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Austin Seminary Receives Second Young Adult Initiative Grant from Lilly Endowment for The 787 Collective

AUSTIN, Texas (February 7, 2022) Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary has been selected to receive a $1.25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to further the work of The 787 Collective. These funds will sustain the work of the Collective for an additional five years, undergirding its mission to resource and support congregations seeking to engage young adults through creative ventures that deepen love for God, others, and self.

Launched in 2017 through an inaugural grant from Lilly Endowment through its Young Adult Initiative, The 787 Collective worked with twenty-seven congregations through three different grant cycles, as congregations and young adults collaboratively discerned creative ventures to support the spiritual thriving of young adults. The Collective resourced these groups—spiritually, creatively, and materially—enabling them to practice innovative thought and design within their contexts. Every congregation participated in the community life of the Collective, sharing their best practices and biggest challenges in both celebration and lament, striving to share knowledge and encouragement for the betterment of the community as a whole. 

Moving into the next phase of development, the Collective will offer dynamic ways to invite more congregations and practitioners into their work. Utilizing capacity for virtual connection and information sharing, as well as harnessing the knowledge and experiences of first-generation participants, The 787 Collective looks forward to sharing learning opportunities, resources, encouragement, and inspiration to a growing community of hopeful, curious, and creative people committed to the life of faith. It anticipates opening to new congregations and young adults in Fall 2022.


Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community, development, education, and religion and maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. The primary aim of its grantmaking in religion, which is national in scope, focuses on strengthening the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States. The Endowment also seeks to foster public understanding about religion and lift up in fair, accurate and balanced ways the contributions that people of all faiths and religious communities make to our greater civic well-being.

Founded in 1902, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is an institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership. For more information and ways to support Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, visit