Children’s Faith Teachings Reimagined by Lilly Grant Recipient

Source: Presbyterian Mission

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary was awarded a $50,000 planning grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will allow faculty to gather best practices for passing the Christian faith of parents to their children. Lilly was attracted to Louisville Seminary due in large part to the work of Dr. Brad Wigger, whose research focuses primarily on children and faith.

The data collected during this process will be used to develop curriculum to equip parents and caregivers. According to the Lilly Endowment, “faith practices” are interpreted to include practices such as worship, prayer, meditation and Bible study, as well as social justice advocacy in many forms.

Louisville Seminary alumnae, Alicia Demartra-Pressley, will serve as the project coordinator for the grant working with Dr. Wigger to gather best practices through interviews and focus groups as well as the review of current scholarship. A 10-member advisory committee of therapists, pastors and Christian educators will inform her work.

Dr. Loren Townsend, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and the director of LPTS’ Marriage and Family Therapy Program, said, “There is no task as important as parenting — a task increasingly difficult in our complex world. The Christian Parenting and Caregiving program describes a multi-disciplinary, multi-systemic program to help parents develop skills to pass time-honored, sustaining faith practices to present and future generations. The program is unique in its breadth, depth and attention to best practices and diversity in Christian education.”

“We were delighted to receive an invitation from Lilly to apply for this planning grant,” said Dean Debra J. Mumford. “We are fortunate to have faculty colleagues such as Dr. Brad Wigger, Dr. Lesley Earles and Dr. Loren Townsend, along with the knowledge and experiences of many Louisville Seminary alumni and friends, to help parents and caregivers share their faith practices with their children.”

Source: Presbyterian Mission