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By Gina Margillo
Communications Manager, Barry University
January 28, 2022, Miami, Florida – Barry University, in collaboration with the Southeast Pastoral Institute, was awarded a generous grant totaling $998,491, as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative to enhance the capacities of schools to prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations.
The grant, one of 84 awarded to benefit theological schools across the United States and Canada, will support Barry University’s Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry for Hispanics program, offered through the Southeast Pastoral Association.
The program serves as a laboratory for the development of new initiatives to prepare Hispanic pastoral students to lead congregations successfully. With classes taught in Spanish, the program is uniquely poised to provide academic qualifications to Hispanics who have completed bachelor’s coursework and have an active commitment in ministry.
Barry University and the Southeast Pastoral Institute will apply the funds in a variety of ways to enhance the program and the educational experience, including increasing the enrollment of Hispanic students outside of Miami; broadening the program’s reach through conferences; expanding the library and creating and a web-based resource hub; and engaging Hispanic students from around the country through distance learning strategies.
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders of churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Religion, in announcing the grants. “Today these schools find themselves in a period of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathway Initiative, theological schools will take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified in ways that make the most sense to them. We believe that their efforts are critical to ensuring that Christian congregations continue to have a steady stream of pastoral leaders who are well prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow.”
Barry University’s Department of Theology and Philosophy, within the College of Arts and Sciences, has a long history of working with the Southeast Pastoral Institute to prepare passionate pastoral leaders, and this generous grant will bolster their efforts moving forward.
“We are especially excited to apply these funds to not only extend our reach to include students outside of Miami, but to also increase the diversity of our pastors to respond to changing demographics,” said Dr. John Murray, Barry University’s Provost.
The theological schools receiving grants through Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative represent the broad spectrum of Christianity in North America. This award is part of the second phase in the three-phase initiative.
About Barry University
A Catholic institution of higher education, Barry University was founded in 1940 by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Grounded in the liberal arts tradition, it is a scholarly community committed to the highest academic standards in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. Following the Catholic intellectual tradition, integration of study, reflection, and action inform the intellectual life.
About the Southeast Pastoral Institute
The Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) is the educational branch of the Regional Office of the Southeastern U.S. Bishops for Hispanic Ministry, which serves 30 dioceses in nine states. It was born in 1979 as a response to the need for Hispanic education and as an accomplishment of the recommendations of the National Hispanic Pastoral Meeting. Barry University partners with the Institute to conduct their Spanish Language Divinity Program.
About Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K Lilly and his sons through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion.