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Lilly Endowment Recipients Combine Forces in New Affiliation

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the Indianapolis Center for Congregations and Christian Theological Seminary recently announced a new affiliation. This relationship will benefit the constituents of all three institutions, who will gain increased access to knowledge about congregations as well as other opportunities to support the congregations they serve. This affiliation involves a governance role, as representatives from the two seminaries will serve on the Center’s board of directors.

The new relationship is based on the Center’s role as a supporting organization of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) and Christian Theological Seminary (CTS). According to Tim Shapiro, president of the Indianapolis Center for Congregations (ICC), this relationship is unique in that no other seminaries are supported by the Center in such a capacity. ICC, LPTS and CTS engage congregations from many different faith traditions and are committed to strengthening congregations and their leaders for the future.

“The Indianapolis Center for Congregations has established itself as an extraordinary resource for congregations as they seek to meet the challenges of contemporary society,” said Louisville Seminary President Michael Jinkins. “We are extremely excited about this unique partnership with the Center for Congregations and Christian Theological Seminary, and are eager to explore new ways to serve congregations, their leaders and their future leaders.”

Shapiro said that the ICC will seek practical ways to support the missions of LPTS and CTS and will share with the seminaries what it has learned from the Indiana congregations it serves. This shared information will enhance ICC’s influence and augment the resources that LPTS and CTS provide.

“Every day the Center works directly with congregations. We learn from them how they effectively address every imaginable congregational issue,” said Shapiro. “We are eager to share what we’ve learned with these two dynamic theological institutions so that more congregational leaders can benefit.”

Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. It is distinguished by its nationally-recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. 

The Indianapolis Center for Congregations strengthens Indiana congregations by helping them find and use the best resources to address their challenges and opportunities. Since 1997, the Center has helped Indiana congregations attend to their needs through resource consulting, educational events and grants. Center staff work with clergy, staff and laity by listening to their concerns, developing work plans, and then carefully matching resources with their specific needs. The Center shares its learning nationally through a variety of means, including the Congregational Resource Guide, a web-based application designed to help congregational leaders find the best resources. There are Center offices in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Seymour and Crown Point to serve congregations throughout the state. The Center for Congregations is funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) of Indianapolis, Indiana, aims to recruit, train and sustain the next generation of thoughtful pastors, counselors and chaplains – nourished in the best of Christian traditions – with the vision and skills to help guide faith-based communities through the changing, challenging landscape of the twenty-first century. CTS is a fully accredited graduate school related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with an open, inclusive and ecumenical spirit, embracing internationally known faculty and a diverse, dynamic student body representing more than 30 denominations and non-denominational backgrounds. Current enrollment includes students from 19 states and five foreign countries. CTS offers eight degree programs, including theology, ministry and counseling, as well as certification and lifelong learning opportunities. 



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