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Indiana Wesleyan University receives $1.1 million grant for “Imaginarium”

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December 12, 2018
Lilly Endowment Inc. has made a grant of $1.1 million to Indiana Wesleyan University’s School of Theology and Ministry to fund the creation of “Imaginarium”, a project that aims to strengthen congregational ministries with youth initiatives.
Through the Imaginarium project, leaders within the School of Theology and Ministry hope to partner with local churches in order to design, test and implement new models of ministry. According to the project’s executive summary, they “believe it is possible to develop methods that not only nurture the religious lives of young people, but also bring them to a place of greater engagement with their local church.” As such, their desire is to create an “Imaginarium” where they interact with 12 local churches over the course of three years in order to develop new models of ministry through principles of social innovation and design thinking.
The purpose of the Imaginarium is to enjoy the Word of God and allow for Christian practices to generate and sustain innovative endeavors that lead others to grow in love of God and love of neighbor. Goals of the program include:
  • Introducing congregations to the kind of design thinking that informs social innovation
  • Increasing love and empathy for our neighbors
  • Opening up fresh ways to love and know God
  • Calling, motivating and fortifing youth groups to have a missional presence in their communities
  • Cultivating a missional imagination to push beyond expected ways of doing church
The four-year grant officially began on Dec. 1 and will extend through Dec. 31, 2022.
“The vitality of the local church has always been in our DNA at the School of Theology and Ministry,” said Dr. Amanda Drury, associate professor of practical theology. “This grant allows us to deepen that connection and explore innovative forms of ministry. Not only are we looking forward to partnering with these churches, we are also excited about how this grant will influence our IWU students for a lifetime of transformative ministry.”
Scott Todd, Executive Director of Marketing & Communication
(765) 677-1910