The Lilly Endowment, Inc. held its concluding event for the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) program that it initiated in 2002. The program invested $125 million in pastoral leadership for mainline Christian denominations across the United States. INSPIRE was one of 63 total projects sponsored by the program. Several INSPIRE participants were prominently featured in the film created to honor and publicize the accomplishments of the SPE initiative.
INSPIRE received a $2 million grant in 2004, and a $1 million dollar sustainability grant in 2008. In it’s nine years, INSPIRE will have worked with more than 43 parish-based teams in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and has accumulated substantial data on the connection between collaboration and vitality in Catholic parishes.
INSPIRE is on track to become a University Center of Excellence for Parish Leadership and Mission at Loyola University Chicago in 2012. The partnership between Loyola and the Archdiocese of Chicago will continue to be supported in this process.