Hood Theological Seminary Receives $1,000,000 Lilly Endowment Grant

Salisbury, NC (August 31, 2020) – Hood Theological Seminary (HTS) in Salisbury, NC, has received a $1million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. This generous grant will help HTS to address key strategic initiatives, ranging from endowed student scholarships, enhancing an endowed faculty chair, updating instructional and communication technology, addressing major campus safety and building stability and appearance issues, and attending to major deferred maintenance projects.

The grant is aimed at giving the seminary rich creative space to breathe and to imagine itself functioning beyond a modality of adequacy but existing in a realm where dreams and plans are sketched in reality and are grounded by excellence.

“This funding is a lifeline and caring investment for HTS. It will support the seminary as it addresses many vital priorities and moves to a more viable future by modernizing and extending our educational delivery as an institution that is a relevant, attractive place of spiritual formation, academic excellence, service to the church, and a witness to hurting communities,” said Hood’s President Dr. Vergel L. Lattimore. “Lilly Endowment has a distinguished record of supportive commitment to transformative theological education that is focused on empowering the church to be a leveling force in society.”

HTS is among the six Historically Black Theological Institutions (HBTIs) that are being adversely affected by COVID-19. Moreover, our constituent students predominantly come from marginalized communities and churches whose members are experiencing negative residual health, economic, and social disparities. Lilly Endowment has acknowledged how HTS has, with meager resources, provided impressive theological training and leadership for more than 135 years. This 21st century contribution promises to be game changer for the mission of HTS: “…preparing women and men for bold, creative leadership for the Christian church for a diverse world.”

About Hood Theological Seminary

Hood Theological Seminary, located at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive in Salisbury, NC, is a graduate and professional school sponsored by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (A.M.E. Zion). The Seminary bears the name of a renowned bishop, James Walker Hood, who in 1879 inspired the creation of the Seminary’s forerunner – Zion Wesley Institute. The Seminary offers the Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, and Doctor of Ministry degrees. The Seminary is approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological School in the United States and Canada. Website: www.hoodseminary.edu

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education, and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grant-making is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.

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