Thriving Congregations

Through the Thriving Congregations Initiative, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded grants to organizations to develop new or strengthen existing programs that equip congregations to explore and understand the rapidly changing contexts in which they minister, gain clarity about their own values and missions, and draw on practices from their theological and ecclesial traditions to adapt their ministries to their changing contexts.

Leadership Education at Duke Divinity serves as the coordination program for this initiative, forming a learning community of grantees to support the implementation of their projects. Our activities include hosting meetings and other learning opportunities, sharing resources, telling stories and consulting with project leaders.

For more information about this initiative, visit, or email Coordination Program Director Kelly Ryan at or Assistant Director Wanda White at


2018 Reflective Leadership Grantees

Alexis Carter

Alexis Carter

Phillips Theological Seminary
Tulsa, OK

Exploring practices to increase the number of black women in ministerial leadership while supporting their flourishing

Laurie Day

Laurie Day

Mountain Sky Conference, United Methodist Church
Denver, CO

Developing visionary leadership in a new denominational conference to unite diverse groups in a shared identity

Charisse Gillett

Charisse Gillett

Lexington Theological Seminary
Lexington, KY

Developing new leadership capacities to move a seminary from crisis to innovation and sustainability


Subscribe to the Faith & Leadership newsletter to stay in touch with Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Questions We Answer

We know that you grapple with many difficult questions as a Christian leader. We want to help. Complex concerns about ministry can’t be fully addressed here, of course, but we provide a starting point for engaging the deep issues.

Learn More »