Past Summer Seminars

2016 - Gordon College, Wenham, MA
Restoring Art to a Place in the Community: New Lessons from Early Renaissance Italy
June 12 - July 2, 2016, in Orvieto, Italy

“Restoring Art to a Place in the Community: New Lessons from Early Renaissance Italy,” addressed the disconnect often found between studio art, art history, Biblical studies, theology, and Christian ministries faculty at undergraduate Christian liberal arts institutions. Seminar director Dr. John Skillen (Gordon College) gathered twelve teachers from Protestant- and Catholic-tradition colleges, first, to examine a period in pre-modern Italian culture that knew no such split; then to consider the conditions in the modern period that have fostered division; and finally to brainstorm new initiatives to reconnect the training of young artists and of future church leaders.

Hosted by Gordon College’s Studio for Art, Faith & History, which Professor Skillen directs, the Seminar was housed in the renovated 13th-century monastery leased by the College. The Seminar benefitted from Orvieto’s location in Umbria, with Rome, Florence, Siena, Assisi, and Arezzo within easy reach. Excursions to these and other locations took participants to ten of the major fresco cycles of the Italian Renaissance that provided touchstones for the discussion.

A number of the participants wrote brief personal narratives that highlighted one or two aspects of their experience in the Seminar. Several of these essays have been gathered in the Blog section of the Studio for Art, Faith & History's website


2014 - Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
What Does It Mean To Be Human in a 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. For more information, see Xavier University's Summer Seminar website


2012 - Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI
Teaching Peace and Reconciliation: Theory and Practice in Northern Ireland

Aquinas College of Grand Rapids, Michigan sponsored the Lilly Fellows Program Summer Seminarfor College and University Teachers during the weeks of July 6 – 28, 2012 with the theme “Teaching Peace and Reconciliation: Theory and Practice in Northern Ireland.”  Directed by Dr. John C. Pinheiro and sponsored by Aquinas College, the seminar was held at the Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Center, located on the beautiful coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.  The 2012 grant covered flight, room, and board for each attendee.  

This was the first time that the Summer Seminar has been held outside the United States. The three-week seminar featured speakers ranging from academics, journalists, and clergy to former paramilitaries, ex-prisoners, and peace workers.  Participants also engaged in hands-on activities to experience the kind of work done by the Corrymeela community, which has been in operation since 1965.One particular highlight was a reading held at Corrymeela by Belfast poet, Michael Longley.  In an effort to hear from all sides of the conflict that occurred in Northern Ireland from the 1960s through the 1990s, attendees also participated in outings to Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, and Coleraine.  This included attendance at a 12th of July bonfire in Belfast and an Orange Order parade.


2010 - Seattle Pacific University
Gender and Christianity
CoDirectors - Priscilla Pope-Levison and Jack Levison

2007 - Calvin College
Biblical Studies Across the Curriculum: Discerning Scripture for the Disciplines
Director - James K.A. Smith

2005 - Rosemont College
Power and the "New American Century": Christian Representation
Director - Dr. Robert Mulvihill

2004 - Baylor University
Reading Tolkien and Living the Virtues
Director - Ralph Woods, Professor of Theology and Literature

2003 - Loyola Marymount University
Peace and Justice in the Bible and the Quran
Director - Daniel Smith-Christopher, Department of Theological Studies

2002 - Whitworth College
Deliver Us From Evil: Genocide and the Christian World
Director - James Waller, Department of Psychology

2001- Mount St. Mary's College
Christian Scholars and Academic Culture
CoDirectors - William Portier, Department of Theology and John Donovan, Department of Philosophy

2000 - Samford University
Spirituality and Social Justice: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement
CoDirectors - H. Hugh Floyd., Department of Sociology and Penny L. Marler, Department of Religion and Philosophy

1999 - Calvin College
Postmodernism and the Humanities
CoDirectors - Lee Hardy, Department of Philosophy and Susan Felch, Department of English

1998 - Loyola Marymount University
Sacred Journeys: Explorations in Twentieth Century Art and Faith
Director - Judith Royer, CSJ, Theatre and Dance Department

1997 - Villanova University
The Mission of the Religiously-Affiliated University/College and the Public Theology of Their Students
CoDirectors - Michael Scanlon, OSA, Department of Theology and Religious Studies and Barbara E. Wall, OP, Department of Philosophy

1996 - Baylor University
Contexts For Challenges
Director - James Barcus, Department of English

Noteworthy News

Announcing the Winner and Finalists of the 2016 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Non-fiction

We are happy to announce the winner and finalists of the 2016 Lilly Fellows Program Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Non-fiction.  Please click here.


February LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for February, 2017 is now available. Click here.


National Network of Church- Related Colleges and Universities

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


Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

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