Grand View Receives $300,000 Lilly Endowment Sustainability Grant

August 20, 2020

Grand View University has received a grant of $300,000 to assist in making The NEXUS Institute a sustainable program in the next 5 years. This sustainability grant is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institute, an initiative that supports spaces for young people to explore questions about their faith, purpose, and call to ministry in the world. 

The NEXUS Institute at Grand View is designed to provide on-campus experiences of Christian theology, community, and vocation exploration for high school students. The purpose is to raise up future Christian leaders for the larger Lutheran church.

Kate Faas, the Director of The NEXUS Institute, reflects, “The NEXUS Institute brings together high school students from all over who love Jesus and want to grow in their faith and calling, connecting them with peers and today’s ministry leaders for theological enrichment and vocational exploration. In this way, NEXUS fosters the raising up of tomorrow’s ministry leaders. When high school students encounter the vitality of holy scripture, supportive Christian community, and the opportunity to learn ministry skills, callings happen.”

Russell Lackey, Campus Pastor and holder of the Rasmussen-Skow Chair in Pastoral Excellence at Grand View University explains, “We are thankful for the generosity of the Lilly Endowment as well as support we have received from regional and national partners. Together we are building a program that will help young people consider religious vocations for many years to come.” In addition to the Lilly Endowment, other partnering organizations include: Luther Memorial Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, 1517, Lutheran Bible Institute in California, Lutheran CORE, the North American Lutheran Church, and the Rasmussen Group.

Grand View University is one of 119 organizations taking part in the initiative. The organizations reflect diverse Christian traditions: mainline and evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox.

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 Eli and J.K. Jr. - through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state Indiana. Its grant making in religion focuses on supporting efforts to strengthen the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations throughout the country and to increase the public’s understanding of the role of religion in public life.