University of Redlands Secures Major Grants for Innovation and Theological Education

Dear University Community,

In the spirit of reflection on an incredible year for our University, it is with great joy and excitement that we announce not one, but two remarkable grants that will undoubtedly shape the future of our institution. Congratulations to all involved, as these achievements are a testament to your incredible work. We look forward to the transformative impact these grants will have, propelling us into a new era of innovation and excellence.

Fletcher Jones Foundation

The University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation, solidifying our commitment to advancing innovative teaching and learning resources at the University of Redlands. The funding will expand our existing portfolio of immersive academic experiences, including augmented and virtual reality, and pave the way for establishing the Center for Immersive and Engaged Learning Opportunities (CIELO).

CIELO is a conceptual space – rather than a brick-and-mortar building – strategically designed to seamlessly integrate personnel and resources across our campus without imposing additional overhead or administrative costs.

This grant will also fund the creation of two state-of-the-art tech classrooms – one in Larsen Hall and another in the Hall of Letters, further expanding the University’s virtual reality network and increasing the number of classes offered in this innovative and immersive format.

These initiatives, which also include new collaborative learning spaces, immersive pedagogies, and faculty development programs, are not just investments in our immediate future but strategic steps toward realizing our vision of providing a student-focused, personalized education that drives student success. They are also tightly aligned with our strategic plan, Forward Together.

Lilly Endowment, Inc.

The San Francisco Theological Seminary at the University of Redlands, in partnership with the San Francisco-based Center for Faith and Justice (CFJ), secured a grant of $1.2M grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Preaching Justice Fellowship.

This fellowship program is part of the Lilly Endowment's Compelling Preaching Initiative, which supports innovative projects that cultivate preachers who inspire, encourage, and guide individuals to live out their Christian faith more fully. The Preaching Justice Fellowship stands out among 81 programs funded by this initiative.

Under the leadership of SFTS Dean Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, this grant aligns seamlessly with our enrollment strategy, fostering new partnerships with organizations at the forefront of innovative forms of ministry. Dean Garrett-Cobbina has said, “SFTS is thrilled to partner with CFJ to help communities of faith envision new ways to preach justice in and beyond the pulpit.”

This grant not only advances our commitment supporting theological education but also strengthens our ongoing collaboration with CFJ in other noteworthy projects, including a partnership with Princeton Theological Seminary in the Teaching Spiritual Entrepreneurship project, supported by a grant from Trinity Church Wall Street, and SFTS’s "Collaborative Seminary" project funded by the Association of Theological Schools.


Krista L. Newkirk