Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded Belmont’s College of Theology and Christian Ministry (CTCM) a planning grant of $49,683 through its Nurturing Children Through Worship and Prayer Initiative. Funds from the grant will go toward sponsoring six months of planning for the CTCM to develop programs and activities aimed at nurturing children through contemporary worship and intergenerational formation.
“Belmont is uniquely situated,” CTCM professor Steve Guthrie said. “We are a Christian university in a heavily churched city that is also home to a number of Christian publishers and Christian music labels. We would like to have educators sit down around a table with church leaders and publishers and music industry people and creatives and talk about the ways we can work across these constituencies to nurture children in worship and to develop worship that is intergenerational.”
Four consultants have been contracted to aid in the planning process and roughly 40 individuals from five key constituencies outlined in the grant proposal met to determine the felt needs of the community around the issue on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Lay leaders and clergy; songwriters, creatives and liturgists; leaders from the Christian publishing and recording industries; scholars and educators; and parents and caregivers are the determined constituencies the CTCM plans to employ for this project.
The CTCM will have the opportunity to receive a five-year implementation grant in the amount of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. in June, contingent on the planning grant’s progress and acceptance. If awarded, funds from the implementation grant will be used to support initiatives developed during the planning season.
“The College of Theology and Christian Ministry more broadly wants to serve the church and the mission of the church in the world,” Guthrie said. “This is a great opportunity for us to be in dialogue with churches who are our neighbors. Not just to be doing theological education in a bubble removed from the actual business of ministry.”