__LFP Update__ 10.1
Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts to keep LFP representatives and others informed about the activities of 1) LFP National Network institutions, 2) present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.
Nominations and Applications:
The LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships and for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program
We are happy to announce that the LFP received 185 completed applications for three LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships at Valparaiso University. Look for the announcement of the new Fellows, including profiles, in the May issue of the _LFP Update_.
We are also happy to announce that the LFP received 52 nominations from 27 network schools for ten 2015 Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Thank you for all your work in making the nomination process of this eighth year of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program a success. In April, we will invite sixteen finalists to the Interview Conference at the Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 10-11, 2015. During this weekend, the selection committee will select ten Graduate Fellows.
Online Directory of Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship Applicants
Each year, the Program receives scores more applications from highly qualified post-doctoral students than can possibly move to the on-campus interview stage. When the committee composes a cohort of Fellows, it applies a complicated calculus of factors. It is inevitable that the committee will not interview highly qualified candidates who have indicated their desire to teach in church-related higher education. In order to provide Lilly Fellows National Network representatives with access to this rich pool of post-doctoral scholar-teachers we have created an on-line directory of applicants categorized by discipline. To see the directory of the current Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship Applicants, please click here.
Book Award Deadline Approaching
The biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award honors an original and imaginative work from any academic discipline that best exemplifies the central ideas and principles animating the Lilly Fellows Program. These include faith and learning in the Christian intellectual tradition, the vocation of teaching and scholarship, and the history, theory or practice of the university as the site of religious inquiry and culture. Works considered for this year's award address the historical or contemporary relation of Christian intellectual life and scholarship to the practice of teaching as a Christian vocation or to the past, present, and future of higher education. Authors and editors cannot nominate their own works. Single authored books or edited collections in any discipline published in 2011 to 2014 are eligible.
A Prize of $3000 will be awarded at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference at Belmont University, October 9-11, 2015.
The committee will receive nominations of academic faculty, clergy, and others. Authors or editors cannot nominate their own works.
The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2015.
Report on Mentoring Programs
Mentoring Programs have been among the most popular and successful of all LFP initiatives. Two programs concluded in spring 2014 at Northwest Nazarene University and Westmont College.
Northwest Nazarene University - Ezer: Helping New Faculty Connect to Mission and Vocation
In fall 2013, Northwest Nazarene University began its extensive nine-month orientation program for new faculty with the purpose of acclimating new faculty to the university’s spiritual, academic, and social culture. This program, Ezer: Helping New Faculty Connect to Mission and Vocation, explored the biblical Hebrew idea of Ezer, which characterizes the act of “coming along side to help, to give strength to another.” Participants engaged in consistent personal conversations and consultations with the program director; and attended six group meetings to discuss salient issues pertaining to NNU’s history, religious foundations, and academic processes. One other element of the program involved the pairing of veteran faculty mentor/companions to a new faculty to provide a collegial perspective and give opportunity for developing personal relationships across academic disciplines. The program’s success inspired the continuation of the mentoring orientation program into the 2014-2015 academic year.
Westmont College – Lilly Mentoring Grant
Mentoring Programs provide funds to nurture new and junior faculty at Network institutions and strengthen the commitment of all faculty to institutional mission. Well-constructed mentoring programs encourage new faculty as well as veteran faculty to understand and share the ethos of the school, to grow to love the questions that the institution holds dear, and to consider the importance of fundamental matters concerning the relationship between higher learning and the Christian faith. Such programs also seek to renew and deepen the commitment of the whole institution and its leaders to those central intellectual and spiritual matters. To learn more about mentoring programs, see the LFP website.
The purpose of Westmont College’s Lilly Mentoring Grant was to support ongoing mentoring activities for incoming, new faculty, and develop a “mutual mentoring” program for senior faculty six years out from final promotion reviews. By supporting these mentoring relationships, the program aimed to accomplish two main things: 1) to strengthen the mentoring and orientation for new faculty; and 2) to reinvigorate the mutual mentoring program for senior faculty. The program was very well received by new faculty and their mentors, and most found the experience an invigorating and worthwhile use of time.
