The Collegeville Institute has received two new grants to extend its work on vocation and calling.
The Communities of Calling Initiative is a five-year, $1.5 million grant funded through the Lilly Endowment’s “Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative.” The Collegeville Institute’s program will create a new ecumenical “innovation hub” for congregations to explore vocation in their local context.
This program will provide 14 congregations with a grant of up to $30,000 to support a project that helps their members discover and deepen their sense of God’s calling in their lives. The Collegeville Institute will convene congregational leaders over a 5-year process, focusing on theologies of vocation as well as building skills for evaluating and sustaining congregational ministries.
Leadership teams from the congregations (consisting of the pastor, a staff member, and a lay leader) will meet each summer in Collegeville. Participants will share findings from their local projects and learn from experts on vocation. Teams will also participate in an opening retreat and online gatherings between annual meetings. Some participants will take a pilgrimage to Israel in summer 2021 to explore biblical narratives of calling.
Laura Kelly Fanucci, Research Associate for the Collegeville Institute Seminars for the past 8 years, will serve as the Program Director. Jessie Bazan, graduate of Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary (’17) and Youth Formation Minister at Pax Christi Catholic Community in Eden Prairie, MN, will serve as Program Associate.
The Collegeville Institute was also awarded a five-year, $2.6 million grant to coordinate the “Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative” for Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Endowment has funded 13 innovation hubs around the country, and staff from each hub will meet annually in Indianapolis. They will also have the opportunity to join research seminars on a particular aspect of vocation, congregational learning, or innovation design theory. The coordination grant will extend the Collegeville Institute Seminars’ research on vocation by inviting hub leaders to develop seminars on specific topics related to vocation in the Christian life.
Kathleen Cahalan, Professor of Practical Theology at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary and Director of the Collegeville Institute Seminars, will serve as the director of the coordination grant. The Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson, Assistant Professor of New Testament at the Seminary of the Southwest and member of the Seminar on Vocation Across the Lifespan, will serve as Associate Director. Jessie Bazan will serve as Program Associate.