United Church of Christ

Program Grants

Program Grants fund the work of the church.

The Adese Fellowship

The Adese Fellowship: A catalytic experience for emerging entrepreneurs who renew the Church's mission to create a just world for all.

The United Church of Christ, in partnership with Church Building & Loan Fund, is excited to announce the Adese Fellowship!

This groundbreaking, ecumenical program will engage participants in theological reflection and business development as they create enterprises that help their communities follow the way of Jesus and live into God's economy.

The all-expenses-paid, 12-month program will maximize the capacity of fellows to build sustainable ventures that counter systemic poverty.

While Adese is an initiative of the UCC, the program welcomes applications from any faith-driven entrepreneur who is committed to a just world for all.

Read the overview to learn more. Explore the curriculum and faculty here.

Read article announcing launch of Adese.


Direct inquiries to:
Rev. Dr. Chris Davies
CASA Director

The Genesis Fund

Deadline: The online application form for The Genesis Fund opens on December 1 each year and closes on March 15 of the following year at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.

The Genesis Fund, established in 1996 from funds raised through the Make a Difference Campaign, provides seed money for faith-based projects that are innovative or experimental, represent a new initiative in Christian mission, or that may be deemed controversial. Funds are available for domestic and international projects.

Each year applications open December 1 and close on March 15 of the following year at 5:00 pm Eastern time. Award disbursements are made in late summer.

Make A Difference: The Genesis Fund Report 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Fund

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Fund provides annual funding to UCC-related AMA schools. Applications are not accepted.

New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches

Deadline: First Friday of September 2021

Direct inquiries to:

The New Spiritual Communities and ReNewing Churches grant program of the United Church of Christ seeks to enact the Vision, Mission, and Purpose by investing in programs and ministries which live into the ethos of the United Church of Christ’s becoming. Ministries that are meant to be sustaining, as well as ministries that are meant to be impactful for a particular time and place, are encouraged to apply. Grants are awarded based on how applicants seek to embody in their ministries the values named, as well as the impact from those values within the local community.

For more information please visit http://www.ucc.org/grow-your-church.

Neighbors in Need

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Direct inquiries to:
Bentley de Bardelaben
Executive for Administration and Communications Justice & Witness Ministries

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry(CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.

Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to UCC congregations and organizations that are doing justice work in their communities. Only UCC congregations and organizations are eligible to submit proposals. These requests must relate to work supported by General Synod actions in one of the following programmatic areas:

• The Rights and Freedoms of all Persons
• Environmental Justice
• Economic Justice

These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Funding is provided through donations to the Neighbors in Need offering.

First time project grants range from $1,000 to $10,000. (Note: Only a few $10,000 grants will be awarded annually.)


The Daniel Hand Fund

The Daniel Hand Fund provides annual scholarship aid to UCC related AMA institutions that educate persons of African descent. Applications are not accepted.

Daniel Hand Report for Academic Institutions 2020

Daniel Hand Report for Non-Academic Institutions 2020

The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program (Sabbatical)

(given by The Lilly Endowment, not the UCC)
UCC congregations are invited to apply for grants up to $50,000 to underwrite a renewal program for their pastor, with $15,000 of those funds to help cover costs for ministerial supply while the pastor is away. The Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs at Christian Theological Seminary represent the Endowment's continued investment in renewing the health and vitality of American Christian congregations. There is no cost to the congregations or the pastors to apply. Learn more >>