Indigenous Pathways US receives $5 Million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. 

Indigenous Pathways US (IP) is grateful to Lilly Endowment for this opportunity. This second grant, which Lilly Endowment made through Phase 3 of its Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative, situates NAIITS, the educational member of Indigenous Pathways, as the lead in a multi-school project to increase theological educational capacity. The grant will provide the resources for NAIITS to lead this exciting multi-school partnership to:

  • Investigate our individual and collective experiences of successful approaches to theological education – approaches that take or have taken a more decolonial and contextual approach and build greater capacity for effective ministry training
  • Explore innovative ways of delivering theological education for pastoral and ministry training that is decolonial, contextual, and indigenized considering each school and the constituencies they serve
  • Provide opportunity for the worshipping communities associated with each partner to contribute to the research of the school to support and enhance one another, creating very real opportunities for change, growth, and continuity
  • Curate narratives of success for other schools to learn from and adapt to their own unique settings
  • Increase Indigenous Pathways and NAIITS’ visibility throughout North America as a first option for Indigenous persons seeking decolonized graduate and post-graduate theological education
  • Help to ensure NAIITS’ long-term sustainability and the accessibility to a robust theological education for Indigenous candidates within NAIITS

In collaboration with three of the largest, most respected, and innovative schools in Canada –Acadia Divinity College at Acadia University, Ambrose Seminary of Ambrose University, and Tyndale University and Seminary – NAIITS will facilitate the creation of the Canadian Learning Community for Decolonization and Innovation in Theological Education, a nation-wide learning community sharing a common ethos and mission for pastoral formation.

This Lilly Endowment grant comes at a propitious moment as NAIITS, and our partners seek to embody the spirit of the TRC while responding together to the TRC Calls to Action. As NAIITS nears twenty-five years of creative experience on this journey we are well situated to invest in strategic institutional capacity building for ourselves and others that will strengthen our ability to serve our communities – our continuing mission and reason for being.

The Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative is a three-phase initiative designed to help theological schools across the United States and Canada prioritize and respond to the most pressing challenges they face as they prepare spiritual leaders for Christian congregations both now and into the future.

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. The primary aim of its grant making in religion, which is national in scope, focuses on strengthening the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.