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Lilly Endowment announces leadership changes in religion

CobleINDIANAPOLIS – The Board of Directors of Lilly Endowment, Inc., has elected Christopher Coble vice president for religion. He succeeds Craig Dykstra, who retired at the end of July 2012 after serving 23 years in the position. Dykstra was elected to serve as a member of the Endowment’s Board of Directors.

In announcing the changes, N. Clay Robbins, the Endowment’s president and CEO, said, “The Endowment was blessed by Craig Dykstra’s superb leadership in its religion grant-making for nearly a quarter of a century. Shepherding religion grants of more than $1 billion during this time, Craig was steadfast in pursuing the Endowment’s aims of invigorating Christian congregations throughout the country, supporting current pastors in their lives and work, and encouraging younger men and women to consider ministry as a vocation.”

Regarding Coble, Robbins added, “Throughout Chris Coble’s 16 years of service to the Endowment as a program director in its religion division, he has demonstrated keen insights, strategic thinking, a collegial spirit and a calling to strengthen and support congregations throughout the country and the pastors who serve them.”

Coble is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served congregations in Indiana, North Carolina, Iowa and Massachusetts.

After retiring from the Endowment, Dykstra accepted an appointment at United Methodist-related Duke Divinity School, Durham, N.C., to serve as research professor of practical theology and senior fellow of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. In these roles, Dykstra will conduct research and write about Christian leadership, as well as teach seminars and courses about what leaders can do to help their institutions flourish.

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment is one of the country’s largest private foundations, with assets of $6.2 billion at the end of 2011.