Report on Small Grant Programs
The Small Grant Programs awarded at the fall 2012 National Network Board meeting ran throughout the 2013-2014 academic year. Benedictine University, Bethel University, East Texas Baptist University, Westmont College, and the University of St. Francis have all concluded their Small Grant Programs.
Benedictine University - Benedictine Faculty Forum (BFF)
Benedictine University’s Small Grant Program consisted of a two-year program pairing senior and new faculty in a mentoring relationship, which began with the 2012-2013 academic year. The program was designed to build a supportive community at Benedictine University, provide professional development, and give time for faculty to reflect on individual goals and to consider “spirituality and contemplation as valuable tools in life.” The Benedictine Faculty Forum, centered in the Benedictine tradition, gave participants an opportunity to consider leadership roles at the university. The program continued for a third year beginning the fall 2014.
Bethel University - The Pietist Idea of a Christian College
Bethel University (St. Paul, MN) designed its Small Grant Program to explore what its pietist identity meant to its faculty. In June 2013 a group of current and former Bethel faculty held a two-day workshop on “The Pietist Idea of a Christian College,” discussing the history of Pietism and its implications for teaching, scholarship, mentoring, service, and life together at Bethel. Coming out of that workshop, most participants then spent the summer and fall writing chapters for The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons, edited by Christopher Gehrz and published in 2014.
East Texas Baptist University - Human Rights, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice: East Texas and the World
Starting in the spring of 2013, East Texas Baptist University began preparation for its yearlong Small Grants Program, Human Rights, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice: East Texas and the World, with a lecture series. This was followed by a yearlong schedule of events, from lectures, to roundtables and chapel events that brought the community, local Baptist churches, and East Texas Baptist University together in dialogue about racial and economic justice in the classroom and beyond. The director reports a real impact from the program on the campus/community ties and the classroom.
University of St. Francis - USF San Damiano Scholars
At a time when the presence of Franciscan Sisters at the University of St. Francis declines, the university sought with its Small Grant Program to enliven its connection to the Catholic and Franciscan identity and connect to other Franciscan institutions sharing a common mission by revising its San Damiano Scholars program. With the Lilly Small Grants program, the University of St. Francis with a core group of ten to twelve faculty and administrators have now broadened the impact of the San Damiano Scholars, who are “are called to support and lead” the effort to enliven the Catholic mission and Franciscan identity on the campus of the University of St. Francis. One way the directors of this Small Grants Program wished to strengthen the Franciscan identity of the campus was to encourage more faculty to participate in the Association of Franciscan Colleges and University Franciscan pilgrimage to Assisi and to sharing the fruits of the experience. To help accomplish this goal, the Lilly Small Grant funded two faculty members’ pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome. Those who participated in the pilgrimage returned to campus and hosted a forum and led discussions related to their experiences and the Franciscan mission. As a result of the program, Franciscan spirit is more tangible on campus, stimulating conversation around the campus’ Catholic, Franciscan identity. By participating in the San Damiano Scholars and the AFCU pilgrimage, the University of St. Francis participates in collaborative efforts with other Franciscan colleges and universities, which further develops the Catholic and Franciscan identity on campus.
Villanova – Faculty Dialogue Luncheon
Villanova University’s Faculty Dialogue Luncheon began with the 2013-2014 academic year and continues into 2014-2015. Participants gathered eight times throughout the course of the 2013-2014 academic year around one of two themes: Exploring our Faith and Teaching as a Vocation. The luncheons brought together diverse populations across the campus, but also each lunch drew together people from similar points in their careers at Villanova. For example, one included Deans of colleges while another luncheon was for newer faculty. The lunches also gave faculty an opportunity to participate and build community in ways that they had not had at Villanova.
Westmont College – Faith-Learning Faculty Roundtable
Westmont College’s Faith-Learning Faculty Roundtable was designed to survey a representative sample of students to determine the extent of understanding and incorporation of the institutions mission. Faculty roundtables, then, studied and discussed the findings of the survey. These roundtable meetings helped faculty to identify, discuss, address, and assess recurrent issues and deficiencies in student faith learning.
