Welcome to the Coordination Program for the National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, an initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc. The Coordination Program exists to support, resource, and connect the grantees in this initiative, with the following aims:
Rick Foss and Elise Erikson Barrett provide leadership for this coordination program.
Richard “Rick” Foss, the Coordination Program Director, served as the interim president of Luther Seminary from December 2012 – May 2014. He came to Luther Seminary as director of Contextual Learning in 2008. Previously, he served as bishop for the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a position he held since 1992.
Rick holds degrees from St. Olaf College (BA) and Luther Seminary (MDiv and MTh). Prior to serving as bishop, he served for 21 years as senior pastor in congregations in Minnesota, Washington, and North Dakota. In 1995 he was named as one of three finalists for presiding bishop of the ELCA.
Elise Erikson Barrett, Coordination Program Manager, is a former ordained United Methodist pastor, now in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and is a writer whose book What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage received Christianity Today magazine’s “Best Book” award in the spiritual living category. A singer/songwriter with two full-length albums (www.elisebarrett.com), she is part of the Sister|Sinjin musical project and a mother of three. Former Communications and Education Manager at Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Elise holds degrees from Hanover College (BA) and Duke Divinity School (MDiv).