Odyssey Networks Awarded Prestigious $200,000 Henry Luce Foundation Grant to Support Clergy, Seminarians with Next Generation Rollout

Two-Year Grant to Fund Digital Transition Research, Integration, Continuing Education Using ON Scripture - The Bible in Churches, Seminaries

Sep 04, 2013, 09:00 ET from Odyssey Networks

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NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A digital future for America's clergy has received a boost from a $200,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to Odyssey Network's ON Scripture - The Bible project that already reaches half of a million people per month.

Clergy and seminarians have often been slow to adopt digital resources and the grant is designed to help close the technology gap in the churches by introducing ON Scripture - The Bible to seminary curriculum in selected classrooms.  Odyssey Networks is a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc., the largest multi-faith media coalition with 168 members that include faith groups, faith-based organizations and individuals. 

ON Scripture - The Bible is a weekly pastoral and prophetic digital project that brings together news, video and Scripture with some of America's top Biblical scholars from across the denominations who work hand-in-hand with professional video producers to create a dynamic and flexible preaching resource.

Featuring the week's readings from the Christian Revised Common Lectionary, it helps clergy interpret current events through the lens of Scripture – marrying customized video and some of the most immediate and engaging biblical analysis being written in America today.

A half of a million people a month already access the resource through Odyssey Networks and other major websites that post it weekly such as The Huffington Post, Day1, Sojourners, The Christian Post, Patheos and Religion Insights after Odyssey Networks began producing it in 2012 with the help of a major grant from The Lilly Endowment.

This new grant from the Henry Luce Foundation helps a two-part initiative that will continue production and also fine-tune the effectiveness of using ON Scripture as a tool that provides an education resource for pastors and seminarians.  Select clergy from across the country will use ON Scripture for sermon preparation and it will also be incorporated into selected seminary curricula with Odyssey Networks using one-on-one interviews and surveys to help make the resource even more effective to clergy and their Congregations.

"This grant is about helping us build a more effective future for teaching the Gospel," said Odyssey Network's President, Nick Stuart.  "The Gospel deserves the best, and the exciting opportunities for hearing and sharing Scripture that advances in media technology have presented us with should be something we at Odyssey can bring to the clergy with visionary partners like the Henry Luce Foundation and The Lilly Endowment."

"ON Scripture is about helping make the Bible relevant, dynamic and immediate, and giving pastors and congregations the tools to feed its wisdom and guidance into our everyday lives," continued Stuart. "Whether it's sermon preparation and reflection, use in Bible study groups, men's, women's or youth groups, or as a way to include multimedia within sermons, ON Scripture serves to provide a resource for clergy and congregations seeking deeper and richer engagement, helping faith take its place in an ever evolving new media world."

Initially supported by a three-year grant of $750,000 from the Lilly Endowment, ON Scripture videos reach a wide and diverse audience and have been recognized with the Horizon Interactive Awards, Telly Awards and DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards (RCC).

Headquartered in New York City, Odyssey Networks is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that uses media to connect people of different beliefs and perspectives, building understanding among people of different faiths.  As a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc., established in 1987, Odyssey Networks is the largest multi-faith media coalition, with over 100 members including faith groups, faith-based organizations and individuals.  As the sole TV producer to win four of the major awards for religion programs aired in a single year, Odyssey produces content can be seen on a variety of platforms including cable TV, the web, smartphones, e-readers and tablets.  In addition to ON Scripture - The Bible, Odyssey-produced content includes highly-rated and award-winning documentaries and television shows on OWN, GSN and The Hallmark Channel.  For more information on Odyssey Networks, visit www.odysseynetworks.org.


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