Two Palmer Initiatives Receive Support from the Lilly Endowment

Palmer Theological Seminary recently received a five-year grant totaling $1 million dollars to fund two key efforts supporting clergy leaders in the church and community—the Alumni Care Initiative, and soon-to-be launched Center for Care, Vitality, & Formation. The funds will help expand existing activities and create new opportunities to serve both current and former students.

The Alumni Care Initiative (ACI), launched in 2020, reaches out to Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Palmer Theological Seminary alumni to companion them in their various stages of life and ministry.  “While at seminary, you form sacred—set apart—relationships; they shouldn’t end upon graduation, particularly when you are serving in ministry and need the encouragement and sharpening of trusted peers,” says Rev. Christen Blore, Director of Alumni Care. “The ACI is committed to being an enduring wellspring for alumni offering spiritual care and connecting our alumni to continue in relationship with one another and with the seminary community.  Let us creatively toil together!” 

Spiritual care is also one of the foci of the Center for Care (CCFV), Formation & Vitality at Palmer. The mission of the CCFV is to empower ministry leaders to facilitate health and wholeness in themselves, their ministry contexts, and their adjacent communities. The Center will also provide skill-based organizational/ministry development consulting to assist congregations and ministries in creating a sustainable, thriving capacity to implement adaptive community-focused ministries in the ever-changing social and cultural contexts in which they live. “Palmer Theological Seminary has long been invested in nurturing the spiritual and emotional growth of leaders, as well as equipping them theologically and practically for vocational ministry,” said Rev. Dr. Phaedra D. Blocker, who will oversee the newly established Center. “The CCFV will expand our work in serving and empowering our current students and alumni, as well as other local and regional leaders, helping them to be intentional about their own health and growth as they lead in seeking the shalom of their communities.”