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Grace Seminary’s ‘Proclamation Project’ Receives $1,250,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Grace College has received a $1,250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help Grace Theological Seminary establish The Proclamation Project, which will help prepare aspiring and active preachers to cultivate practices for proclaiming the gospel to diverse audiences.

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.

Grace Theological Seminary hopes to increase the number and vitality of preachers who passionately and proficiently preach the gospel in ways that captivate and subsequently transform listeners. This includes seeing churchgoers inspired to know and love God and more fully live out their faith in homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, communities and across the world; and seeing nonchurchgoers express interest and take steps to learn more about following Jesus.

Grace Theological Seminary will accomplish this goal through a wide range of initiatives, including new academic programs and microlearning courses, regional preaching workshops, seminars and an annual preaching conference. The Proclamation Project will also institute preaching cohorts connected to academic programs, which will expose preachers to preaching coaches and cultivate a growing community of active and aspiring preachers. The seminary also intends on investing in a state-of-the-art preaching simulator.

Grant funds will be spent on program staff, program research, marketing, technology, course development and resource development needed to accomplish these goals over the next five years.

“Grace Theological Seminary was founded in 1937 to train pastors to proclaim the gospel to their congregations and to the whole world,” said Dr. Freddy Cardoza, vice president of Grace Theological Seminary. “While much has changed over these eight decades, the desire to see the gospel proclaimed by Spirit-anointed preachers has not. Romans 10:14-17 is a good reminder of why we train pastors to preach. It explains that faith comes from hearing the word of God; therefore, we want to train pastors to preach in a variety of contexts and to a diverse constituency all for the glory of Christ.”

Grace Theological Seminary is one of 142 organizations receiving grants through the Compelling Preaching Initiative. The organizations, which reflect the diversity of Christianity in the United States, are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black Church, Hispanic, and Asian Christian traditions.

To learn more about Grace Theological Seminary, visit

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