Recent Regional Collaborations and Conferences

Georgetown College:  Discerning Academic Vocation in a Contested Religious Tradition


On January 28th and 29th, 2016, Georgetown College and the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky in Georgetown, KY, welcomed 74 attendees and presenters to their campus for a Lilly Fellows Regional Conference. This conference is a continuation of the Center for Christian Discernment series of conferences for the church and academy. The invited speakers were David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer, Nadia Bolz-Weber, author and pastor of House for all Sinners and Saints church, Caroline Simon, Provost and Executive Vice President of Whitworth University, and Patricia O’Connell Killen, Academic Vice President, Gonzaga University. The program included 19 presentations and panels from 22 universities. The plenary addresses and break-out sessions were attended by 75 registered guests as well as students from Georgetown College and the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.

The speakers addressed the challenges and highlighted opportunities related to the complex and fluctuating relationships between institutions of higher learning and their sponsoring institutions, key constituencies, or historical institutional connections. Some questions included: How will academic vocation, grounded in the tradition of the academy and religious frameworks, continue creative and responsive teaching and research? What does it mean that American higher education continues to represent itself in terms of religious tradition, or denominational loyalty, as traditions continue to be challenged from within and without? How do we invite and challenge students to follow paths into various vocations related to the future and well-being of religious traditions? Should church-related institutions engage students, educators, and communities in discovering religious fidelity as a path to principled pluralism, and if so, how?The addresses by David Gushee, Carole Simon, and Patricia O’Connell Killen have been submitted to the Christian Scholars Review for possible publication.


Gordon College: Islam in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching about Islam in a Post 9/11 World

On September 21, 2015 Gordon College in Wenham, MA, welcomed over 65 attendees from 21 Colleges and Universities for an LFP Regional Conference, Islam in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching about Islam in a Post 9/11. This one-day conference brought together several leading scholars to deliberate well and wisely about how accurate and insightful knowledge of Islam can be taught in the college classroom. Particular emphasis was placed on teaching Islam in church-affiliated colleges and universities, whether Protestant or Catholic, in the North American context. Four keynote speakers were: Gabriel Said Reynolds, Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, on “The Islamic Challenge to Christian Theology”; Judith Mendelsohn Rood, Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies at Biola University, on “The Consequences of Disobedience: The Qur’an and History of Islamic Thought”; Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, Professor of History at Gordon College, on “Mohammed Among Evangelicals: Teaching the Origins and Spread of Islam in an Evangelical College Context”; and Amir Hussain, Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, on “On Teaching Islam: A Muslim Scholar of Islam Reflects on Teaching for a Decade in a Catholic University.” Sandra Keating, Professor of Theology at Providence College, responded to the speakers and moderated a final panel discussion. These essays will appear in a forthcoming edited volume.

For more information on this conference, including speaker information, see Gordon College's conference website.

Samford University: Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition Conference: Augustine Across the Curriculum

On October 2-4, 2014 Samford University hosted, as an LFP Regional Conference, its inaugural conference on “Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition” (TCIT). This is the first in a new biennial conference series that provides an opportunity for scholars from across the disciplines to share ideas about teaching Christianity’s rich intellectual heritage to today’s undergraduates. Each conference will focus on a different figure or theme and will equip undergraduate faculty with effective strategies for teaching the tradition in a variety of courses across the curriculum.
The inaugural 2014 conference  focused on “Teaching Augustine Across the Curriculum.” Along with numerous concurrent sessions, the conferees heard from plenary speakers Peter Kaufman (University of Richmond) and Kristen Deede Johnson (Western Theological Seminary). Videos of the conference keynotes are available here for Kaufman ( and Johnson (  Proceedings of the conference are in the process of publication, which can be downloaded now here: .

Calvin College: R5: A Visual Arts Seminar and Studio in South Africa

May 31 - June 15, 2013

Artists in Southern Africa wrestled with five critical issues:

  • Remembrance: the intertwined and contested histories of people groups.
  • Resistance: the vivid tradition of prophetic artistry.
  • Reconciliation: persistent questions over how to justly reconcile aggrieved people.
  • Representation: in a post-colonial, multicultural society, who may represent whom? And how?
  • Re-visioning: how does hope factor into artistic

This project convened North American and Southern African artists with their South African hosts to engage these questions, saw how art was created in response to them, and asked how this story might inspire and reorient their work.  They visited in and around Johannesburg and Cape Town and work in studio at Volmoed, in the Western Cape.

Organized by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity with the endorsement of and support from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts (LFP).

For additional information, visit the conference website.

Past Regional Collaborations and Conferences:

2010/2011 Regional Conferences

Benedictine University:  Faith, Science, and Stewardship: Christian Pedagogy on the Environment
April 16, 2011

On April 16, 2011 the Lilly Fellows Regional Conference, “Faith, Science and Stewardship: Christian Pedagogy on the Environment” was held at Benedictine University. Forty-six attendees from Lilly Network schools participated in a day long program that covered environmental issues from a number of perspectives. Keynote speakers Dr Caryl Fish and Dr Susan Emmerich described projects that applied Christian values to local environmental projects: Dr Fish on the Monastery Run Improvement Project which addressed mine runoff, and Dr Emmerich the conflict between the local fishermen and the environmentalists on the Chesapeake Bay. Paper sessions discussed the practical issues of pedagogy and andragogy on the environment and linking the Christian value of stewardship with the academic study of the environment. The conference closed with Vespers at St. Procopius Abbey.

