Center For Family And Community Ministries Receives $702,000 Grant From Lilly Endowment

July 14, 2000

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's Center for Family and Community Ministries in the School of Social Work has received a $702,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to study the impact of community service on the faith of congregations.

"Service and Faith: The Impact on Christian Faith and Congregational Life of Organized Community Caring," a three-year project in partnership with faculty members of Calvin College and the University of South Carolina, will examine the impact of "organized community caring" on the faith-life of individuals, families and congregations.

"This project grows out of the increasing public mandate that congregations address the social welfare needs of their communities. Certainly congregations do need to be involved," said Dr. Diana Garland, director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries and professor of social work. "But congregations need to be involved as an outgrowth of their faith, not simply because society has decided to turn this responsibility over to them. If faith is the motivation for their service, then understanding how community service has a subsequent impact on the faith of congregations and their members needs to be understood by church leaders and social workers. That is what we will study."

According to Garland, the project will offer congregational and community leaders the first comprehensive study of the impact of service on individuals, families, and congregations who serve, and on the leadership and life of the congregation. Researchers will study what impact community service has on volunteers, what strengthens and depletes their commitment and resources and how church leaders can lead so that congregation members will grow in faith as part of their service.

The Center for Family and Community Ministries, which was formed in 1998, provides services, research facilities and continuing education opportunities for church leaders and church agencies involved in family ministries.

Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation, created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family--J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli--through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company.

In keeping with the wishes of its three founders, the Lilly Endowment helps support the causes of religion, education, and community development.

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