Small Grants Program

LFP National Network Institutions are invited to apply for small grants of $1500 and $3000 to stimulate conversation about church-related higher education and church-related mission on their campuses or among church-related institutions in close proximity to each another.  The LFP hopes these grants will extend and strengthen the LFP’s national conversation about church-related higher learning and mission within and among our network campuses.  The Small Grant program is designed to fund new programs on network campuses rather than supplement ongoing ones.  The current deadline for the submission of applications is September 15, 2016.  See below for the application process.

Current Small Grant Programs

At its Fall 2014 meeting the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Grove City College, McMurry UniversityMessiah College, and Saint Louis University.

Recently Completed Small Grant Programs

At its Fall 2013 meeting, LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Belmont UniversityDuquesne UniversityGordon CollegeHope College, and Mount Saint Mary's University.

Belmont University “Courage and Renewal: Circle of Trust® approach Program” Director, Judy Skeen
During the 2014-15 academic year at Belmont University, those faculty who chose to engage in retreats and reading groups were focused upon the central question: How can educators create classroom experiences where integrity is chosen from inside out?  Building upon the work of Parker J. Palmer who commends the deep inner work of integrity building in educators, faculty were invited to consider how all education and academic disciplines coalesce to enable the formation of citizens who are engaged, informed, courageous and generous.

Duquesne University, “Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability: Explorations at a Spiritan Catholic University”
Directors, Darlene Fozard Weaver and Maureen O’Brien
Duquesne University is the only university in the United States sponsored by the Catholic Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Through this grant, the coordinators aimed to enhance interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration on ecological and sustainability initiatives by faculty across the university; integrate Spiritan Catholic mission for justice, peace and the integrity of creation more fully into faculty’s research and teaching; and provide faculty with a collegial setting in which to develop a specific area of their research or teaching related to environmental stewardship or sustainability. The project coordinators recruited six faculty from three DU schools--Liberal Arts, Business Administration, and Natural and Environmental Sciences. These faculty met with the coordinators for six sessions during the 2014-15 academic year. During the sessions, participants learned from several guest presenters on topics related to Catholic and Spiritan priorities for environmental stewardship and sustainability, as well as some current university researchers’ work on relevant projects. Each participant also developed an individual project consistent with his/her specific research and teaching interests as well as the small grant goals, and presented progress reports at various points for peer feedback. Individual projects included development of undergraduate courses on ecology and psychology; initiatives to make the campus more bike-friendly and encourage commuting by bicycle; an article describing an undergraduate honors course on sustainability team-taught by nine faculty from a variety of disciplines; a mathematics research design to predict patterns of feral cat population growth in conjunction with a local neutering and release program; outreach to small businesses in the Pittsburgh region, to analyze their recovery and management issues as an aftermath of recent flooding and develop tools to support them in future natural disasters; and a journal article, short book and new teaching initiatives in an MBA program.

Gordon College, “Young Scholars and Vocation” Discussion Group
Director: Bruce G. Webb

Under the umbrella of the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College, this grant brought three groups of “already-not-yets” together into fellowship through periodic discussion sessions and dinners during 2014-15.  These groups were: 1) New and younger faculty, who already have their PhD but are still figuring out how to think well about the relationship between their discipline and Christian faith; 2) Capable seniors or recent graduates of Gordon College (still in the area), who possess (or almost possess) a B.A. but remain uncertain of what steps to take next, although they are open to a vocation within church-related higher education; and 3) Christian scholars who are enrolled in or completing graduate programs in the greater Boston area, who feel called/open to a church-related academic vocation but are short on role models and conversation partners in their various academic departments. Our broad goal was to help “resource” the aforementioned groups with a vocabulary, with bibliographies and with friendships/professional networks as they discern and take the next steps on their respective academic/faith journeys. Over the course of this project, we had a total of 15 participants take part in 6 gatherings. Participants completed short reading assignments before our discussion, and dinner followed at a nearby restaurant.

Hope College, “Robust Ecumenism at Hope College”
Director: Steven Bouma-Prediger
With this grant the main goal was to create a community of faculty who would explore the meaning of robust ecumenism at Hope College. Robust ecumenism, as we defined it, is the attempt to describe what is needed at an academic institution for people to be willing to speak from their particular Christian perspective, ask for clarification when others’ ways of speaking need translation, and work at genuine understanding, which may include informed disagreement.

