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Pepperdine University Receives $1 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. for Compelling Preaching Initiative



Pepperdine University has been awarded a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to launch the Compelling Preaching Initiative. The initiative will support ministers as they share the gospel with diverse audiences in engaging ways.

“Through workshops, personal mentoring, podcasts, newsletters, and training videos, we want not only to recruit and train a new generation of preachers but also to help current ministers become more effective in their sermons and messages,” said Mike Cope, director of ministry outreach at Pepperdine.

Pepperdine University is one of 32 organizations receiving funding in an invitational round of grants for the Compelling Preaching Initiative.

“We are excited about the work that these organizations will do 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," said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Their programs will serve a significant number of aspiring and current preachers who are working to reach and engage increasingly diverse audiences both within and beyond congregations.”

The Compelling Preaching Initiative is part of the Lilly Endowment’s longstanding 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.

About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic 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. The 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. In addition, 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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