CHICAGO, IL (April 25, 2016) — Daniel R. Pietrzyk has accepted the position of ECC program director of Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. The appointment was announced last week by the Evangelical Covenant Church, which received a $1 million grant from Lilly last December to participate in the initiative.
Lilly’s $28 million initiative supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they address the financial and economic struggles that can impair the ability of pastors to lead congregations effectively. The ECC’s $1 million grant will be used to develop programs and resources to improve financial literacy and management skills of pastoral leaders, equipping them to better serve the ministries in their care.
“Pietrzyk’s recent involvement and leadership in the Midwest Conference and his past experience with Lilly programs make him a valuable asset to this new endeavor,” said a press release from the Lilly Endowment Grant Steering Committee, which conducted the search. “He has demonstrated his personal, relational, organizational, and communication skills well in previous efforts, and the Steering Committee is confident that his visionary and strategic leadership will provide the necessary direction to this mission.”
“We are thankful for Dan and his willingness to serve with us,” said steering committee member and ECC executive director of finance Paul Hawkinson. “We are excited about the enormous potential of this program to positively impact our pastoral community.”
Pietrzyk is an ordained Covenant pastor and holds a doctorate in strategic leadership from Regent University. He has served churches in Illinois, New York, Iowa, Kansas, and Ohio. He and his wife, Cari, are the parents of three children and two grandchildren.
He was a founding team member in the development of the Center for Spiritual Direction at North Park Theological Seminary and served as an interim director for the center. Pietrzyk also served as the director of Sustaining Pastoral Excellence for the ECC from 2004 to 2011. Before accepting this new position, he was the director of missional leadership development for the Midwest Conference offices in Omaha, Nebraska. His new role will be based out of Covenant Offices in Chicago.
“I am honored to be asked, once again, to serve in a role that seeks to help further the health and vitality of our ministerial community,” Pietrzyk said. “I am equally excited that this grant initiative overflows into the local church by providing training opportunities that will benefit leadership teams, treasurers, and mission efforts. The Lilly Endowment has provided us with the means to continue to nourish a spirit of generosity for the gain of the mission of the whole church.”