Sabbatical support for pastors

April 4, 2019 by Lee Hinson-Hasty

“Where might my congregation and I receive financial support for a pastoral sabbatical?”

Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty

Regularly, I am asked this question. I do know of some programs, but am sad to say it is not nearly enough.  Three leading programs supporting sabbaticals for pastors are listed below. A signature program, the first listed below, has a deadline this week! I wonder if you know of others?

  1. Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs includes two options for pastors, depending upon location. The national program provides up to $15,000, and you can find information on that here: A separate program is available for Indiana congregations, and that can provide up to $50,000. Applications for both programs are due THIS WEEK: April 11, 2019, with notification by August 2019 for 2020 calendar year grant.
  2. Louisville Institute’s Pastoral Study Projects are available for amounts up to $15,000. Applications due September 1 for June-May of the following year.
  3. Board of Pensions Sabbatical Support provides up to $3,000. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and must be received 45 days before the start of the sabbatical.

Support Future Ministers is our tagline for the Theological Education Fund, but it’s not all we do. Supporting, helping to place and connecting current ministers is also important to provide for the needs of Christ’s Church. Seasoned pastors, for example, are needed now as many like them retire. If you know of other sabbatical grant opportunities, please let me know! You can reach me at

Additionally, if you’ve had a sabbatical and would like to write a short post about its value for this blog, we’d love to have it. I truly believe sabbaticals can be transformative, refreshing and renewing in ministry, and would encourage anyone who is considering a sabbatical to pursue it.