Report on Summer Seminar
Xavier University: What Does it Mean to be Human in Consumer Culture? Implications for the Church and Christian Scholars
Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) held its Summer Seminar July 7 to 25, 2014 to help participants understand consumer culture with explicit attention placed on how identity is constructed and conveyed. Discussions focused on the relational aspects of consumer culture – relationships between individuals and between individuals and God (spirituality/religion) and the ramifications that the relational aspects of consumer culture have for different disciplines. Twelve participants from diverse disciplinary backgrounds from ten different Network colleges and universities spent four weeks at Xavier University exploring this theme of consumer culture and how it affects the lives of individuals in order to develop classroom and research projects. Three guest speakers, Homer B. Warren, Professor of Marketing Emeritus, Youngstown State University, Gillian Alhgren, Professor of Theology, Xavier University, and Vincent J. Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture, University of Dayton, led the participants to approach the subject from different points-of-view and led group discussions, which enriched the seminar topic. The anticipated outcomes of the seminar include a research project by each of the seminar participants and the development of a classroom component where each seminar participant will directly integrate subject matter from the seminar into at least one of their courses.
Summer Seminars for College Teachers are designed for faculty at Network institutions with preference for early-career faculty. A seasoned faculty person will convene each seminar from a Network school who will have the responsibilities of designing the seminar, recruiting twelve participants from at least six different LFP Network Schools, conducting the seminar, evaluating the seminar, and disseminating what was learned. Each seminar will address a major interdisciplinary issue of special concern for teachers in the church-related academy. Topics must be broadly interdisciplinary, encourage ecumenical conversation, and aim to impact classroom content and practice in church-related institutions. Participants in the seminar will read a set of common texts, engage in disciplined discussion of the seminar topic, and write on some aspect of the seminar topic. Each seminar will meet for a three or four-week period, typically on the campus of a Network school, or for two weeks with participants returning for three or four days at a designated additional time, typically at the home institution of the seminar director. Institutions selected to host the seminars will be awarded $56,000. For more information about Summer Seminars, please see the LFP website.
Two Upcoming LFP Regional Conferences in 2014 and 2015
Gordon College, through its Center for Faith and Inquiry, will host its conference, Islam in the Western Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching about Islam in a Post 9/11 World. The purpose of this one-day conference is to bring several leading scholars together to deliberate well and wisely about how accurate and insightful knowledge of Islam can be taught in the college classroom. Particular emphasis will be placed on the teaching of Islam in church-affiliated colleges and universities in the North American context. Foci of papers may include: the place of Islam in the Core Curriculum; Christian-Muslim dialogue; the state of Islamic studies in North America; teaching the historical origins of Islam; teaching Islam and contemporary affairs; teaching turning points in the history of Islam; understanding Islam in theological perspective, and teaching Western perceptions of Islam/Muslim perceptions of Western societies.
Please save the date for Georgetown College’s (Georgetown, KY) Regional Conference, Discerning Academic Vocation in a Contested Religious Tradition, January 28 to 29, 2016. This conference will feature four speakers, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastor, House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver, CO, David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Executive Director for the Center for Faith and Public Life, Mercer University, Caroline Simon Provost, Whitworth College, and Patricia O’Connell Killen, Academic Vice President and Provist, Gonzaga University
Keep in Mind: Opportunities for Regional Conference on Your Campus:
Regional Conferences or Workshops represent a flexible category of programs that encourage examination of topics of special significance to faculty, administrators, and students at a particular institution or group of institutions, or matters of special intellectual concern to faculty and others in Christian higher education. The focus, character, and constituency of the conference may vary to suit the needs of the applicant, within the general guidelines listed above. Previous successful conferences and workshops have focused on issues facing schools in a particular region, topics of current debate among faculty at a particular school, student life issues, graduate student matters, various theological or denominational traditions in higher education, an array of topics in liberal and professional education, and issues of civic and public concern to the Christian intellectual community. For more information about funding and hosting a regional conference, see the LFP website.
Upcoming Grant Opportunity Deadlines
Summer Seminars: March 15, 2015
Small Grants Program: September 15, 2015
Regional Conferences: September 15, 2015
Mentoring Program: September 15, 2015
Network Exchange Program: September 15, 2015
From the Colloquium and Exiles from Eden
To learn about the readings of the Postdoctoral Fellows, please see Mary Beth Fraser Connolly’s “From the Colloquium” post on the LFP-sponsored blog, Exiles from Eden.
As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter. Find us at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.