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American Baptisit College Launches New Initiative With Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant

American Baptisit College Launches New Initiative With Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on March 05, 2018

Dr. Forrest E. Harris, President, American Baptist College, announces that experienced, highly-respected Nashville leader, Phyllis D. K. Hildreth, now heads the College’s new “Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose” (CLMPI) Initiative as the recently-appointed Director of Grants Management and Strategic Partnerships. “Phyllis Hildreth brings to this distinctive project her rich background, a unique set of skills, spiritual fervor, and passion for social justice leadership,” said Harris.

American Baptist College (ABC) received a five-year, $1.5 million implementation grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., enabling ABC to create an Innovation Hub engaging two cohorts of diverse congregations from across the Southeast. Under Hildreth’s direction, the initiative launches when 70 congregational representatives gather to participate in an introductory session during ABC’s annual Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series, March 19-21, 2018. Congregations will later be invited to apply for participation in the Innovation Hub.

“American Baptist College continues to be a global source of training for leaders who aspire to have an impact. The result will be increased vitality within diverse congregations, the development of new models for ministry, and an extension of congregational outreach,” said President Harris.

“ABC’s ‘Hub On The Hill’ allows up to 24 congregations to journey together in a fiveyear process of discerning, defining, and deploying works of calling, living, meaning, and purposefully engaging in ministry. Our cohort-driven, narrative learning-based model takes a three-pronged approach, focusing on (1) leadership; (2) systems design thinking, and (3) the engagement,” said Hildreth.

“Christians will discover and claim God’s calling to lead lives of meaning and purpose. We will help congregations draw on the wisdom of scripture, theological traditions, and particular opportunities for relevant ministry. Cohorts will examine and engage notions of ‘the call’ and its meaning for the individual, the Church, and for doing justice, loving mercy and serving humbly in community together,” Hildreth added.

Phyllis Hildreth served as associate professor at Lipscomb University, College of Leadership and Public Service. Other prior experience includes roles as Chief Counsel for Administration, Maryland State Office of the Public Defender; Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice; and first Managing Director, Baltimore Juvenile Justice Center. She earned a B. A. in biology from Harvard University, a J. D. degree from the University of Maryland, and an M. A. in conflict management from Lipscomb University. She was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Baltimore School of Law. During inauguration week activities for her husband, Dr. James E. K. Hildreth (President/CEO, Meharry Medical College) Ms. Hildreth launched the “Falcon Fund,” calling for civic engagement in justice, service, and health.



“We appreciate the continued positive, ongoing relationship between Lilly Endowment, and ABC, a Historically Black College,” Harris concluded. ABC received a $50,000 CLMPI planning grant from the Endowment in early 2017. Prior grants from Lilly Endowment include a $2 million “Vibrant Ministries: Tools for Sustaining Excellence in Pastoral Ministry” award in 2003 plus a $1 million renewal grant. Both led to the design of a unique project engaging ministry students and ABC’s constituency of working pastors. A $1 million Lilly grant and a $200,000 renewal grant (2007-2012) supported the creation of the African American Lectionary. Lectionary resources remain available at http://bit.ly/AfAmLec

About the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Lilly Endowment, Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by members of the Lilly family (J. K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J. K. Jr. ) through **** of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. **** of stock in Eli Lilly and Company remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment. Lilly Endowment, Inc. is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the wishes of the three founders, Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education, and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.

About American Baptist College
American Baptist College (ABC) is a co-educational, liberal arts college offering bachelor's degrees and 2-year associate degrees. Located on a historic 53-acre campus overlooking the Cumberland River, a few miles north of downtown Nashville, ABC provides global, 21st-century leadership as one of the nation’s 100+ Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). ABC was established in 1924 as American Baptist Theological Seminary in an unprecedented collaboration between the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and the Southern Baptist Convention. The first building, Griggs Hall, erected in 1923, was recently added as one of 10 Tennessee stops on the U. S. Civil Rights Trail. The College offers educational and programming opportunities which train predominantly diverse, first-generation students for impactful social justice leadership. While embracing the courageous spirit of our heritage, ABC’s focus today is on preparing students who will create a lasting impact at the community level and on an international scale.

Register for the 61st Annual Garnett Nabrit Lectures at http://bit.ly/61GNL

For more information about the College, please visit www.abcnash.edu
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