2017 Faith & Action Grant Guidelines

The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary seeks to unite, inspire, and connect Indianapolis faith communities and organizations working to address poverty.  Through annual public events and grants, the Faith & Action Project seeks to help ignite a solution-oriented social movement for inclusive well-being in our community.

Extraordinary work in this regard is already underway by a host of organizations, and the Faith & Action Project is committed to helping celebrate and advance these efforts and others.  We hope the Faith & Action Grant process will increase the impact of anti-poverty efforts by nurturing relationships and encouraging creative collaboration among faith communities and organizations working to break the cycle of poverty.
Faith & Action Grants will support initiatives with the greatest potential for creating innovative and lasting solutions and those with exceptional promise that can be replicated and, with additional resources, accelerated and expanded in scale.
Participants in the spring conference will be eligible for the Faith and Action Grants, which will be presented to three initiatives at the following fall event.  Three grants, totaling $100,000, will celebrate, recognize, and invest in the most promising proposals.  At each year’s fall event the three winners will be announced and featured.  Over time, the Faith & Action Project will foster opportunities for the network of Faith & Action Grant recipients.

Project Overview:
One of the project’s distinctive features is the leadership role we believe inclusive forms of faith can and must play, often in collaborative coalitions with others.  Transformative social movements in American history – from the abolitionist movement to the civil rights movement – have often been galvanized, fortified, and sustained by communities of faith and conviction.  Faith can spur and inspire action, innovation, compassion, and enduring commitment, and the great religious traditions of the world all strongly call for attention to the well-being of the impoverished, in effect making the treatment of the most vulnerable the true measure of a society’s virtue and excellence.
The Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary is dedicated to the idea that the time has come for a new a social movement, compromised of a community-wide, inclusive coalition focused on economic well-being, poverty, race, equality, and related issues, all with a view toward forging collaborative partnerships that lead to real solutions.
Our hope is that organizations and faith communities participating in the Faith & Action Grant process will:

  • Inspire and build on visionary thinking
  • Advance the mission of the Faith & Action Project
  • Generate creative and actionable ideas for addressing community challenges related to poverty and economic well-being
  • Leverage existing community assets
  • Include the community the project seeks to serve in the process of designing the program; represent the viewpoints of the partner population through interviews and active listening
  • Encourage faith communities to collaborate with various sectors - nonprofit and private partners
  • Provide new perspectives on ways to move communities to action
  • Engage in a program that encourages mutuality between the congregation, the organization, and the partner community
  • Generate sustainable programs for overcoming poverty in Central Indiana


  • Applicants must provide a copy of their 501(c)(3) documentation
  • Individual applicants are eligible if they are collaborating with a 501(c)(3) organization


  • Participation in the March 14, 2017 spring conference, a day-long event designed to result in actionable approaches to address key community issues in defeating poverty in Indianapolis
  • Demonstrated collaboration and buy in from the partner community
  • Due diligence in discovery to reduce duplication of existing efforts/programs
  • Quarterly updates during implementation of the program
  • Transparent interaction with CTS
  • Thorough explanation of how the organization will use the grant; if complete funding is not provided, indication of other sources of funding to be pursued.
  • Availability for interviews and marketing if opportunities arise
  • Purposeful and intentional communication with the partner community
  • Defined metrics for measuring the outcomes and evaluating the process of the program

Letter of intent and program summary :

By May 1, 2017, please provide a description of the initiative you will most likely submit on June 30, 2017. Your letter of intent and program summary must include the answers to the following questions:

  • Is your program - a new or an existing program?
  • What need or opportunity will your program address?
  • How will you measure if your program is successful?
  • What metrics are you considering for outcome measurement?
  • With what community or neighborhood do you intend to partner?
  • With whom are you currently collaborating with to implement your program or are there faith communities you would like to collaborate with to shape and implement your proposal?

Faith & Action Grant process timeline:

  • March 14, 2017: At the spring conference, guidelines and criteria required for the Faith & Action Grant application process will be explained
  • March 22, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00 pm: Optional informational session at CTS to answer questions regarding the Faith & Action Grant process and application
  • May 1, 2017:  Letter of intent and program summary due by 5:00 pm
  • Middle of May, 2017: Participants will be notified if a full grant application is requested
  • June 30, 2017:  Faith & Action Grant application due from finalists (by 5:00 pm)
  • July –  August:  Jury will review applications
  • Early September: Grant recipients will be notified   
  • Fall Event 2017: Grant recipients will be announced at the Faith & Action Project fall event

How to apply to participate in the Faith & Action Grant process:

  • Submit a letter of intent and program summary by May 1, 2017 by 5:00 pm. Please include 4 typed copies. Email a copy to lrabinowitch@cts.edu.
  • Participants will be notified by the middle of May if a full grant application is requested
  • If a full grant application is requested, download the Faith & Action Grant application available from the Christian Theological Seminary’s website http://www.cts.edu/about-cts/faith-and-action-project.asp.
  • Submit a completed, typed grant application (must be a hard copy with original signatures and required documents). Please include 6 copies for the Jury members to review. 
  • If a full grant application is requested, have the required application postmarked by June 30, 2017 or have it delivered to CTS by 5:00 pm on June 30, 2017.
  • Please send your completed Faith & Action Grant application to

Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Christian Theological Seminary
1000 W 42nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Download the application here
Download the FAQ sheet here