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Taylor Receives $1.25 Million Lilly Endowment Grant to Establish PREACH Initiative

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female student speaking in chapel

Taylor University received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish the PREACH initiative, which will foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages, and guides people to come to know and love God and live out their Christian faith more fully.

Taylor is excited to launch the PREACH (Preparing, Resourcing, Equipping, and Coaching for Homiletic excellence) initiative with internal and external audiences in mind. 

Under the leadership of Reverend Greg Dyson, Vice President for Spiritual Life and Intercultural Leadership, the PREACH Initiative will identify and work with churches to build relationships and introduce pastors to available resources.

"After a lifetime of vocational church ministry in the pastorate, I am overwhelmed and energized that God would allow me to work for an organization that would strengthen the role that I served in for over three decades," said Dyson. "The Taylor PREACH Initiative which is part of the Lilly Compelling Preaching Grant is a practical and academic response to the outcry of both churches and pastors alike."

Master preaching classes will be taught by well-established preachers and other hybrid classes and workshops will be available to pastors and others passionate about preaching and homiletics.  Participants will be able to earn a preaching certificate. Dr. May Young, Associate Professor and Program Director of Biblical Studies, will provide leadership to the development of a minor in preaching for Taylor students. On-campus classes will be recorded for future use online and plans also include the creation of a laboratory with technology equipped for homiletics. 

Taylor has begun a national search for the PREACH Initiative director who will oversee the external and internal aspects of this initiative.

Taylor University is one of 142 organizations receiving grants through the Compelling Preaching Initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in the Black church, Hispanic, and Asian Christian traditions. 

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.