The School of Theology and Ministry was invited to a large national Lilly Endowment Inc. gathering on January 16-18, 2019, that discussed a raft of funded projects dealing with the economic issues facing seminaries, congregations, denominations, seminary student debt, and ministerial retirement plans. The School’s new Leadership in Faith and Economics (LIFE) was prominently showcased in the 700-person gathering, which was called the Gathering First Fruits Summit. Lilly has invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the past four years to help theological educators and religious leaders understand and respond to the profound economic issues facing religion in the United States. The School of Theology and Ministry took a team of partners to the event in Indianapolis that put the online program together.
(Left to right,) Dr. Mark Markuly, dean of the school; Steve Brilling, a faculty member at the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University and co-founder of the school’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center; Thanh-Thuong ChuChe, the LIFE program manager; Steve Pomeroy, the Chief Financial Officer for the Community of Christ denomination, and The Rev. Cheri Lovell, a consultant in the United Church of Christ who has served as a program developer and instructor in the LIFE program.