About the Louisville Institute

Funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment, Louisville Institute awards grants and fellowships to those who lead and study North American religious institutions, practices, and movements, advancing scholarship to strengthen church, academy, and wider society.

In late 1990, Lilly Endowment Inc. (an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation) launched the Louisville Institute, based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company, the Endowment supports the causes of religion, education, and community development. The Religion Division of Lilly Endowment works with people and institutions of promise to generate knowledge, communicate insights, nurture practices, and renew and sustain institutions that help to make accessible and effective the religious resources upon which a flourishing and humane society depends.

As a program funded by Lilly Endowment, the Louisville Institute builds upon the Endowment’s long-standing support of both leadership education and scholarly research on North American religion, Catholic, Protestant, evangelical, and Orthodox communities, historic African American churches, Hispanic and Latinx religious experience, and other diverse expressions of Christian faith in the United States and Canada.

The Louisville Institute focuses on grantmaking, convening, and fellowships in theological education that strengthen and bridge church and academy. Current grant programs include: Pastoral Study Project Grants, First Book Grant for Scholars of Color, Project Grants for Researchers, and Sabbatical Grants for Researchers. Current fellowship programs in theological education include: Doctoral Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, and Dissertation Fellowships. Through our convening work, we seek to gathered pastors and academics in ways that support foster the future of the North American church.