The grant has three phases. Phase one was academic year 2013-14 during which a core group of four faculty met regularly (usually twice a month) to read and discuss together a variety of books and essays. Some of the questions we discussed were: What does robust ecumenism actually look like? Have we embodied it at Hope? If so, how and under what circumstances? On what issues do we find general agreement? On what do we disagree and how do and how should we model respectful disagreement?

The academic year 2014-15 was phase two. During this year a group of 9 faculty met twice a month over lunch for about 90 minutes each time. In addition to reading books and essays, we also drafted working definitions of robust ecumenism and outlined both the challenges and the opportunities for robust ecumenism at Hope College. In addition to the bimonthly lunch meetings throughout the school year we organized and led a very successful one-day weekend retreat.

Phase 3 is academic year 2015-16 and the summer of 2016. During this year a number of the core faculty intend to work on research papers on the topic of robust ecumenism and we hope to plan a conference as part of Hope’s sesquicentennial celebration next summer.

Mount St. Mary’s University, “Gaudium et Spes, Then and Now: A Faculty Dialogue,” Director, Joshua Peter Hochschild
During the 2014-2015 academic year, faculty at Mount St. Mary’s University engaged in a series of discussions centered on the themes and the legacy of Gaudium et Spes fifty years after its promulgation. One of the most important documents of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes reflects the vision of St. Pope John XXIII for the Church to engage the modern world.  Through four planned discussions, the faculty explored the influences of this and related Papal documents and their relevance to curriculum and teaching.  Faculty were especially eager to explore these themes since our core curriculum, The Veritas Program, gives central attention to the Catholic vision of the human person and is intended to help prepare students for a life of responsibility in the modern world.  Overall approximately a quarter of Mount faculty participated in the discussion series, supported by this LFP grant.

Read more about previous small grants programs here.

The Application Process:

LFP National Network Institutions are invited to apply for small grants of $1500 and $3000 to stimulate conversation about church-related higher education and church-related mission on their campuses or among church-related institutions in close proximity to each another.  The LFP hopes these grants will extend and strengthen the LFP’s national conversation about church-related higher learning and mission within and among our network campuses.  The Small Grant program is designed to fund new programs on network campuses rather than supplement ongoing ones.

Proposals must be submitted by LFP campus representatives by September 15 of each year.  Activities funded will take place during following academic year.  The next application deadline for Small Grants to fund programs in the 2017/2018 school year is September 15, 2016.

Examples of programs that might be funded include but are not limited to:

  • On-campus reading or discussion groups for faculty or administrators on church-related mission, faith and higher education, faith and the academic vocation, etc.
  • Workshops for faculty and administrators on church-related mission or the academic vocation.
  • Lectures or a lecture series connected to reading groups or workshops on church-related mission or the academic vocation.
  • Discussion groups, workshops, or exchanges of best practices regarding church-related mission or the academic vocation among campuses in close proximity.
  • Peer mentoring for administrators or junior, mid-career, or senior faculty.

Funds might be used to secure supplies, to provide faculty incentives, to provide travel, or honoraria for speakers.

Grant recipients are required to provide a thorough assessment of the program to be submitted in a report to the LFP upon completion of the funded program.  Plans for this assessment should be included in the proposal.

Required Application Materials:

  • Cover Form (available here)
  • Description of the Program
  • Preliminary schedule of events for participants
  • Projected budget
  • CV of the Director

Please include an estimate of how many members of the campus or campuses will be involved, a description of how the program will be structured, monitored, and evaluated, and an indication of the need and support for this program on the host campus (including how the funded activity fits into other related efforts currently on your campus). Proposals for reading groups should include a potential reading list.

Please direct any questions to:

Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts
Valparaiso University
Linwood House
1320 Chapel Drive South
Valparaiso, IN 46383


Noteworthy News

Applications for 2017 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowships

Valparaiso University is now accepting applications for the two-year, residential Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2017-2019.  For more information, click here.

2016 Annual LFP National Conference

For information about the LFP National Conference at Augsburg College, October 14-16, 2016, click here.

2016 Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators

Registration Is Now Closed

Registration is now closed for the 2016 annual LFP Workshop for Senior Administrators at Augsburg College, October 13-14, 2016. For attendee information, click here.

August LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for August 2016 is now available. Click here.

Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

The LFP is now sponsoring a new blog, Exiles from Eden.  Go check it out!

National Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

If you are interested in learning more about membership in the National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, please contact us here.