Mentoring Program

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.

At its Fall 2021 meeting, the Lilly National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants to John Brown University and Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

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.

Loyola Marymount University: "Teacher-Scholars for Mission"
Director: John Sebastian

Teacher-Scholars for Mission seeks to introduce new faculty at LMU to what it means to be teacher-scholars for mission at a Catholic university grounded in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions of higher education and in the unique charisms of our three sponsoring religious congregations: the Society of Jesus, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange. This faculty development project is intended to align teaching with the distinctive Ignatian and Jesuit character of the university while inviting novice faculty to explore their understandings of their own vocations as teacher-scholars at a mission driven university. The program accomplishes these goals by bringing new faculty into conversation with veteran mentors as the explore the university's mission and Ignatian tradition through a series of activities that include a year-long Faculty Learning Community, a writing retreat, and ongoing mentorship grounded in Ignatian Spirituality. 

Salve Regina University: “Mentoring in Mercy: Interdisciplinary Faculty Collaboratives Engaging the Critical Concerns of Mercy”
Director: Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley

Through the support of the Lilly Fellows Program Mentoring Program Grant, the Mercy Critical Concern Interdisciplinary Faculty Collaboratives fostered the vocational leadership and contributions across mid-career and senior level faculty members in relation to the Mercy, Catholic mission of the University and the Critical Concerns of Mercy. The grant sponsored two interdisciplinary faculty collaborative cohorts around the Critical Concern of the Earth and the Critical Concern of Race. Bringing together faculty from across university departments to mutually advance interdisciplinary teaching, research, and/or university initiatives, the collaboratives hosted monthly seminars, public lectures, and a concluding campus roundtable. Student research assistants were integral to nearly every faculty member’s initiative and the collaboratives furthered the Mercy, Catholic mission of Salve Regina University in integrative and visible ways for faculty, students, and the larger Salve community.

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.


To See More Recent and Past Mentoring Programs, click here.

Noteworthy News

Lilly Network Office Closed

The Lilly Network office will be closed from Thursday, December 21-Wednesday, January 3 for the holiday break. Wishing you a joyous Christmas!

November Lilly Network Update

The Current Lilly Network Update for November 2023 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the winner of the 2023 Lilly Network Book Award

The Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities is pleased to announce Willie James Jennings' After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging as its 2023 Book Award Winner. For more information and to see a complete list of finalists, click here.

Call for applications for the 2024-2026 Cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program

Applications for the 2024-2026 Cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program for mid-career faculty are due November 15. For more information and to apply, click here.

Lilly Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

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

New edition of Leading Lives that Matter released

In their second edition of Leading Lives That Matter, editors Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass compile a wide range of texts—from ancient and contemporary literature, social commentary, and philosophy—related to questions of vital interest for those who are trying to decide what to do with their lives and what kind of human beings they hope to become. Leading Lives that Matter has been an important text in many of our fellowship and grant programs, and it contains excellent resources. Click here for more information and an excerpt.