By Morgan Harlan | Staff Writer
This month, the Baylor Center for Christian Music Studies, in the Baylor School of Music, received a four year 1.2 million dollar grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., a private philanthropy foundation. The grant was awarded in part of the company’s Strengthening Congressional Ministries with Youth Initiative.
The mission of Lilly Endowment Inc. as stated on their website is, “Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation based in Indianapolis. The Endowment was created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly, Sr. and 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 our founders’ wishes, we support the causes of religion, education and community development. We afford special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and that strengthen financial self-sufficiency in the charitable sector.”
Issac Bradley, a music major junior from Waco, said the money received from the Lilly Endowment is going to help give worship leading skills to teenagers so that can help lead worship in their churches across generations.
“I think it’s a wonderful cause because adding teen leadership to worship is beneficial to everyone involved and creates opportunities for young adults,” Isaac Bradley said.
Randall Bradley is the Ben H. Williams professor of music and professor of church music. He also directs Center for Christian Music Studies and the church music program in the Baylor school of music.
“This Lilly Endowment grant will help Baylor’s Center for Christian Music Studies strengthen and support worship and music training for teenagers and their integration in worship leadership that is collaborative with older adults,” Randall Bradley said in the Baylor Media and Public Relations website‘s press release.
The Center for Christian Music Studies was founded at Baylor University with the intent to provide leadership in all aspects of Christian music. According to the press release, the largest portion of the Lilly Endowment grant will go towards Baylor’s new “Building Bridges to the Future” program, which is aimed at helping congregations design new programs for the religious aspect of middle and high school student’s lives. The grant will also be used for events like the Alleluia music conference, a music and worship leadership conference held by CCMS. This year the fifth annual conference will be held from July 16 through July 19 at Baylor.
“The broad goal is for these students to return home with leadership skills and confidence to collaborate with older adults and enliven their local church congregations in weekly worship,” Randall Bradley said. “The project also will have a strong research component on effective training practices established in the Bridges project, and we look forward to sharing those broadly in the Christian music and Christian university communities.”
CCMS of Baylor School of Music offers seven different degrees varying from a bachelor of arts to a doctorate degree. To learn more about the Lilly Endowment and the Baylor School of Music, please visit https://lillyendowment.org and www.baylor.edu/music.