A planning grant of $30,000 has been awarded to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) from Lilly Endowment, Indianapolis, Ind., to develop a program to nurture the call to ministry within youth from a variety of backgrounds. The funds will enable the seminary to fully develop and plan "Serving Christ in the World," a program of study and international experience that will nurture the faith-lives of high school students; foster their commitment to the church; and encourage in them a calling to ordained or rostered ministry.
During the first week of the three-week residential summer program, students will take classes on the LSTC campus. The second week will be spent at the Lutheran Center in Mexico City where they will be guided in theological reflection with an international perspective. In the program's third week, students will return to campus and through readings, class and discussion, integrate the first two weeks and conclude the program.
To be inaugurated in the summer of 2003, LSTC President James Kenneth Echols, sees the program as integral to the seminary's ability to pursue its mission. "While the work of theological education is the seminary's primary task, the planning grant will offers us the opportunity to nurture the call to ministry and prepare future generations of church leaders."
The seminary is one of 23 institutions in the United States to receive a planning grant through Lilly's "Theological Programs for High School Youth," an initiative to encourage a new generation of young people to engage in theological inquiry and consider vocations in Christian ministry.
Since 1991, the Lilly endowment has supported theological programs for high school youth at 25 theological schools. All eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America received grants (five renewals, three planning grants) in this round of Lilly awards.