Current LFP Update

__LFP Update__12.1

February 2017

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


In this Issue:


Arlin G. Meyer, First Director of the Lilly Fellows Program 

It saddens us to announce that Arlin Glenn Meyer, age 79, who served as the first director of the Lilly Fellows Program from its inception in 1991 until 2002, passed away on Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

At his funeral on February 11, 2017, LFP Founding Director Mark Schwehn and Rev. Dr. Fred Niedner shared, respectively, a eulogy and funeral sermon.  Mark Schwehn’s eulogy can be read here, and Fred Niedner’s funeral sermon can be read here.

Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church or Valparaiso University.

Please remember Arlin’s wife, Sharon, and her extended family in your prayers as they mourn their loss.


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

We are happy to announce that the LFP received 127 completed applications for three LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships at Valparaiso University. Look for the announcement of the new 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 2017 Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Thank you for all your work in making the nomination process of this eighth year of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program a success. We will invite sixteen finalists to the Interview Conference at the Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana (March 30-April 1, 2017). During this weekend, the selection committee will select ten Graduate Fellows.


LFP Book Award Deadline Approaching

The biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award honors an original and imaginative work from any academic discipline that best exemplifies the central ideas and principles animating the Lilly Fellows Program.  These include faith and learning in the Christian intellectual tradition, the vocation of teaching and scholarship, and the history, theory or practice of the university as the site of religious inquiry and culture.

Single authored books or edited collections in any discipline, published in 2013 to 2016, are eligible.

Works considered for this year's award address the historical or contemporary relation of Christian intellectual life and scholarship to the practice of teaching as a Christian vocation or to the past, present, and future of higher education.  Authors and editors cannot nominate their own works.

The Prize of $3000 will be awarded at the Lilly Fellows Program Annual National Conference at Loyola Marymount University, October 27-29, 2017.

For nomination information, please click here.

The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2017


Note About 2018 Arlin Meyer Prize in Performing Arts

Lilly Fellows Program Campus Representatives, please share the following information with members of your campus fine arts community.

The National Network Board of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts is proud to announce the 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in the PERFORMING ARTS.

The Arlin G. Meyer Prize is awarded biennially to a fulltime faculty member from a college or university in the Lilly Fellows Program National Network. Work that exemplifies the practice of the Christian artistic or scholarly vocation in relation to any pertinent subject matter or literary and artistic style will be considered. The prize will be awarded in different years for works of creative imagination and for works of scholarship. The 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize will reward the author of a creative work that emerges from his or her practice of the vocation of the Christian performing artist, in accord with the principles and ideals of the Lilly Fellows Program.

The Prize honors the late Arlin G. Meyer, Professor Emeritus of English at Valparaiso University, who served as program director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts from its inception in 1991 until his retirement in 2002.

The 2018 Arlin G. Meyer Prize will be given to an original artistic performance as director or performer in one of the following categories:

  • Theatre
  • Poetry or Dramatic Reading
  • Comedy
  • Liturgical drama
  • Dance
  • Video or film

The Prize of $3000 will be awarded at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, October 12-14, 2018.

Please note:  Works for consideration must have been performed during the calendar year of 2015, 2016, or 2017.  Campus representatives, please share this information with pertinent members of your campus arts community now in order to secure adequate recording of performances that might be nominated.


Report on 2015-2016 LFP Mentoring Program at Aquinas College

Mentoring Programs have been among the most popular and successful of all LFP initiatives. In 2016 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the LFP supported the program “Teaching and Research Partnerships,” directed by Kathy S. Kremer. Aquinas College has historically conducted a traditional mentoring program for its non-tenured faculty, with senior and mid-career faculty mentoring new hires. The LFP funding granted to Aquinas College was designed to: (1) support quality teaching and advising with mentoring for twelve first and second-year faculty members; (2) provide continued mentoring and scholarship support for four second to fifth-year faculty members partnered with mid-career faculty on a research project; (3) increase faculty scholarship among mid-career faculty by providing support to four associate professors eligible for promotion to full professor for their partnerships with junior faculty members who have active research initiatives; and (5) support the transition of five to ten recently retired emeriti faculty while utilizing their teaching and advising expertise in mentor partnerships. The format for implementing these program goals consisted of faculty teaching partnerships (where faculty members in their first year are paired with retired faculty emeriti) and faculty research partnerships (where faculty members in their second to fifth years are paired with tenured associate professors).

