Like other theological schools, historically African American seminaries are facing myriad challenges, from aging infrastructure to declining enrollment. As part of a long-term commitment to supporting African American higher education, Lilly Endowment Inc. has launched an initiative to strengthen the fund-raising capacity at the six historically black seminaries that are fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

The six include Hood Theological Seminary, Howard University School of Divinity, Interdenominational Theological Center, Payne Theological Seminary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and Shaw University Divinity School.

The In Trust Center for Theological Schools will coordinate education and networking opportunities for the participants and facilitate opportunities for the schools’ leaders to meet, learn from one another, and build capacity in ways that honor their own traditions and facilitate achieving their goals.

The first gathering of the six schools will take place in January 2015.

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