Current LFP Update

LFP Update 14.1

March, 2019

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) Lilly Network institutions, 2)  present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.

In this Issue:


Nominations and Applications for the LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships and for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

We are happy to announce that the LFP received 94 completed applications for the LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships at Valparaiso University. Look for the announcement of the incoming Fellows, including profiles, in the May issue of the LFP Update.

We are also happy to announce that the LFP received 53 nominations from 30 National Network schools for ten 2019 Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Finalists from this group will interview in April, 2019, at the Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis along with finalists from 2018 for a spot in this the eleventh cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows. Thank you for all your work in making the nomination process of this cohort of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program a success.


Save the Date: the 2019 LFP National Conference

The 29th National ConferenceThe Character of the University, will take place on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, October 18-20, 2019. 

From their inception in the high Middle Ages, universities saw their essential mission as the formation of their students’ character, involving the cultivation of moral and intellectual virtue animated by eternal truth. In contemporary times, many prominent critics of higher education lament that the modern academy has all but forgotten—even rejected—character formation.   

But there are signs that character education is alive and well. Due in part to the contemporary revival of virtue ethics in philosophy and theology, a broad range of academic disciplines and research programs are now focusing on the nature of the virtues and how character might be shaped in the context of families, schools, and faith communities.

The Character of the University will explore the challenges and opportunities for character formation in the context of 21st-century higher education. How might educators better understand and practice their shared aims to help students grow in virtue as they prepare to pursue lives of meaning and purpose? How might this task require colleges and universities to re-examine their own intellectual, moral, and even spiritual commitments?

Download a Conference Flyer here

Registration will open in May, 2019.


Upcoming Regional Conference, Dort College

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 conference titled “The Prodigal Love of God: Reencountering Dordt at 400 and Beyond.” Confirmed speakers include Marilynne Robinson, Richard Mouw, James K.A. Smith, Jemar Tisby, Paul Lim, Tish Harrison Warren, and Suzanne McDonald.

This year and next marks the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort, the namesake of Dordt College. Many churches and communities have celebrated the quincentenary of the Reformation, but the Synod of Dort does not loom so large in the popular imagination. For some, even members of the Protestant tradition, Dort seems to leave us with a complicated historical legacy of arid doctrinalism.

However, the story of the Synod of Dort—its legacy and its place in the Christian tradition—is much broader and more generous than this. Dort should be remembered for its rigorous doctrinal disputes, but within those debates there are also profound theological truths that continue to inspire many ecumenical conversations across Christian traditions. In the Canons of Dordt, we encounter the prodigal love of God, who offers the blessing of the gospel “to all persons promiscuously and without distinction.” This theological message is something that has shaped and reformed Protestant communities for four hundred years. Through invited plenaries and panel discussions, our conference will feature conversations about the historical legacy and the future of Protestantism as well as the opportunities facing the global church in the decades ahead.

Registration for the conference is now open;  For Information, Click Here.


Jenna Van Sickle Joins LFP Staff as Associate Director

In January, 2019, the LFP welcomed Dr. Jenna Van Sickle to the LFP office as Associate Director. Jenna graduated with her BS in mathematics and secondary education from Valparaiso University. She received an MA and a PhD in Mathematics Education from Columbia University. She has held teaching positions at Fontbonne University and Cleveland State University, where she was also the Director of the College Credit Plus Teacher Credentialing Program. Van Sickle has published articles in the fields of history of mathematics education, STEM education, and learner-centered instruction in mathematics. Additionally, she has created an innovative trigonometry curriculum that integrates technology to allow students to construct the trigonometric functions based on their historical development. Join us in welcoming Dr. Van Sickle to the LFP.


Agnes R. Howard and Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard Join LFP Staff as Senior Fellows

In Fall, 2018, Agnes R. Howard and Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard joined the LFP staff as Senior Fellows who, among other things, oversee the weekly colloquium for the Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows and serve, along with Senior Fellow Dorothy Bass, as resources for the strategic direction of the LFP’s many programs. Agnes R. Howard (PhD, History, University of Virginia) is Assistant Professor in Humanities at Valparaiso University, where she teaches in Christ College, the honors college. Her academic interests include American religious history, Puritan New England, and the cultural history of pregnancy and birth. She is completing a book project on the culture of pregnancy, Showing: What Pregnancy Tells Us about Being Human, under contract with Eerdmans Publishing. Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard (PhD, University of Virginia) is Professor of Humanities and History and holder of the Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University, where he is affiliated with Christ College. He is the author or editor of eight books, including The Pope and the Professor: Pius IX, Ignaz von Döllinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age (Oxford UP, 2017), Remembering the Reformation: An Inquiry into the Meanings of Protestantism (Oxford UP, 2016), and (edited with Mark A. Noll) Protestantism after 500 Years (Oxford UP, 2016).  Currently he is working on a history of interreligious dialogue and a general history of modern Christian theology; the latter is under contract with Princeton University Press. Dr. Howard was a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow from 1997 to 1999.


Report on 2018-2019 LFP Mentoring Grants

Mentoring Programs have been among the most popular and successful of all LFP initiatives. 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 here.  The current deadline for the submission of applications for the 2020-2021 academic year is September 15, 2019.

