Cal Lutheran receives $1M to help pastors
Project will provide training and support in 14 states
(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 17, 2018) California Lutheran University has been awarded nearly $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help pastors and church leaders throughout 14 Western states avoid burnout and thrive in their ministries.
The Thousand Oaks-based university and its Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) in Berkeley are receiving $996,756 to work with 11 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to implement the Thriving Leadership Formation program.
Declining church attendance and funding, changing parishioner expectations and increasingly diverse communities have made pastors’ jobs more challenging. ELCA bishops report that pastors suffer from dissatisfaction, anxiety, fear, spiritual depletion and loneliness as they struggle to revitalize their congregations.
“It is clear that traditional models of ministry are no longer working as they did in the past,” said Desta Goehner, director of congregational relations at Cal Lutheran. “The challenges of the present time require more creativity and collaboration.”
Building on PLTS’ Theological Education for Emerging Ministry program and Cal Lutheran’s Executive Skills for Church Leaders program, the new project will develop curriculum to strengthen practical leadership skills not covered in seminaries and deliver those lessons to about 150 pastors and other church leaders throughout the West. Topics will include social entrepreneurship, cultural competency, community organizing and conflict management. Pastors and church leaders will form cohorts for collaboration and support, and they will receive mentoring and spiritual counseling.
“Here in the far West, where Lutherans are greatly outnumbered and thin on the ground, this program will be a lifesaver for the church,” said Bishop R. Guy Erwin of the Southwest California Synod.
After the five-year project ends, synods and churches will be able to use the curriculum, and the practices and support systems can continue.
“This program seeks to build connections across congregations, cities, counties, synods and regions, and I truly believe the only way the church will adapt and change successfully is if we seek to do that together,” said Bishop Kristen Kuempel of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod. “This project will be a vital step in the right direction.”
Cal Lutheran was one of 78 recipients chosen from nearly 600 proposals for Lilly Endowment’s Thriving in Ministry initiative. Grants ranging from $31,500 to $1 million will support the efforts of a variety of Christian organizations across the nation to help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can guide them through key leadership challenges in ministering to congregations.
- Cal Lutheran receives $1M to help pastors
Wed October 17, 2018
California Lutheran University has been awarded nearly $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help pastors and church leaders throughout 14 Western states avoid burnout and thrive in their ministries.
- Cal Lutheran gets $6.5M in federal grants
Tue October 2, 2018
California Lutheran University has been awarded more than $6 million in federal grants to implement two new programs --- one to increase the number of Latinos and other underrepresented students who graduate from college and the other to increase the number who earn teaching credentials.
- Cal Lutheran launches $1 million program
Wed July 25, 2018
Several of the first participants in a $1.16 million federally funded California Lutheran University effort to diversify the pool of people with doctorates will present their research at UCLA this week in an important step toward graduate studies.
- Cal Lutheran receives $195,000 NSF grant
Fri September 8, 2017
The National Science Foundation awarded two members of the California Lutheran University faculty a $195,000 grant to work with undergraduate students to research proteins that enable pathogenic bacteria to thrive.
- Brainwave-to-speech system under study
Thu February 16, 2017
A California Lutheran University faculty member has received a $67,000 grant to assess whether a new brain-computer interface can efficiently help nonverbal people to speak.
- Cal Lutheran receives $4.63M STEM grant
Thu September 29, 2016
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California Lutheran University a $4.63 million grant to support students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
- Cal Lutheran receives $1.2M federal grant
Thu July 21, 2016
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California Lutheran University a $1.2 million grant to provide Ventura County’s only federal TRIO program serving middle school students.
- Student, professor launch composting project
Fri February 26, 2016
California Lutheran University is teaming up with 100 pounds of worms to compost food waste from its dining hall.
- Awards help CLU expand interfaith efforts
Fri August 1, 2014
California Lutheran University has received a grant and an invitation to participate in a national seminar to expand its interfaith efforts.
- Another look at pesticides, from every angle
Mon March 10, 2014
Cal Lutheran is bringing an array of tools to bear in its effort to understand the risks of exposure to chemicals on and around Ventura County farmland.