North Park University (NPU) has received a $937K grant from the Lilly Endowment to fund a faith-based project aimed at disenfranchised youth, as well as a $15K grant for internships from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE).
As part of the Lilly grant, NPU’s Center for Civic Engagement will launch a five-year project called “Intergenerational Inquiry: Intentional Conversations to Innovate Next Generation Faith Development” and will be led by Richard Kohng, assistant vice president for Civic Engagement.
Lilly’s Christian Parenting Initiative funds the project and will equip parents and congregations to share faith more effectively with children.
“It is our hope that Intergenerational Inquiry will drive new innovations in youth and parent/caregiver engagement while featuring the dynamic impact of partner organizations such as the Urban Outreach Foundation,” Kohng said. “We also hope this project will build new collaborative pathways with our founding denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, in supporting next-generation faith development and social impact outcomes.”
Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Amy Governale will help implement the proposal process and oversee program evaluation. Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Dr. Joel Willits and Professor of Communications Dr. Daniel White Hodge will also support curriculum design.
Separately, NPU received a grant from the IBHE for a one-year project through its Illinois Cooperative Work Study program to fund paid summer internships in summer 2024. The program, which will be led by Cristina Ricano, assistant director of Career Development, will allow five NPU students who are also Illinois residents to take internships at local businesses. The goal is to expand opportunities for students to pursue internships and seek permanent employment in Illinois after graduation.