Phillips Theological Seminary (PTS) has received a grant of $1,236,483 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Worshiping with Children: Imaging and Imagining the Presence of God program.
The program is funded through Lilly Endowment’s Nurturing Children Through Worship and Prayer Initiative. The aim of the national initiative is to support faith-based organizations as they help children grow in faith and deepen their relationships with God.
“When I was sent the information about the initiative, I felt excited about putting together a proposal centered on worship and the arts,” said the Rev. Allie Utley, Ph.D. “My hope is that I can equip church leaders in cultivating meaningful and moving sacred spaces through which children can come to know the Holy.”
Utley, who is the Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Practical Theology at Phillips, will be the program’s director. She has an interdisciplinary interest in worship and affect theory and has long intuited that some worship spaces have a “certain energy” and others do not.
Lilly Endowment is giving nearly $32 million in grants through this round of the Nurturing Children initiative. PTS is one of 26 organizations taking part in the initiative.
Lilly Endowment launched the Nurturing Children initiative in 2022 as part of its commitment to support efforts that strengthen the religious education and formation of children and enhance the vitality of Christian congregations.