The job of a pastor is demanding and offers little time for rest. Fortunately a number of grant opportunities exist to help offset the costs involved in supporting a congregation and offer clergy a chance to rest and reflect on life and faith.
National Clergy Renewal Program
Lilly Endowment, Inc. sponsors the National Clergy Renewal Program and the Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations. The National Clergy Renewal Program offers grants worth up to $45,000. Pastors with at least a Master of Divinity degree are eligible. Pastors working in Indiana are not eligible for the National Clergy Renewal Program, but pastors from the remaining 49 states may apply. Indiana-based pastors must apply to the Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations. The National Clergy Renewal Program has been in operation since 2000 and has awarded more than $29 million. Award funds are not offered for vacation purposes, but are meant to provide a period of growth and reflection away from the daily tasks of parish life. Applications should be submitted by May of each year and awards are generally announced in October. Grant Services Office Lilly Endowment Inc. 2801 North Meridian Street PO Box 88068 Indianapolis, IN 46208-0068 317-924-5471 lillyendowment.org
Minnesota Annual Conference Clergy Grants
The Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church offers clergy grants for a number of reasons, including but not limited to pulpit supply, short-term continuing education, seminary loans and renewal leave. Grant award amounts are determined by purpose and can range from $40 to $5,000. Grant eligibility is limited to United Methodist Church congregations located in Minnesota. Applications for a grant must be submitted with a proposal assessment written by the district superintendent. Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church 122 West Franklin Avenue, Room 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404 612-870-0058 minnesotaumc.org
Clergy Enrichment Grant
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund Clergy Enrichment Grant offers grants up to $4,000 for educational, personal or professional purposes. All full-time pastoral ministers connected with an eligible organization may apply for a grant. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund's website offers a comprehensive list of eligible organizations. Applications for educational purposes must be accompanied by a letter of acceptance by the school and a budget detailing how the full grant award will be spent. Personal awards can be used for a variety of recreational purposes, including YMCA memberships or memberships to golf courses. Grants awarded for professional purposes should be accompanied by a pastor's biography, a letter of release and support from the church's governing body and three references. Jessie Ball duPont Fund One Independent Drive, Suite 1400 Jacksonville, FL 32202 904-353-0890 dupontfund.org
- religious statues image by Warren Rosenberg from Fotolia.com