MONTECITO — The Lilly Endowment has given a $1 million grant to Westmont College to establish the Westmont Center for Thriving Communities.
The Montecito college’s center will work with local churches on ways to serve the Central Coast, both as individual congregations and a network.
According to a news release, the Westmont center will hold retreats, church events and individual consulting. It will also offer congregations Westmont’s resources by drawing upon three of the college’s existing initiatives.
These are the Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which helps Westmont students and faculty understand and engage the Santa Barbara area; the Westmont Initiative for Public Dialogue and Deliberation, which gathers people to discuss complex social problems and shared values that can drive solutions; and the Westmont Decision Lab, which uses economic theory to help churches make important decisions.
The $1 million grant is funded through the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative, which aims to strengthen churches to help people deepen their relationships with God and with each other.
— Josh Grega