The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs (CRP), which has been administered by the Center for Pastoral Excellence at CTS since 2012, offer grants of up to $50,000 to congregations in order to provide an opportunity for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period of renewal and reflection. The CRP consists of a National and an Indiana program, both of which award grants on an annual basis.
Dr. Robert C. Saler, Associate Dean and Research Professor of Religion and Culture at CTS and the Director of the CRP, said that this year has been a strong one for applications. Unsure about how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect interest in the programs, Saler explained that “all of the uncertainty has made congregations more eager to take this on, not less. If there had been a suspicion that all the disruption would take away from the need for renewal times, we’ve seen the opposite.”
Saler said that the CRP have made adjustments to give congregations as much flexibility as possible, extending the deadline for applications by two months, enhancing online application features to make it easier for people to work from home, and allowing for sabbatical leaves to be reconfigured. Given that many leaves involve travel, some grantees have decided to postpone for a year. “We want churches to feel empowered during this time,” Saler said.
For those interested in learning more about the programs, the CRP is planning to host an online information session in the fall. As well, the CRP will launch a podcast series in the coming months featuring pastors who have received grants. More details about these will be posted on the CRP website, which hosts important information and resources for congregations and pastors, including a video recording of last year’s CRP Open House. Saler has also recently published a helpful book, Planning Sabbaticals: A Guide for Congregations and their Pastors.
To contact the CRP or sign up for their mailing list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the other initiatives of the Center for Pastoral Excellence, which seeks to resource leaders on the long arc of ministry, by visiting its website at cpx.cts.edu.
Also included in the July 2020 Christian Theological Seminary Connection
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- Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs Continue Important Work - The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs (CRP), which has been administered by the Center for Pastoral Excellence at CTS since 2012, offer grants of up to $50,000 to congregations in order to provide an opportunity for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period […]
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