Ten papers from this day-long program are available at Benedictine University's conference website.  Recently, Benedictine compiled the papers into one volume, edited by Christine M. Fletcher, Faith, Science and Stewardship: Christian Pedagogy on the Environment.  See the list of LFP sponsored publications for more information about obtaining a copy of this volume.

Wittenberg University: Wanting Something More: Reflecting Upon the Callings of Mid-Career Faculty
September 2010 and March 2011

Organized by Tammy Proctor of Wittenberg and Jeffrey Kurtz of Denison University, this regional conference was held on September 24 to 26, 2010.  Eighteen participants and two observers from a total of eight different schools met to examine the working lives of faculty in mid-career (those who have taught for at least nine years, but fewer than twenty years).  The conference organizers designed the program to facilitate directed discussions about passion for teaching, intellectual development, fostering collegiality, and sustaining intellectual engagement after tenure.  Participants took back to their respective institutions ideas to implement in the future and organizers followed up with them in November and attended a second, half-day conference at Denison University in March 2011 to report on participants’ progress.

Wittenberg University featured a report from the LFP sponsored regional conference in the October issue of their campus publication Chalk: Teaching & Faculty Development. The entire issue is devoted to "Engaging Mid-Career Faculty."  A copy of this issue of Chalk is available here.

2009/2010 Regional Conferences

Gordon College:  Imago Dei: Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective
April 16, 2010

Eighty individuals from thirteen colleges and universities attended the one-day conference.  Conference organizers invited three speakers from the three major Christian traditions—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—to address scholars from nearby institutions, Gordon College, and the general public.

The speakers were Fr. John Behr, Dean and Professor of Patristics, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Russell Hittinger, William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa, and C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University (TN).  Fr. Behr began the conference with his lecture, "The Promise of the Image."  Professor Hittinger continued with his talk, "Social Image and Likeness: A Disputed Issue in Catholic Theology."  After lunch, Professor Mitchell provided the last lecture, "The Audacity of Imago Dei: The Legacy and Uncertain Future of
Human Dignity."  The conference ended with a panel discussion with the presenters.

The Presentations from the conference are now available in published form as: Imago Dei: Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective, Ed. Thomas Albert Howard, Catholic University of America Press, 2013.

Baylor University: Seminar on Academic Leadership in Baptist Universities
May 16-20, 2010

Donald D. Schmeltekopf, Provost Emeritus and Director of the Center for Ministry Effectiveness at Baylor University lead the conference, which consisted of thirty-five participants from eighteen schools from across the U.S. and from Indonesia.  The aim of the seminar was to provide a leadership development opportunity for academic administrators in colleges and universities throughout the United States that have a significant historical connection to the Baptist tradition.  The principal audience for the seminar was department chairs, deans, associate deans, provosts, program heads, prospective administrators, and others in key administrative positions.

The seminar dealt with a wide range of issues from leadership principles (including self-analysis), to institutional culture and religious identity, to faculty hiring and development, to strategic planning and budgeting, and legal issues.  A major part of the seminar program focused on the distinctive mission of Christian/Baptist colleges and universities and the importance of strong administrative leadership in support of that mission.

For more information, click here

Regional Collaborations and Conferences Previously Funded

2009 Bethel University
The Pietist Impulse in Christianity
Directors: G. William Carlson; Christian Collins Winn, and Christopher Gehrz

2007 University of Notre Dame
Singing God's Song Faithfully: Implications for Theology and Music Faculty Seeking to Prepare Music Leadership for the Church
Coordinator: Charlotte Kroeker

2006 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Together and By Association, A Conference for Lasallian College and University Faculty.
Coordinators: Mary Catherine Fox and Judith Schaefer

2006 Saint Xavier University
To Be in Good Standing--Implications for a Catholic University
Sr. Susan Sanders, RSM, Coordinator

2005 Hope College
Academic Excellence and Christian Mission: The Chair's Role in a Both/And Approach
Carol Simon, Coordinator

2004 Texas Lutheran University
Building and Supporting Diversity at Church-Related Colleges
John Masterson, Coordinator

2003 Belmont Abbey College
Life of the Mind, Life of Faith, Curriculum, and Student Life in the Bible Belt
Dean de la Motte, Coordinator

Baylor University
College of The Holy Cross
Gordon College
Midland Lutheran College
Westmont College

Concordia College-Moorhead
University of Notre Dame

Abilene Christian University
Pepperdine University
St. Olaf College

Muhlenberg College

University of Notre Dame

Westminster College
Xavier University

Baylor University
Rivier College

Whitworth College

Loyola Marymount University

Bethune-Cookman College
Boston College

Baylor University
Luther College

Noteworthy News

November LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for November, 2018 is now available. Click here.

Applications for the Lilly Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at Valparaiso University

To Apply for the Lilly Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at Valparaiso University, Click Here. Applications are due January 9, 2019, submitted through Interfolio.

Lilly Faculty Fellows Program

We are happy to introduce a new initiative, the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program. For more information, click here.

Registration is Now Open: Regional Conference at Dordt College on “The Prodigal Love of God,” April 4-6, 2019

On April 4-6, 2019, Dordt College and the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, will host a Lilly Fellows Program Regional Conference titled “The Prodigal Love of God: Reencountering Dordt at 400 and Beyond.” For More information and Registration Information, Click Here.

Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Performing Arts

The Winner of the 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Performing Arts is Blis Devault, Xavier University (Cincinnati), for A Slice of Pie: A Love Story. For more information and a list of finalists, 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.

Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

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