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, 2017.  See below for the application process.


Current Small Grant Programs

At its Fall 2015 meeting the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of the Incarnate Word.


Recently Completed Small Grant Programs

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

Grove City College, “Faith for the Common Good: Theoretical and Practical Considerations” Director, P.C. Kemeny
During the 2015-2016 academic year at Grove City College, nineteen faculty members participated in a multidisciplinary discussion on civic engagement. The grant had two phases. During the fall semester, participants gathered seven times to discuss readings and to formulate service-learning projects. The reading list included Jacques Maritain, The Person and the Common Good, Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, and Alasdair MacIntyre, “The Privatization of Good.” The executive director of the Pennsylvania Campus Compact also led a workshop that included a panel of community partners who shared their thoughts on what the idea of the “common good” meant to them as well as practical suggestions regarding service learning projects.

Early in the spring semester, participants met to discuss their plans for integrating a service-learning project into their classes. At the end of the semester, a follow-up meeting allowed participants to report on their project. One leader followed up with faculty in order to provide support in forming community partnerships and integrating service-learning into their courses. Some examples of service-learning projects include: 1) an information session regarding potential household chemical hazards at a local food pantry; 2) a session on fraud prevention for senior citizens at local churches, elderly housing units, and service providers frequently by the elderly; and 3) a five-day community film series, held at a local theater, that addressed social issues, including human trafficking, the electronic divide, food safety, and the power of music for individuals with dementia.

McMurry University, “Ubuntu: Scholarship and Pedagogy in Christian Community,” Director, Bryan Stewart
McMurry University’s small grant program was designed around its current university theme, “Ubuntu,” an African word emphasizing our communal nature, and roughly translated as “I am because we are.” Through a series of monthly dinner-conversations, eighteen faculty members explored what Christian scholarship and pedagogy might look like, not just for individuals, but as a community of scholars and teachers at a church-related institution. Participants gathered six times during the 2015-2016 academic year to discuss select chapters from two different books: Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community, edited by Douglas V. Henry and Michael D. Beaty (Baker Academic, 2006); and Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning, edited by David I. Smith and James K.A. Smith (Eerdmans, 2011). Additionally, a campus-wide colloquium was held at the end of each semester as a way to give the broader academic community a chance to hear about some of the ideas and issues discussed within the dinner-conversations. As the first intentional, sustained program in McMurry’s history designed to engage faculty in conversations about Christian higher education, the Lilly-funded small grant has generated broad faculty and administrative enthusiasm and interest in continuing similar conversations and programs in the future.

Messiah College, Lilly Fellows Program Small Grant, Director, Peter Powers
Messiah College set out in its original proposal to dig deeper into our understanding of the liberal arts, church-related mission and education, and the world of work through readings, faculty discussions, and special speakers. The participants were especially concerned that they achieve a deeper understanding of Christian theologies of work, how those understandings affect our approach to liberal arts subjects and their curricula, how these connect to employment and contemporary conceptions of careers, and how we might make effective change so our students will better understand the relationship between their major fields of study—especially if they are in liberal arts majors--and the world of work in which many of them already participate even while pursuing their degrees. In order to pursue these goals, the organizers set up a series of group discussion that focused on David Jensen’s book, Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work.  The book itself provided a wide-ranging overview of theologies of work, as well as opportunities for discussion of cultural ideologies of work in the West and especially in the United States. Discussions were led by Richard Crane, Associate Professor of Theology, who further provided theological contexts for understanding the specificity of Jensen’s approach. The book readings and discussions were accompanied by a group blog that we set up as a means of disseminating some of our thinking to the rest of the community, and more broadly to the world at large.  Finally, the program concluded with our invitation to David Jensen to visit Messiah College in the spring semester

Saint Louis University, “Stirring the Embers: Reconnecting Medical School Faculty to the Jesuit Mission of Saint Louis University,” Director, Kelly Everard
The purpose of the speaker series at Saint Louis University (SLU) was to reconnect medical school faculty with their vocation and the Jesuit mission of SLU. At SLU, the medical campus is 2 miles from the main campus, but more crucially, healthcare providers are faced with an astounding array of pressures not shared by their colleagues in the humanities that have been brought on by increasing the number of clinical hours, securing external funding for research, and teaching hundreds of medical students and residents. The external pressures of patient care, student mentoring, and the health care system can lead to burnout, apathy, and a loss of the ideals with which many entered their profession.

To help medical faculty reconnect, the program coordinators developed a six-session speaker series held on the medical campus. Speakers came from Campus Ministry, Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Arts and Sciences, University Libraries, and the Center for Community Service and Engagement. The titles of the talks were: 1) Introduction to the Series: Why Am I Here Again? Reconnecting with Your Vocation; 2) Mission and Humanities: Broadening Our Lenses to Deepen the Understanding of Your Practice; 3) How Does Jesuit Identity Inform Health Professional Education in 2015?; 4) How Do We Mend the Divide? Understanding Service to Humanity in the Spotlight of Ferguson; 5) Transformative Learning and the Faculty Advisor; and 6) Building a Professional Network to Maintain Your Sanity. Ninety-three faculty total attended the talks.  SLU will expand the series in 2015-2016 to include faculty from the college of health sciences and the school of public health.

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 2018/2019 school year is September 15, 2017.

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

OR  lillyfellows.program@valpo.edu

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.


Announcing the Winner and Finalists of the 2016 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Non-fiction

We are happy to announce the winner and finalists of the 2016 Lilly Fellows Program Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Non-fiction.  Please click here.


Call for Nominations for the 2017 Lilly Fellows Program Book Award

We are now accepting nominations for the Seventh Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2017.  The Nomination Deadline is March 1, 2017.  For more information, please click here.


November LFP Update

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


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.


Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

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