Project Details

2018-01-02 13.19.04_preview.jpeg

In a time when people are pulled in so many conflicting directions, congregations and their members often struggle to find meaning and purpose in their lives. Many people and communities seek the wisdom to know how they are called to live faithfully in their own unique contexts. They may grapple with questions of identity, vocation, and relationships. Congregational leadership might want to provide resources to address these questions, but do not know where to begin.


At BUSTH, the Center for Practical Theology will be the locus of the grant project.

Up to 20 New England congregations will be accepted to participate in this collaborative project.

The congregation's leadership team will consist of at least three persons, including the pastor and two lay or staff leaders who can commit to leading their community through the 5-year initiative.

BUSTH will partner with congregations in designing creative hub learning events, assembling resources, mentoring, and related research.


Creative Callings is an innovation hub to foster creative vocational reflection in congregations today.

BUSTH faculty intend to share resulting research with others across the United States.

The grant awarded to BUSTH is one of 13 grants Lilly Endowment is making through Called To Lives of Meaning And Purpose, a $20 million national initiative.

The initiative is designed to help US-based organizations as they work with congregations to build new ministries and lift up practices of discernment of vocation in Christian traditions.


The Creative Callings project is a 5-Year collaboration between partner congregations and Boston University School of Theology.

Beginning in the summer of 2018, the project will invite the leadership teams from partner congregations to two yearly innovation hub events, as well as host monthly cluster meetings online or in-person.

Durning years two through five, the project will work collaboratively with the partner congregations as they design and implement new ministries/projects emerging from their engagement with Creative Callings.

Applications Open April 6th, 2018.


Participants will gather twice a year at Boston University School Of Theology, in Boston, MA.

Expenses will be covered for 3-person congregational leadership teams to attend the two annual hub events and cluster gatherings.

Online and in-person cluster meetings will take place monthly for more opportunities for learning, collaboration, and encouragement.


Consider how vocation and prophetic witness are at the heart of the Christian life. Though this is understood in many ways, we affirm that it remains essential to both individual Christians and congregations.

We believe that rediscovering vocation—as both the general calling to discipleship shared by Christians and our particular callings (to people, places, work, particular social justice movements)—can help revitalize the local church for its mission in the world.

We are also eager to deepen our theological work on calling (and discover new directions) learning from, and alongside, our partner congregations in the Creative Callings project.


Two full-day hub events each year with creative formats that enable congregations increasingly to name their vocational questions, engage with relevant theological resources, reflect critically on their practice, share stories and best practices, and support one another.

Monthly cluster meetings led by BUSTH faculty for small groups of congregations with similar vocational questions and commitments.

Participating congregations will discern whether they will apply also for a grant to support innovative ministries around vocation in their own particular contexts.


At a time when churches and individual Christians seek renewal, the project promises to bear abundant fruit.
— Rev. Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean of Boston University School of Theology
10-2079-CHAPEL -015 copy_preview.jpeg