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Evangel University receives additional $250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment

Published on Nov 16, 2023 by Erin Hedlun

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University (EU) has been awarded a $250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to supplement its Compelling Preaching Initiative efforts.

The Compelling Preaching Initiative is a Lilly Endowment grant-funded project facilitated through the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, the embedded seminary of the university, and coordinated through AGTS’ Center for Biblical Preaching.

The goal of the initiative is to train and resource ministers within the Assemblies of God (AG) denomination with relevant and biblically-based education and resources to meet the needs of the 21st century Church.

This is the fourth grant from Lilly Endowment that EU has received in the past two academic years to advance ministerial training. The grants collectively total $7.3 million.

Dr. Robert Eby, director of the Cordas C. Burnett Center for Biblical Preaching

Dr. Robert Eby serves as the director for the Cordas C. Burnett Center for Biblical Preaching and leads the grant efforts.

“Lilly Endowment has again demonstrated its extraordinary commitment to the transformative impact of preaching,” said Eby. “This supplemental funding allows us to develop additional training materials quickly that we can distribute to pastors and leaders across the country.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Compelling Preaching Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A primary aim of its grantmaking in religion is to deepen the religious lives of Christians, principally by supporting efforts that enhance congregational vitality and strengthen the leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment values the broad diversity of Christian traditions and endeavors to support them in a wide variety of contexts. The Endowment also seeks to foster public understanding about religion by encouraging fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of the positive and negative effects of religion on the world and lifting up  the contributions that people of all faiths make to our greater civic well-being.


About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • #1 Best College in Springfield & #2 Best Christian College in Missouri by Niche
  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at