Baylor Horizons Project Receives $500,000 Follow-Up Grant from Lilly Endowment

April 10, 2006

Baylor Horizons, a university project which helps students, faculty and staff explore the relationship between faith and vocation, has received a $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a follow-up to an earlier $2 million grant that was part of Lilly Endowment's Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV) initiative in 2000.

With matching funds Baylor will provide, the grant will total $1.1 million for the three-year project.

"This is a terrific opportunity for us and helps perpetuate an important collaborative partnership with Lilly Endowment," said Dr. Douglas Henry, director of Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning.

Lilly Endowment initially awarded grants under the PTEV initiative to 88 Christian colleges and universities. Baylor was in the first round of universities receiving grants.

"Lilly Endowment wanted to sustain the good work that had begun with the grants, so they rolled out the matching grant program. We were invited to apply for that," Henry said. "The idea is that the Endowment gives $500,000 and the institutions will at least match that from a variety of different sources. The hope is that at the end of the three-year period, those programs have completed their work or have become so central to university life that the institutions want to keep them."

"We are grateful that the Lilly Endowment is extending the funding for our highly successful Baylor Horizons project," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "The university and its students have realized tremendous benefits from the programs associated with this innovative initiative. We look forward to continued positive outcomes for our students, the campus and beyond."

Baylor Horizons encompasses 10 projects that fall under three central aims: helping students examine the relationship between their faith and vocational choices; providing opportunities for young people to explore Christian ministry as their life's work; and enhancing the capacity of the school's faculty to teach and mentor students effectively in this arena.

First and foremost are programs, such as New Student Orientation and vocation-specific chapel services, to encourage incoming/new students to consider the relationship between faith and vocation. In a recent poll, 87 percent reported these programs helped them learn about their faith and vocational choices.

Other innovative and significant initiatives include the resident chaplain program, vocation-specific mission trips, such as the Africa 05 program, and Institute for Faith and Learning faculty retreats.

"Baylor Horizons has succeeded beyond our expectations in reaching a large population of students, faculty and staff," Henry said. "Baylor is a big ship, but Baylor Horizons has been undertaken with a commitment to comprehensiveness and scope. The result has been that every student at Baylor is challenged to think about faith and vocational choices. It is realizing its aims in admirable fashion."

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

For more information, contact Henry at (254) 710-4860.

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