Southeastern Receives $1.25 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is grateful to have received a grant of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. in support for the Great Commission Preaching Initiative of Southeastern’s Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership (CPPL).


The effort is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. The aim of the initiative is 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. Southeastern Seminary is one of 142 organizations that are receiving grants through the Compelling Preaching Initiative.

“The Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership exists to equip and encourage pastors who have the incredible privilege of proclaiming God’s Word,” commented Dr. Chuck Lawless, Southeastern’s vice president for spiritual formation and ministry centers and director of the CPPL. “Through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, we are excited to walk beside these pastors as we look at the preacher’s character, commission, context, communication, and cultivation over the next five years. For pastors in the trenches and pastors in training, we want to be a ‘go to’ resource.”

For pastors in the trenches and pastors in training, we want to be a ‘go to’ resource.

The CPPL’s Great Commission Preaching Initiative seeks to serve and equip pastors in five specific areas:

  1. Research seeking to learn from current preachers and study current issues
  2. An annual, two-day Great Commission preaching conference
  3. Regular on-campus workshops dedicated to training participants in Christ-centered expository preaching
  4. Cohorts and coaching from Southeastern professors
  5. Related content created for journal articles and the CPPL blog and podcast

The CPPL’s first Engaging Exposition Preaching Conference has already been set for September 16 and 17 this fall. It will focus on the first theme of the Great Commission Preaching Initiative: the preacher’s character. To learn more about the conference and its speakers, check out the website here.

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.

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