Youth Theology Network (YTN) Capacity-Building Grant Application Guidelines


The YTN Capacity-Building Grant is available to YTN programs who received funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2015 or 2016. If you are unsure whether your youth theology program is eligible, contact YTN Coordinator, Jodi L. Porter.


YTN programs have dedicated grant funding from the Lilly Endowment toward opportunities on their campuses for high school youth to deepen their Christian faith, discover the richness of the Christian biblical and theological traditions and discern their callings in the world.

As programs plan, implement or move toward sustainability of a YTN grant, they may recognize growing edges that could benefit from capacity-building activities for institute staff and/or other program leaders.

To enable and support these efforts, FTE encourages each program (who received YTN grant funding in 2015 or 2016) to apply for one (1) $5,000 capacity-building grant to be utilized over a 12-month period.

Capacity-building activities should enhance the knowledge, skills and expertise of program leadership. Capacity-building grants are intended for the professional development of institute leaders related to the ongoing design and operation of the program. Supported activities may include regional gatherings of peers (especially but not limited to YTN leaders from other programs), research on vocation and youth ministry or other topics pertinent to the work of the program, and development of related resources. For example, funds could provide materials, meals, travel expenses and/or modest stipends (for speakers/consultants).

Please note: The following types of expenses will NOT be supported by a YTN Capacity-Building Grant:

  • capital improvements
  • equipment or technology
  • faculty and staff salaries
  • institute participant fees
  • institute programming
  • development of student leaders
  • indirect or overhead costs


Applications are accepted once annually. The application deadline is October 3. 

Each institute may be approved for one (1) $5,000 YTN Capacity-Building Grant during the course of their YTN grants from the Lilly Endowment.

Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report on their activities 12 months after receiving the award.


Click here to submit an online application. Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • A brief narrative that details:
    • Need. What is one strategic professional development need for your YTN program leadership? Please specify how that need relates to the ongoing work of your youth theology program.
    • Activities and Outcomes.
      Please indicate the specific capacity-building activity or activities that will respond to your strategic need.
      Please detail proposed outcomes that show why you want to pursue this activity or activities.
      Include a brief timeline of proposed activities/outcomes.
    • List of Leaders. Please list the YTN program leader(s) to whom the grant will apply, providing their title with the institution, role with the program, and any other helpful background information.
    • Resources and Materials. What resources and materials do you anticipate utilizing during this grant?
  • A budget: Applicants will complete a budget template, including line item descriptions for how grant funds will be used. (download a sample budget template)

We welcome collaborative grants proposed by up to four (4) programs working together on a single proposal. Please contact Jodi L. Porter for a preliminary conversation in advance of drafting and submitting a collaborative proposal.