Grand View Receives $1.25 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment to Fund The Jordan Project

December 6, 2023

Grand View University has received a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish The Jordan Project. The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The aim of the initiative to encourage the flourishing of congregations by helping them deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the vitality of their communities and the world.

The Jordan Project will ignite new life and innovation into female-led rural and small-town congregations across the Midwest in the ELCA and other full communion partner denominations. Pastors and leaders from their congregations will explore their congregations’ rapidly changing social and cultural contexts, gain clarity about their values and mission, and draw on Lutheran theological practices and traditions to adapt their ministry to the demands of their changing contexts. With this knowledge and the skills to engage, pastors and their congregational leaders will be prepared to lead thriving congregations that experience a renewal of anticipatory joy, an ethos of “why not? let’s give it a try!” and personal, communal, and public witness to the love of God found in Jesus that will thrill the heart again. 

Grand View is one of 105 organizations that has received grants though a competitive round of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. Reflecting a wide variety of Christian traditions, the organizations represent mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, peace church and Pentecostal faith communities.

“Congregations play an essential role in deepening the faith of individuals and contributing to the vitality of communities,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “We hope that these programs will nurture the vibrancy and spark the creativity of congregations, helping them imagine new ways to share God’s love in their communities and across the globe.”

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it 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 and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.