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Simpson Youth Academy receives grant from Lilly Endowment

$160,000 grant ensures sustainability of Simpson College’s faith development program


Simpson College announced today that it has received a $160,000 grant to support the long-term sustainability of the Simpson Youth Academy, a unique program that helps rising high school juniors and seniors explore their faith and prepare for college. 

The Simpson Youth Academy is a Christian community of adult mentors and youth participants who together explore deep questions about faith and social justice in order to help young people discern their vocations in the world. In the program’s first four years, more than 70 students have taken part in the program. The grant is part of a series of grants Lilly Endowment made to support the sustainability of programs funded through its High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative. The initiative is a nationwide effort to support colleges, universities and theological schools to develop programs that help young people discern God’s call in their lives.

“We are extremely grateful for Lilly Endowment’s generous support of the Simpson Youth Academy,” said Eric Rucker, Simpson Youth Academy program director. “Since its inception four years ago, the Simpson Youth Academy has helped dozens of young people become Christian leaders, acting as agents of peace and justice in the church and the world. This grant will ensure we continue to live our mission.”

The cornerstone of the program is the summer residency, a 10-day community experience of Christian theological education on the Simpson College campus. Students are then matched with a local pastor or community leader who will provide continued support and mentorship for one year. Finally, students plan and implement a worship or service project aimed at making a positive impact in the community.

Lilly Endowment is a private philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Indianapolis-based foundation funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion.

The Simpson Youth Academy formed in 2015 thanks to funding provided by the Lilly Endowment.

For more information, contact:
Cathy Cole, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Communication
Direct: 515-961-1595
Email: cathy.cole@simpson.edu