Fuller Seminary Receives $1.25M Gift as part of Compelling Preaching Initiative from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Pasadena, CA, Oct. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fuller Seminary is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to document, model, and cultivate compelling preaching in and among four ethnic contexts: Korean, Latino/a, Black, and Asian American.

The program is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. The aim of the initiative is to foster and support preaching that inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love God, and to live out their Christian faith more fully.

The Fuller program will be led by Scott Cormode, the Hugh De Pree Professor of Leadership Development at the seminary, and two co-directors, faculty members Trey Clark and Jennifer Ackerman. Four Fuller ethnic centers also will play a key role in this project: Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry, Centro Latino, William E. Pannell Center for Black Church Studies, and Korean Studies Center.

Specifically, the Fuller team seeks to document compelling preaching both across and within these four ethnic traditions. Then, they plan to create resources to provide models of compelling preaching and construct formative experiences that cultivate preachers who are equipped to inspire all audiences – whether White, Black, Latino/a, or Asian.

"We are deeply grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for their unwavering commitment to the art of compelling preaching,” said Fuller President David Emmanuel Goatley. “This significant grant enables us to explore and document the power of preaching within diverse ethnic contexts, fostering a deep connection to faith and guiding individuals on their spiritual journeys. With this support, Fuller Seminary is excited to lead in the cultivation of preachers who can inspire audiences across cultural and ethnic boundaries."

Fuller is one of 81 organizations receiving grants through this competitive round of the Compelling Preaching Initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, Anabaptist and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in the Black Church and in Hispanic and Asian American Christian traditions.

“Throughout history, preachers often have needed to adapt their preaching practices to engage new generations of hearers more effectively,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We are pleased that the organizations receiving grants in this initiative will help pastors and others in ministry engage in the kinds of preaching needed today to ensure that the gospel message is heard and accessible for all audiences.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Compelling Preaching Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.  



Fuller Seminary is one of the largest nondenominational seminaries in the world, with a global enrollment of about 3,000 students in its 16 master’s and doctoral programs. Fuller students may take classes online, in person, or through a hybrid of the two via campuses in Pasadena, Houston, and Phoenix.church and culture worldwide. Apply today: https://www.fuller.edu/online-application-for-admission/


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.


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