ESR Receives Innovation Grant

Earlham School of Religion continues its leadership role in investing in the future of ministry by expanding its programming to provide students with the financial and planning skills necessary to succeed in the development and launch of new ministries.

Thanks to the generosity of the Association of Theological Schools, Earlham School of Religion offers 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 a $50,000 Innovation 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. The Innovation Grant will be used to support entrepreneurial ministry at ESR in two ways: 1) through awards to current residential or Access MDiv students seeking to test or launch new ministries during the summer of 2018; and 2) through awards to faculty to either develop new courses addressing entrepreneurial ministry or modify existing courses to incorporate this theme.

The Innovation Grant from ATS comes at an important time for ESR, as it builds upon the success of a multi-year Lilly Endowment supported grant to explore new models of financially sustainable ministry; an ESR Leadership Conference focused on the theme of Entrepreneurial Ministry in 2016; the resulting development and launch of an Entrepreneurial Ministry Certificate this fall, including new course offerings such as “Models of Alternative Ministry” and “Money Matters in Ministry”; and an emerging collaboration with Earlham College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (EPIC) including the participation of three ESR students in the 2017 Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism.

New course offerings beginning in 2018 will be announced after approval of the faculty. Join us for the 2018 ESR Leadership Conference next August, where students will present their summer ministry projects.

Students interested in more information about applying should contact Phil Baisley at The application deadline is November 30, 2017, and the application can be downloaded at: