Lilly Grant Provides for Kaleo Program

October 3, 2019

Wayland Baptist University received $300,000 sustainability grant from the Lilly Endowment’s Youth Theology Network for KALEO, a program designed to foster Christian leadership among high school juniors and seniors.

The Lilly Endowment created its Youth Theology Network to encourage teenagers to explore their religious beliefs and their concerns about contemporary challenges by studying theology and examining how faith calls them to lives of service. Wayland launched KALEO in 2016 with the help of a $600,000 Lilly Endowment grant. The KALEO program seeks to transform the lives of high school students through discovery, discernment and affirmation of God’s call for Christian leadership.

“KALEO’s innovative approach to Christian leadership development has been a tremendous success,” Dean Stephen M. Stookey said. “It is exciting to see lives transformed and callings discerned through KALEO. We are grateful for Lilly Endowment’s affirmation of KALEO’s success through this recent grant. We look forward to continued partnerships in ministry with our constituent churches and Lilly’s Youth Theology Network.”

High school students enter into a yearlong mentorship program with a senior pastor or youth pastor through the KALEO program. Students also participate in a summertime immersion experience that focuses on three phases of development—a wilderness discipleship event at Glorieta, N.M.; classroom instruction in biblical and theological studies on the Wayland campus and ministry projects through area churches; and a missional experience. Summer 2020 participants will engage missional service in Olympia, Washington, through the BGCT’s partnership with the Northwest Baptist Convention. After completing the immersion experience, students return to their churches and mentors for continued study and service. 

For more information on KALEO contact Josh Bailey, Director of KALEO, at or call 806-291-1168.