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 is September 15, 2017.


Report on 2015-2016 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 is September 15, 2017.


At its Fall 2014 meeting the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Grove City CollegeMcMurry UniversityMessiah College, and Saint Louis University.

Grove City College, “Faith for the Common Good: Theoretical and Practical Considerations” Director, P.C. Kemeny
During the 2015-2016 academic year at Grove City College, nineteen faculty members participated in a multidisciplinary discussion on civic engagement. The grant had two phases. During the fall semester, participants gathered seven times to discuss readings and to formulate service-learning projects. The reading list included Jacques Maritain, The Person and the Common Good, Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, and Alasdair MacIntyre, “The Privatization of Good.” The executive director of the Pennsylvania Campus Compact also led a workshop that included a panel of community partners who shared their thoughts on what the idea of the “common good” meant to them as well as practical suggestions regarding service learning projects.

Early in the spring semester, participants met to discuss their plans for integrating a service-learning project into their classes. At the end of the semester, a follow-up meeting allowed participants to report on their project. One leader followed up with faculty in order to provide support in forming community partnerships and integrating service-learning into their courses. Some examples of service-learning projects include: 1) an information session regarding potential household chemical hazards at a local food pantry; 2) a session on fraud prevention for senior citizens at local churches, elderly housing units, and service providers frequented by the elderly; and 3) a five-day community film series, held at a local theater, that addressed social issues, including human trafficking, the electronic divide, food safety, and the power of music for individuals with dementia.

McMurry University, “Ubuntu: Scholarship and Pedagogy in Christian Community”
Director, Bryan Stewart

McMurry University’s small grant program was designed around its current university theme, “Ubuntu,” an African word emphasizing our communal nature, and roughly translated as “I am because we are.” Through a series of monthly dinner-conversations, eighteen faculty members explored what Christian scholarship and pedagogy might look like, not just for individuals, but as a community of scholars and teachers at a church-related institution. Participants gathered six times during the 2015-2016 academic year to discuss select chapters from two different books: Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community, edited by Douglas V. Henry and Michael D. Beaty (Baker Academic, 2006); and Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning, edited by David I. Smith and James K.A. Smith (Eerdmans, 2011). Additionally, a campus-wide colloquium was held at the end of each semester as a way to give the broader academic community a chance to hear about some of the ideas and issues discussed within the dinner conversations. As the first intentional, sustained program in McMurry’s history designed to engage faculty in conversations about Christian higher education, the Lilly-funded small grant has generated broad faculty and administrative enthusiasm and interest in continuing similar conversations and programs in the future.

Messiah College, Lilly Fellows Program Small Grant
Director, Peter Powers
Messiah College set out in its original proposal to dig deeper into our understanding of the liberal arts, church-related mission and education, and the world of work through readings, faculty discussions, and special speakers. The participants were especially concerned that they achieve a deeper understanding of Christian theologies of work, how those understandings affect our approach to liberal arts subjects and their curricula, how these connect to employment and contemporary conceptions of careers, and how we might make effective change so our students will better understand the relationship between their major fields of study—especially if they are in liberal arts majors--and the world of work in which many of them already participate even while pursuing their degrees. In order to pursue these goals, the organizers set up a series of group discussion that focused on David Jensen’s book, Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work.  The book itself provided a wide-ranging overview of theologies of work, as well as opportunities for discussion of cultural ideologies of work in the West and especially in the United States. Discussions were led by Richard Crane, Associate Professor of Theology, who further provided theological contexts for understanding the specificity of Jensen’s approach. The book readings and discussions were accompanied by a group blog that Messiah College set up as a means of disseminating some of its thinking to the rest of the community, and more broadly to the world at large.  Finally, the program concluded with an invitation to David Jensen to visit Messiah College in the spring semester

Saint Louis University, “Stirring the Embers: Reconnecting Medical School Faculty to the Jesuit Mission of Saint Louis University”
Director, Kelly Everard
The purpose of the speaker series at Saint Louis University (SLU) was to reconnect medical school faculty with their vocation and the Jesuit mission of SLU. At SLU, the medical campus is 2 miles from the main campus, but more crucially, healthcare providers are faced with an astounding array of pressures not shared by their colleagues in the humanities that have been brought on by increasing the number of clinical hours, securing external funding for research, and teaching hundreds of medical students and residents. The external pressures of patient care, student mentoring, and the health care system can lead to burnout, apathy, and a loss of the ideals with which many entered their profession.

