Description and Guidelines
Mentoring Programs have been among the most popular and successful of all LFP initiatives. Mentoring Programs provide funds to nurture faculty at all stages of their careers at Network institutions and strengthen the commitment of faculty to institutional mission. Well-constructed mentoring programs encourage faculty ranging from new hires to junior, mid-career, and 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. Applications are due on September 15 of each year.
To learn more about Mentoring Programs and to submit an application, please click here.
Current Mentoring Programs
At its Fall 2022 meeting, the Lilly National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants to Assumption University, Manhattan College, Messiah University, Seton Hall University, and University of the Incarnate Word.
Most Recent Mentoring Programs
Baylor University: "Re-envisioning the Humanities: Predicament, Perspective, Practice"
Director: Douglas Henry
Aimed to cultivate understanding of causes for a much-discussed national crisis in the humanities; reflection on ways in which our mission-driven, interdisciplinary humanities curriculum provides a compelling alternative; and renewal of our academic vocation with conviction and strengthened expertise. Importantly, the program featured mentoring that addressed three key steps toward re-envisioning and renewing the humanities: understanding the predicament, developing perspective in light of our Christian mission, and putting into practice what we learned together. Within this framework, fifteen applicants were selected to participate in a year-long series of dinner discussions led by Honors College Dean Douglas Henry and organized around a program of reading that featured six essays and four books. The essays included Baylor University’s “The Four C’s,” Elizabeth Corey’s “Learning in Love,” Darin Davis’s “Seeking the Common Good by Educating for Wisdom,” Julia Hejduk’s “Teaching in Paradise,” Andrew Kay’s “Academe’s Extinction Event,” and Justin Stover’s “There is No Case for the Humanities.” Books assigned were Jaroslav Pelikan, The Idea of the University: A Reexamination, Eric Adler, The Battle of the Classics: How a Nineteenth-Century Debate Can Save the Humanities Today, Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, Permanent Crisis: The Humanities in a Disenchanted Age, and Roosevelt Montás, Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed my Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation. In late spring semester, based on study and discussion of these resources, paired participants engaged in a syllabus exchange and classroom visit exercise, asking and answering a guided set of questions designed to help them strengthen educational practice as humanities scholars informed by Christian understanding.
Salve Regina University: “Mentoring in Mercy: Interdisciplinary Faculty Collaboratives Engaging the Critical Concerns of Mercy”
Sterling College: “Mentoring for Community, Diversity, and Hospitality”
Director: Rachel Griffis
Sterling college developed a mentoring program that would engage activities and programs to develop faculty leaders, provide opportunities for all faculty to learn about teaching in a diverse environment, and to deepen faculty’s understanding of Christian community and hospitality. We accomplished these goals by sending faculty to a CCCU conference, gathering small groups of faculty for leadership training and mentoring, and providing a training for all faculty to attend. The COVID pandemic disrupted our plans for the mentoring grant, and so some of our activities changed, due to the need for virtual programs and increased workload/stress on faculty who were expected to participate. However, all the goals of the program were met. In fall 2019, four faculty attended the “Diversity and Inclusion Conference” at George Fox University. Upon their return, they shared what they learned with Sterling College faculty at a faith and learning coffee event that same semester. In spring 2020, eight faculty members met as a small group to discuss readings on hospitality and their application to serving our students. In fall 2020, the faculty members involved in the group who met the previous spring led small group discussions over five books on diversity and 42 people participated in these small groups. We will continue this work through a regional conference, “Fostering Community and Hospitality on a Diverse Campus,” also funded by an LFP grant, that has become a requirement for all faculty. We hope that it will be an opportunity for Sterling College faculty, along with staff, administrators, and educators from other campuses, to unite around the concepts of community and hospitality.
Goshen College: “Mission in Action”
Directors: Beth Martin Birky, Jody Saylor
Goshen College (GC) developed a one-year “Mission in Action” mentoring program to foster faculty understanding of GC’s mission as a Christian liberal arts institution shaped by Anabaptist Mennonite tradition. GC’s mentoring program paired 11 new faculty with mid-career mentors in order to help new faculty understand GC’s unique culture and core values, build strong connections to campus, consider their professional development at GC, enhance faculty retention, and strengthen their pedagogy, and to engage mid-career faculty mentors in the integration of GC’s mission with their own faith and with inclusive teaching strategies for increased student success. All participants met monthly for group seminars that included reading, structured input, discussion, application, and reflection. In fall 2020, group seminars included presentations on GC’s mission and the college’s Anabaptist context, its global education program, and the GC Core. A faculty panel addressed faith and teaching. In the spring, group workshops gave faculty time to practice valuable pedagogical skills: establishing trust, active listening, goal setting, reflective observation/interaction, productive feedback and revision. At the end of each semester, participants wrote personal statement on the GC mission and core values and their teaching. Although COVID-19 impacted new faculty’s campus experience, participants were empowered to translate GC’s mission into effective, student-centered teaching and learning. By implementing and testing effective teaching strategies, faculty articulated their own mission-centered professional goals. Due to this year’s success, the 2021-2022 “Mission in Action” mentoring program will include new administrative faculty and mentors. We anticipate that the “Mission in Action” mentoring program will increase faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship in the context of Christian higher education.
