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Barry University receives nearly $1 million from Lilly Endowment

MIAMI SHORES | Barry University has been awarded a grant of nearly $1 million from the Lilly Endowment to prepare church pastoral leaders.

The $998,491 grant is one of 84 being awarded to theological schools across the United States and Canada. At Barry, it will be used for the master of arts program in pastoral ministry for Hispanics who have completed bachelor’s coursework and have made a commitment to ministry.

Barry will apply the funds through the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI). Goals include expanding the library with a web-based resource hub, and reaching Hispanic students around the country through distance learning.

“Theological schools have long played a pivotal role in preparing pastoral leaders of churches,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion, when announcing their grants. “Today these schools find themselves in a period of rapid and profound change.

“We believe that their efforts are critical to ensuring that Christian congregations continue to have a steady stream of pastoral leaders who are well prepared to lead the churches of tomorrow.”

Barry’s Department of Theology and Philosophy, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, has long worked with SEPI to prepare pastoral leaders, noted John Murray, the university’s provost.

“We are especially excited to apply these funds to not only extend our reach to include students outside of Miami, but to also increase the diversity of our pastors to respond to changing demographics,” Murray said.

Barry partners with SEPI to conduct its Spanish language divinity program. SEPI is the educational branch of the Southeastern U.S. Bishops for Hispanic Ministry, which serves 30 dioceses in nine states.

Barry University, a Catholic liberal arts school, was founded in 1940 by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Its College of Arts and Sciences emphasizes ethical decision making and social diversity. The college also teaches development of social, cultural and political leadership to create a more just, responsive and compassionate community.