$1 million grant will help Evangel University train Black and Hispanic ministers

Evangel University received a $1 million grant to help serve and expand theological education for underserved student groups, especially black and Hispanic ministers.

The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary integrated into the university will establish new pathways to a higher degree.

“This grant allows us to take our training to a new level, providing black and Hispanic ministers with new avenues to obtain theological training,” Evangel President Mike Rakes said in a press release.

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“These diverse graduates will join our alumni pool and serve on supervisory boards and governing bodies to better shape our institutions.”

According to the release, the William Seymour initiative will respond to challenges expressed by black leaders and pastors from the National Black Fellowship of the AG and the historically black Pentecostal denomination Church of God in Christ.

The seminar will develop a platform for ongoing discussion of social justice challenges facing Black communities in order to increase empathy and foster reconciliation.

The release says the Hispanic Initiative will expand educational offerings to Spanish-speaking pastors by tailoring elective courses to better meet the needs of local congregations.

Evangel is one of 84 theological schools receiving a total of more than $82 million in grants under the second phase of the Pathways initiative.

Together, the schools represent the Evangelical, mainstream Protestant, non-denominational, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Black, and other church. Many schools serve students and pastors from Black, Latino, Korean American, Chinese American, and recent immigrant Christian communities.

“Theological schools have long played a central role in preparing pastoral leaders for ministry,” Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion, said in the statement.

“Today, these schools find themselves in a time of rapid and profound change. Through the Pathways initiative, theological schools can take deliberate steps to address the challenges they have identified. »

He added, “We believe these efforts are essential to ensure that Christian congregations continue to have a steady stream of well-prepared pastoral leaders to lead the churches of tomorrow.”

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