Seven ESR Students Receive Innovation Awards


ESR offers its congratulations to seven of its students who were recently awarded $2,500 Innovation Grants for their entrepreneurial ministry project proposals to launch this summer.

These include:

Windy Cooler, who will test the need for and interest in a Quaker Family Life Ministry among unprogrammed Friends;

Tom Decker, who plans to explore the potential role cooperatives might serve in peacemaking;

Nikki Holland, who will assess the need for a healthy families ministry in Merida, Mexico;

Kaia Jackson, who plans to explore building community through expressive arts, storytelling and/or performance in Richmond, Indiana;

Dan Mudd, who will develop workshops/retreats that will provide three ways of opening to the Divine: prayer, meditation, and dream translation;

Chet Roberts, who will launch an interfaith prayer event – #PrayInLove – this August in Dayton, Ohio; and

Joel Tishken, who will develop a packet of materials to help Unitarian Universalist congregations bridge divisions between theists and non-theists.

Pictured left to right: Dan Mudd, Chet Roberts, Kaia Jackson, Windy Cooler

“This is one of the most important things I have done here,” says ESR Professor of Pastoral Studies Phil Baisley, who helped oversee the Innovation Grant proposal process along with ESR Trueblood Chair of Christian Thought Lonnie Valentine. Both will continue to serve this spring in mentorship roles.

ESR’s Innovation Awards are part of a grant the school received from the Association of Theological Schools to help offer new opportunities to faculty and students to explore entrepreneurial ministry. ESR was selected as one of 58 seminaries and graduate theological schools in North America to receive such a grant.

“This is a great opportunity by which ESR can continue to cultivate a spirit and practice of innovation into its programming, helping the school continue its commitment to educational excellence that is relevant for today’s ministry preparation,” remarked Dean Jay Marshall.

Join us for the 2018 ESR Leadership Conference this August, where students will present their summer ministry projects.