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    May 22, 2019

    SU, Le Moyne Receive $1 Million from Lilly Endowment to Develop Faith Leaders for the Contemporary Era

    Syracuse University has received a five-year, $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry. The program is a collaboration with Le Moyne College and is part of Lilly Endowment's Thriving in Ministry Initiative. Thriving in Ministry is supporting a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they create or strengthen programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as role models and mentors and guide them through key leadership challenges in congregational ministry.

    Lilly Endowment is making more than $20 million in grants through Thriving in Ministry. The SU/Le Moyne grant is one of 78 nationwide to receive a grant through the initiative.

    The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry program will be led by the Rev. Brian E. Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University, and David McCallum, S.J., vice president for mission integration and development at Le Moyne College. The program will strive to spark innovation and transformation in mission-driving faith communities in Central New York and beyond by helping pastors be more successful in their congregational leadership.

    The goals of the program are to provide knowledge and skills for increased impact in leadership, team building and community building; to nurture self-awareness and ongoing personal spiritual development; to increase effectiveness and a sense of accomplishment; to share educational and other relevant resources; and to raise the level of vocational fulfillment.

    The program will begin with a cohort of 15 fellows - ordained or lay leaders - who have between five to 10 years of experience, meaning they will be able to offer 20 or more future years in ministry. Fellows will be chosen from a variety of denominations based upon their accomplishments, recommendations from colleagues, their potential for further impact, and their embodiment of integrity and character in both personal and professional settings.

    “Early career faith leaders are often filled with energy and excitement, yet later find themselves at a difficult and holistic crossroads, and in turn seek clarity around their personal and professional trajectory,” said Rev. Konkol. “This fellowship program will not only help to retain these ministers, but as an expression of our mission and identity at Syracuse University, our collective intention is to cultivate innovative leaders and transform the communities in which they serve.”

    Through a variety of settings, such as classroom learning and personal coaching, fellows will delve into subject areas that are intended to sustain innovative and transformational mission and ministry in the contemporary era. They include the future of work, entrepreneurship, marketing and communications, business management, conflict resolution, health and well-being, stewardship and fundraising, globalization, general competency, community building, science and technology, diversity, equity and inclusion and resiliency and grit.

    In addition to learning within their cohort and coaches, fellows will also engage with a mentor (a late-career minister) and a mentee (an undergraduate student); engage in a process of personal discovery, design projects to be implemented in their ministry context and a participate in a service experience.

    “Syracuse University and Le Moyne College are uniquely positioned to enrich congregational ministry leaderships,” said Father McCallum. “As a private research university with roots in the Methodist tradition, Syracuse University provides distinctive academic offerings and exceptional leadership in many areas that are beneficial to this partnership. Le Moyne’s Jesuit identity and values, along with our strong community ties and close relationship with the Diocese of Syracuse, provides a sound base of support for a collaboration of this nature. This program speaks directly to Le Moyne’s vision of enhancing its service to the wider community and represents yet another strong and meaningful collaborative partnership between the two institutions.”

    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 Eli and J.K. Jr. – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment’s grant making in religion focuses on supporting efforts to strengthen the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations throughout the county and to increase the public’s understanding of the role of religion in public life.

    For those interested in the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry program, including potential participants, contact Rev. Konkol at or Father McCallum at

    The Lilly Grant is part of the College's $100 million Always Forward campaign, which was publicly announced in June of 2018.

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