Pastors have experienced tremendous pressure in the midst of the pandemic and have shepherded God’s people faithfully. A sabbatical provides rest and refreshment for their spirit and time for them to develop greater intimacy with God so that they can continue leading the church well.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of this program, we have now exhausted available funds and will no longer be accepting additional grant applications at this time. We are grateful to the Lilly Foundation for their partnership in offering much-needed sabbatical grants to Texas Baptists pastors, and to the applicants who sought rest and refreshment through this unique program. Many have been blessed, and we look forward to additional opportunities to encourage ministerial health in the days to come.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment and support from Texas Baptists, we are partnering with churches to help provide rest and renewal for pastoral leaders. The Pastor Sabbatical Grant Program makes providing a sabbatical financially possible and impactful for both the church and the pastor.

Pastor Sabbatical Grant Details

  • Grant award maximum is $2,000
    ($2,000 for one-month sabbatical or $1,000 for two-week sabbatical)
  • A minimum of 2 weeks sabbatical is required - the sabbatical period must be held in consecutive weeks (2 or 4 weeks)
  • Suggested grant fund utilization: ½ funds for pulpit supply, ½ funds for pastor’s sabbatical expenses
  • Pulpit supply: Texas Baptists preference/priority, but not required
  • Grant funds will be sent via ACH or by check directly to the church within 60 days prior to the sabbatical period
  • The grant funds must be used within one year
  • Texas Baptists will provide (5) free pastoral counseling sessions for the pastor (if desired)

Eligibility Criteria

  • The church must be affiliated with Texas Baptists.
  • The grant application must be on behalf of the senior pastor only.
  • The church must have given a minimum of $1,200/year (same as retirement match) to the Cooperative Program in 2021.*
  • The church must submit a 500-850 word essay describing how a pastor sabbatical will benefit the pastor and the church.
  • The pastor must submit a one-page (double-spaced) report after the sabbatical describing the impact of their sabbatical experience.

*Please note that eligibility criteria for Cooperative Program giving are guidelines. Due to challenges related to COVID-19, CP giving eligibility criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Grant Recipient Selection

A grant committee will review grant applications and select grantees based on eligibility criteria and essay responses. Churches will be notified of grant approval/denial within two weeks of application submission. Applications will be no longer be accepted as funds are no longer available.


Dowell Loftis
Director, Center for Ministerial Health

(214) 828-5275