At its fall, 2017 meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants to Belmont University in Nashville, TN, for “Mentoring to Strengthen Multicultural Christian Education,” Saint Louis University for “Mentoring Faculty for a New, Interdisciplinary, Mission-driven Core,” and North Park University for “Vocation of the Christian Scholar.” All three programs are currently under way.


Report on 2018-2019 LFP Small Grant Programs

The Lilly Fellows Program National Network invites Network institutions 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 for the 2020-2021 academic year is September 15, 2019.

At its Fall 2016 meeting the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Saint Louis’s University for “SLU Programs for Jesuit History, Identity, and Mission” and Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, for “From All Tribes and Peoples and Languages.” Both are two-year programs that are in their second years.

At its Fall 2017 meeting the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to John Brown University for “Reimagining and Reinvigorating the Core Curriculum,” Seton Hall University for “Medical Humanities: Pedagogy and Praxis,” Sterling College for “Understanding Christian Faith,” and Villanova University for “Caritas Towards Unitas: Teaching African-American Literature in the Spirit of Augustine—A Faculty Dialogue at Villanova University.”  All these programs are currently under way.


Report on 2017-2018 LFP Regional Collaborations at Calvin College, Lipscomb University, and Pepperdine University

Calvin College: Matter and Spirit: A Seminar on Contemporary Chinese Art and Society
The Nagel Institute, in partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, held a seminar and studio project in China for June 15- July 1, 2018. The seminar will be followed by an international traveling exhibition of the resulting works of art beginning in fall, 2019. This project convened 10 North American and 10 Chinese artists in a two-week seminar and studio event in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai. Participants  engaged the realities of contemporary urban China, the Chinese visual arts scene, and each other. They especially focused on how some prominent Chinese contemporary artists have created art in response to these conditions, how Chinese Christians see both “matter and spirit” interacting, and how the struggle for integrity in China might inspire and reshape their own life work. This seminar, “Matter and Spirit,” is the third in a series of international art projects, preceded by a seminar in Indonesia in 2008 that resulted in the “Charis” traveling exhibit, and a seminar in South Africa in 2013 followed by a traveling exhibit, “Between the Shadow and the Light.” “Matter and Spirit,” like the two preceding exhibits, will open at the annual Lilly Network conference on the arts and humanities in 2019.

Lipscomb University, Regional Consultation--Building Racial Bridges; Seeking Racial Understanding
Lipscomb University convened six different dinner/conversation meetings involving four faculty members from each of five faith-based institutions in Nashville, Tennessee, over the course of the spring term, 2018: Fisk University; American Baptist College; Belmont University; Lipscomb University; and Trevecca Nazarene University. The group met once on the campus of each institution with conversations that focused on the persistent role of white supremacy on college and university campuses and in the larger American culture. With that theme as the backdrop, participants engaged in meaningful conversations around (1) the personal narratives of each person in the group, (2) readings, (3) films, and (4) artifacts that reflect the pervasive power of white supremacy in the United States. 

Pepperdine University, Regional Collaboration --Global General Education and Asian Texts: What Should Our Students Read?
In summer, 2018, this conference, held in conjunction with a meeting of the Association of Core Texts and Courses, convened faculty from higher education institutions around the world to provide a forum for educators to examine how Asian texts can be used to express the traditions of each institution and aid faculty to engage in educationally productive discussions across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries. The conference garnered great interest from both domestic and international colleges and universities, with 57 representatives from 37 different institutions, 10 of which are also Lilly Fellows Program schools. Participants were eager to learn approaches to the practice of inclusion of Asian religious texts and traditions in the development and revision of core and general education programs.

Description and Guidelines for Hosting a Regional Conference or Collaboration.
Regional Collaboration and Conferences Grants 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, collaboration, or workshop may vary to suit the needs of the applicant, within the general guidelines listed above. Previous successful conferences, collaborations, 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. The Deadline for applications to host a Regional Collaboration or Conference in the 2020-2021 academic year is September 15, 2019. For more information, click here.


Apply to hold an LFP Network Exchange

Network Exchange Programs allow Network institutions to showcase distinctive, signature projects, institutes, or curricula that highlight the Christian or church-related characteristics of their schools. They provide for an extended visitation by faculty and leaders from other Network colleges, allowing close observation and study of the pertinent program, so that other institutions might learn from the host institution's experience and perspectives.

Any established and distinctive institution, program, or curricular emphasis that especially promotes the college or university's mission and Christian character may be an appropriate focus for a Network Exchange. These may be programmatic initiatives like core programs, honors programs, interdisciplinary programs, or capstone courses. Or they might take the form of research or study institutes, international experiences, co-curricular programs, off-campus study centers, or service learning programs.

A Network Exchange program may be funded for $25,000.  The next deadline for applying for a Network Exchange in the 2020-2021 academic year is September 15, 2019.  Click here for more information about submitting a proposal.


Deadlines for Grants and Other Opportunities

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsSmall GrantsNetwork Exchanges, and Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2019

Registration is now open for the Regional Conference at Dort College on “The Prodigal Love of God," April 4-6, 2019.

For more information, visit the LFP website.


From the Colloquium at Our Blog, Exiles from Eden 

To learn about the readings of the Graduate Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows, please see Jenna Van Sickle's “From the Colloquium” post on the LFP-sponsored blog, Exiles from Eden.


Facebook and Twitter

As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.


Noteworthy News

November LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for March, 2019 is now available. 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!