The Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis has been the initial and primary partner with the Academy of Preachers. It was the approval and endorsement of Vice President Craig Dykstra and Program Director Chris Coble
That secured the launch of the Academy in January of 2009. They approved an 18-month grant with promises of an extension.
Now, Chris Coble, writing for the Endowment, has expressed their satisfaction with the progress. After reading the first official report, submitted February 1, 2010, he wrote:
“The response to the Academy pilot project is very encouraging. The inaugural Festival of Young Preachers attracted a significant number of talented young people, as well as their mentors, and provided them with an opportunity to interact with others exploring a call to ministry.”
Dr. Coble himself attended the festival, held in January of 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky, and met with the Academy Board of Advisors. His letter continues:
“The number of founding partners is noteworthy and indicates a broad base of support for the Academy.”
Coble is right about this: there are 50 Founding Partners, listed elsewhere on this web site. We are now soliciting what we call National Partners, and are expecting letters of such partnership to arrive any day.
“Although much hard work remains,” Coble continues, “I hope you are pleased what you have accomplished thus far. I look forward to following your progress as you prepare to move into the second phase of the pilot project.”
The second phase of our pilot project is an 18-month extension, beginning July 1, 2010. We are expected any day now notice of a second grant from the Endowment to underwrite much of the cost of this work. During this second 18 months we will have two more festivals of young preachers and at least two more preaching camps.
In addition, we are extending our pilot project target area by 150 miles. This means we will reach out specifically to institutions, organizations, and congregations within a 300 mile radius of Louisville Kentucky. This, of course, does not limit our reach; in fact, any person or organization within the United States is welcome to join us in their remarkable initiative.
Stay tuned for more good news!!