AU School of Theology Secures $1 Million Lilly Endowment Grant


Anderson, Ind. — Anderson University has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the AU School of Theology in strengthening and expanding theological education to Spanish-speaking students.

The effort 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.

“We at AU are excited and gratified to receive this generous grant from the Lilly Endowment,” said President John S. Pistole. “These funds will help us strengthen our efforts to provide outstanding theological education to Spanish speaking students, one of the fastest growing demographics in Indiana and the country, as well as students around the world.”

“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our ministry education offerings to Spanish-speaking pastors, especially those from our Church of God partners from Iglesia de Dios Concilio Hispano,” said Dr. Nathan Willowby, dean of the School of Theology. “The grant will enable us to build the educational offerings and resources that General Director Marcos Garcia and other Concilio leadership named in our planning with them.”

With the Lilly Endowment grant funds, AU is starting a certificate program of 18 courses in biblical and theological studies. The courses will be taught in Spanish. The SOT will also use resources to conduct local training events in clusters of Concilio presence and plans to acquire sufficient Spanish ministry library resources. Additionally, the SOT will pursue certification by the Association for Hispanic Theological Education for its certificate finishers to gain access to ATS accredited Master of Divinity programs. 

“We could not have done this grant project without Dr. Gilberto Lozano,” said Willowby. “He plays an integral role in our faculty and has worked tirelessly to build key relationships throughout the process. Dr. Lozano put in a huge amount of legwork listening to Concilio leadership, which we couldn’t have pursued the certificate program without.”

To learn more about the School of Theology and its various programs, visit the SOT online.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.