Lilly Endowment Grant To Initiate Family Ministry Book Series, Resource Guides

Jan. 31, 2001

Baylor University's Center for Family and Community Ministries, in partnership with Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's Center for Congregations and Family Ministries, has received a $664,661 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will be used to launch two new initiatives by the two centers: a book series on family ministry and a series of resource guides surveying the literature on various facets of family ministry.

"This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen the ministry of congregations with families by providing them with resources grounded in the developing research on families and faith," said Dr. Diana Garland, professor of social work at Baylor and director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries. "I am particularly excited to represent Baylor University, the largest Baptist university in the country, in this partnership with one of the most visionary mainline seminaries in the country, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary."

The 12-book series will provide literature for congregations and their leaders that will address the gaps in family ministry literature. To be published by Jossey Bass Inc., the series will feature Garland and J. Bradley Wigger, director of the Louisville Center, as consulting editors. Two book proposals are under contract with the publisher: "After Ecstasy, The Laundry: Spiritual Practice and Family Life" by Wendy Wright and "God at Home: Learning in Families and Congregations" by Wigger. Other book topics include the faith life of Christian families; cross-generational worship; teenagers, parents and faith; and using time and money well.

"Few resources are available to help nurture and strengthen family ministry in congregations and at home," said Wigger. "We believe church professionals and lay people alike will find these books meaningful, and they will reflect how important faith and family life are to each other."

The resource guides -- a series of 16 articles that will appear in "Family Ministry: Empowering Through Faith" -- will survey and review the resources on key issues for family ministries. The authors of the articles will identify particularly helpful resources, identify gaps in current resources and develop new ideas for resources. Topics to be covered include sickness and dying as family experiences; growing in the Christian life; economics, faith and families; honoring the body; marriage; divorce; and parenting, among others.

"Family Ministry" is published quarterly by the Center at Louisville Seminary and offers practical insight into the relationship between faith, families, congregations and communities. It is the only journal of its kind written exclusively for people who minister with families.

Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation, created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family -- 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, Lilly Endowment helps support the causes of religion, education and community development.

For more information on the grant and the Baylor Center, contact Garland at (254) 710-6223 or visit For information on Louisville Seminary's Center and the journal "Family Ministry," call (502) 895-3411 or visit their website at

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