Rural churches stay vital and live their calling to transform the world by reaching out and helping neighbors thrive. The Duke Endowment is committed to helping congregations build their capacity to engage in meaningful service ministries that make positive change in the wider community.
Rural churches can be a powerful force in creating more vibrant rural communities, especially when a strong and visionary minister is at the helm. To help prepare ministers for service in rural congregations, The Duke Endowment supports several clergy leadership programs at Duke Divinity School.
The Church Legacy Initiative (CLI), an effort by the Western North Carolina Conference with support by a grant from The Duke Endowment, seeks the best path to renew and revitalize rural communities. The project assists churches in making faithful decisions about their future, including closure in some cases.
We believe that rural churches are anchor institutions that can serve as a catalyst for human, community and economic advancement in the communities they serve. Developing leaders for the complex and dynamic ministry challenges in North Carolina’s rural communities is a primary focus of our grantmaking investments.
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