CONWAY, Ark. (December 4, 2015)
– Hendrix College has received $598,164 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to create the
Hendrix Youth Institute (HYI), a summer program that will help high school
students discern a call to ministry.
Using a holistic approach, the Hendrix
Youth Institute program will engage the concept of “head, heart, and hands” to
enable youth to understand God’s call. Student participants will take classes
in the Bible, Wesleyan Heritage, Worship, and Spiritual Formation. They will
shadow a minister and participate in worship, small-group Bible study, local
service opportunities, and discernment exercises. They will be part of an
Orientation to Ministry event sponsored by the Arkansas Conference Board of
Ordained Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
Offered during four consecutive
summers, the two-and-a-half- week program will culminate in a mission trip in
which participants will work together, building relationships with those they
serve and learning from one another. Through service to others, the students
will better understand themselves and be able to further discern their call.
“I am extremely grateful that Lilly
Endowment has entrusted us with this grant for very important work with high
school youth,” said Rev. J. Wayne Clark. “The College has been blessed to
receive funds that have helped Hendrix students discern their vocational call,
as well as helping clergy in their early ministry careers look at civic
engagement and is thrilled for this next partnership. What we hope will be
created is a culture of call that begins with high school youth, is nurtured in
the college years and is sustained beyond seminary.”
Hendrix is one of 82 private
four-year colleges and universities participating in the initiative. The
schools are located in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Although some
schools are independent, many reflect the religious heritage of their founding
Christian traditions. These traditions include Baptist, Brethren, Lutheran,
Mennonite, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed churches, as well as Catholic,
non-denominational, Pentecostal and historic African-American Christian
“The colleges and universities
participating in the youth theology initiative are well-positioned to reach out
to high school students in this way,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, vice
president for religion at the Endowment. “They have outstanding faculty in
theology and religion who know how to help young people explore the wisdom of
religious traditions and apply these insights to contemporary challenges.”
The Endowment is giving $44.5
million in grants through this initiative. The grants are part of the
Endowment’s commitment to identify and cultivate a cadre of
theologically-minded youth who will become leaders in church and society.
Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an
Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three
members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli –
through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company.
The 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.
Hendrix College is a private
liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with
the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That
Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized
in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality,
community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.