We are proud to annouce that UTK Wesley Foundation has been awarded a 5-year, $100,000 grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to facilitate programming related to their Theological Exploration of Vocation initiative. A private family foundation, Lilly directs most of its funding efforts toward strengthening and re-vitalizing mainline congregations. We were invited to apply for this grant process in January based on a recommendation from a previous grantee. Our proposal includes four distinct parts:
- Resident Fellows - This piece will offer longer and more in depth theological, spiritual, and leadership development for our residents including 2-3 day retreats and opportunities to meet with a spiritual director.
- Wesley At-Large Internships - We will fund up to 3 student internships per semester at local congregations or social service agencies. These will be 10 hours per week for 12 weeks and include careful learning goals, site supervision, and bi-monthly theological reflection with the other interns.
- Alternative Spring Break - We will committ to more in-depth domestic and international service-learning trips with intentional issue-based education and theological reflection.
- Cohort Groups - We will develop campus-side high-committment small groups for each student year. These groups will follow specific curriculum designed with developmentally appropriate spiritual and educational outcomes in mind. We will begin with the first-year class in the fall of 2015.
This is an exciting time to be at Wesley and we are looking forward to living into our call as an insitution designed to guide and develop the spiritual lives of student on the UTK campus. We're grateful for your continued support and enthusiasm.