University of Dallas: "Mentoring for Convivial Collegiality at the University of Dallas"
Director: Carmen Newstreet
This mentoring grant provided support to create the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which is defined and guided by its mission as a cross-disciplinary, faculty-led initiative to support excellence in teaching, scholarship, professional development, and convivial collegiality. To that end, it is led by a cross-disciplinary, cross-university faculty committee who elects a faculty director every three years. The director is charged with communicating with the Provost’s office and to work with university deans in establishing programming to support faculty. To date, three ongoing programs have been identified and initiated: weekly faculty lunches, sabbatical celebrations/reports conducted each semester, and a faculty writing support group that functions throughout the year. In future years, CTL will work with the Office of Career Planning and Development to sponsor a faculty book discussion based on a common read, centered around teaching as a vocation. It will also continue to search for ways to support end of career faculty as they move towards retirement.
St. Mary's University Texas: "New Faculty Mentor for Mission Program"
Director: Alicia Tait
The New Faculty Mentor for Mission Program revolved around the Catholic Marianist mission of the institution. Each event centered around the connection between our Marianist Educational Characteristics and the pillars of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT). The five Engaging the Mission Conversations EMCs) were titled after the five Marianist Educational Characteristics (MECs). Each EMC session included pre-readings and reflective questions. EMC speakers were asked to present, from their own experiences, how they engaged the MEC and CIT pillar. The final retreat connected the vocation of teaching at a Catholic Marinist institution as well as the particulars of HSI and the influence of the Hispanic community on the Church in San Antonio and globally, the latter of which although not entirely unique to St. Mary’s is significant to understanding our student body. This program was developed to support the needs of faculty and introduce them very intentionally to the distinction of working at a Catholic university reflective of the Marianist charism and to build mentorship into a yearlong orientation program for faculty.
Whitworth University: "Mentoring New Faculty for Mission at Whitworth University"
Director: Brooke Kiener
Whitworth University strengthened their existing mentorship of new faculty by creating a mentor training program, and a series of gatherings throughout the first year for new faculty. The mentor training program focused on communication skills, spiritual development, and re-grounding in the university’s theological identities and approach to the integration of faith and learning. The gatherings created space for continued conversation about the Shared Curriculum and experiences with faith-learning integration during the first semester. These programs significantly enhanced Whitworth’s existing mentoring program for new faculty and its New Faculty Orientation program. They also prepared new faculty to participate in the university’s existing Vocation of the Christian Professor program and to develop materials that they will use during pre-tenure evaluation.
Anderson University: “New Faculty Mentoring for Christian Ethos and Mission.”
Director: Joel D. Shrock
Anderson University redesigned its long-standing new faculty orientation program to more directly and proactively work with new faculty and their faculty mentors on inculcating our new members into the distinctive Christian ethos, traditions, and mission of our institution. The program not only helped new faculty understand university operations, but also challenged them to see how Anderson’s Christian commitments pervade our daily activities and goals. The mentoring grant supported the new program design, mentoring training, and activities designed to bond our new faculty to each other and the university. The new program provided space for the development of stronger interpersonal connections and greater support for conversations of how faith informs being a faculty member and Anderson University.
University of Pikeville: "Breaking Down Silos: Building Up Spirit"
Director: Pamela Gilliam
Our mentoring program had three goals: to foster relationships across disciplines and build collaboration among faculty, to promote understanding and appreciation of our Appalachian culture while acclimating new faculty to our rural location, and to reinforce the UPIKE mission of adhering to Christian principles by practicing servant leadership. When COVID-19 hit, the program was extended into the 2020 academic year. During the two years, 32 undergraduate, graduate, and professional faculty participated. Mentees were paired with faculty mentors across disciplines when possible. Although the pandemic restricted on-campus activities beginning in spring 2020, mentors-mentees continued to meet virtually. Additionally, mentees attended workshop on the history of the region and interacting with mentors who have spent time in the area, they collaborated to interview incoming medical school students, created new projects across disciplines such as film/media arts faculty working with music faculty to record and share performances. Finally, new service projects were created with increased faculty participation in existing activities.