Then called Pacific Bible Institute, Fresno Pacific College moved to its main Fresno campus in 1959. It now occupies several facilities in the Central Valley. Images via Fresno Pacific University

published on October 9, 2020 - 2:54 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno Pacific University has received a sizable grant to help with the creation of a new, church-related program.

The endowment, worth $990,280, comes from Lilly Endowment, Inc. of Indianapolis. According to a press release from the University, the money will go towards establishing the New Skills for a New Era Initiative.

Led by the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), the Initiative will build and expand key aspects of CCT work in the Valley, focusing in particular on equipping Valley churches and organizations with cutting-edge economic and civil toolboxes to address the issues of congregations and residents in their neighborhoods. These include unemployment, violence, isolation from the civic process, vulnerability to predatory lending and a lack of access to leadership development and educational inequities.

The initiative places special emphasis on mobilizing and equipping urban and rural Spanish-speaking congregations, as well as diverse, English-speaking urban and rural congregations that are focusing on underserved neighborhoods.

“In the midst of a rapidly changing world, Christian congregations are grappling with how they can best carry forward their ministries,” said Christopher Coble of the Lilly Endowment. “These grants will help congregations assess their ministries and draw on practices in their theological traditions to address new challenges and better nurture the spiritual vitality of the people they serve.”

The Fresno Pacific CCT will also make new scholarships available to these congregations for specialized classes and certifications in the areas of financial literacy, micro-enterprise, social enterprise, workforce readiness, educational partnerships and leadership development for community transformation. Mentoring will also be provided.

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