distinguished for being the only MDiv-granting university in South Florida, and our School of Ministry has thriving graduate and undergraduate programs. I am thankful that Lilly Endowment recognizes the work we are doing, and their significant contribution will help us produce preachers who have deepened their capacity for transformative and relational preaching in light of Mark 16:15.”

Countless students and preachers will be impacted by this initiative. As a mission-driven investment, it is designed to drive enrollment and build on the possibilities created by grant funding. It will serve those who are preparing or emerging as preachers, well-established preachers who want to re-tool, and distinguished preachers to celebrate and share their legacy. After five years, the Florida College of Preachers will be independently incorporated as a 501(c)3 with a mission and bylaws to ensure long term collaboration, accountability and sustainability based on the trajectory developed through the five years of the grant.

PBA is one of 142 organizations to receive funding through the Compelling Preaching Initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic and Asian Christian traditions.

To learn more about PBA’s School of Ministry, visit https://www.pba.edu/academics/schools/ministry/.  


About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.

About Palm Beach Atlantic University

Palm Beach Atlantic University, founded in 1968, is a private, Christian university, offering 100 different programs and pathways, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and professional degrees. The university has a 19-acre campus in West Palm Beach and an Orlando campus, and the 78-acre Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus provides facilities for training and hosting intercollegiate sports. Sailfish athletes compete in 18 NCAA Division II and Sunshine State Conference varsity sports. PBA affirms the values that have built American society, including religious liberty and the free enterprise system. The university is dedicated to the integration of biblical principles to prepare students for learning, leadership, and service. Learn more at www.pba.edu.

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