IRVING, Texas (July 20, 2022)—B. H. Carroll Theological Institute has received a grant of $827,746 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish its Hispanic Theological Education Program.
Carroll’s Hispanic Theological Education Program (or HTEP) is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. It is a three-phase initiative designed to help theological schools across the United States and Canada as they prioritize and respond to the most pressing challenges they face as they prepare pastoral leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.
Carroll’s program, under the direction of Dr. Adlin Cotto, is designed to provide access to theological education programs and services in the heart language of current and future ministers. In particular, the grant will help fund the employment of professors who teach in Spanish, make possible the creation of course materials in Spanish, enhance Internet access in locations where classes are offered, and assist in obtaining theological library resources for Spanish speakers.
Dr. Cotto said the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, Spanish speakers from Latin America and the Caribbean, are immigrating to communities where there may be Spanish-speaking churches, but where the ministers who preach in those churches lack formal theological education. “Our goal is to create a path to degrees in theological education which speak directly to the context of our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters in Christ. They may not currently possess a robust legacy of theological education, but we will help create that legacy to ensure the long term viability and effectiveness of the church in the Spanish-speaking community,” Cotto said.
B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is one of 105 theological schools receiving phase two grants. Together they represent the broad diversity of Christianity in the U.S. and Canada. The schools are affiliated with evangelical, mainline Protestant, nondenominational, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic, Black church, Latino, Asian-American and historic peace church traditions (e.g., Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, Quakers).
“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders for churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Today, these schools find themselves in a period of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathways Initiative, theological schools will take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified in ways that make the most sense to them. We believe that their efforts are critical to ensuring that Christian congregations continue to have a steady stream of pastoral leaders who are well-prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow.”
The Pathways initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s wider efforts to strengthen theological schools and other religious institutions and networks that prepare pastoral leaders to ensure that a diverse array of Christian congregations are guided by a steady stream of wise, faithful and well-prepared leader.
About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic 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. Although the gifts of stock remain a 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 founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A primary aim of its grantmaking in religion is to deepen the religious lives of Christians, principally by supporting efforts that enhance congregational vitality and strengthen the leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment values the broad diversity of Christian traditions and endeavors to support them in a wide variety of contexts. The Endowment also seeks to foster public understanding about religion by encouraging fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of the positive and negative effects of religion on the world and lifting up the contributions that people of all faiths make to our greater civic well-being.