To help medical faculty reconnect, the program coordinators developed a six-session speaker series held on the medical campus. Speakers came from Campus Ministry, Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Arts and Sciences, University Libraries, and the Center for Community Service and Engagement. The titles of the talks were: 1) Introduction to the Series: Why Am I Here Again? Reconnecting with Your Vocation; 2) Mission and Humanities: Broadening Our Lenses to Deepen the Understanding of Your Practice; 3) How Does Jesuit Identity Inform Health Professional Education in 2015?; 4) How Do We Mend the Divide? Understanding Service to Humanity in the Spotlight of Ferguson; 5) Transformative Learning and the Faculty Advisor; and 6) Building a Professional Network to Maintain Your Sanity. Ninety-three faculty total attended the talks.  SLU will expand the series in 2015-2016 to include faculty from the college of health sciences and the school of public health.


Report on 2015-2016 LFP Network Exchange at Boston College

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.  The Deadline for proposals to host an LFP Network Exchange in the 2018-2019 Academic Year is September 15, 2017.

Most Recently, Boston College hosted two Network Exchange events that introduced participants to its service learning program, PULSE. Participants in the exchange were introduced to PULSE’s organizational structure, service placements and supervisors, faculty and classrooms, and students and their personal experiences. The Exchange included visits to community partner placement sites, and meetings with scholars who have studied PULSE.


Report on 2016 LFP Summer Seminar for College Teachers in Orvieto, Italy

The 2016 LFP Summer Seminar for College Teachers, “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

Summer Seminars for College Teachers are designed for faculty at Network institutions with preference for early-career faculty.  Each seminar will be convened by a seasoned faculty person from a Network school who will have the responsibilities of designing the seminar, recruiting twelve participants from at least six different LFP Network Schools, conducting the seminar, evaluating the seminar, and disseminating what was learned.  Each seminar will address a major interdisciplinary issue of special concern for teachers in the church-related academy.  Topics must be broadly interdisciplinary, encourage ecumenical conversation, and aim to impact classroom content and practice in church-related institutions. Participants in the seminar will read a set of common texts, engage in disciplined discussion of the seminar topic, and write on some aspect of the seminar topic.  Each seminar will meet for a three or four-week period, typically on the campus of a Network school, or for two weeks with participants returning for three or four days at a designated additional time, typically at the home institution of the seminar director.  Institutions selected to host the seminars will be awarded $56,000. Applications to host an LFP Summer Seminar for College Teachers in summer, 2018, is March 15, 2017.


Report on the LFP 2016 Regional Conference at Georgetown College

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 University, 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.

The application deadline for hosting a Regional Collaboration or Conference is September 15, 2017. 


Name Change for LFP Regional Conferences and Upcoming Conferences

Please note that we have changed the name of our “Regional Conferences” grant to “Regional Collaboration and Conference Grants”—a name that better represents the flexible nature of this category of program grants.

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.

Funding is available for up to two Regional Collaborations or Conferences taking place in the 2016-2017 academic year at $12,500 each. It is expected that in many cases the host institution or group of institutions may also contribute to funding the conference. Institutions that have already received a grant in this category will not be eligible in the same category again for three years after the original grant was awarded. Although Regional Conferences or Workshops represent a flexible category of programs, priority is given to applications for programs that connect representatives from campuses within a particular geographical region.

Application deadline: September 15, 2017 for a program planned for the 2018-2019 academic year.


Watch for upcoming announcements about the following Regional Conferences and Collaborations:

“Matter and Spirit: A Seminar on Contemporary Chinese Art and Society,” directed by Joel Carpenter, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, Summer, 2018.  This project will convene 10 North American and 10 Chinese artists in a two-week seminar and studio event to take place in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai. Participants will engage the realities of contemporary urban China, the Chinese visual arts scene, and each other. They will see 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.

“Reason and Faith on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation,” directed by Terrence James Kleven and Mark J. Thomas, Central College, Pella, Iowa. Date: October 13-14, 2017. This conference brings together five keynote speakers from a variety of Christian denominations, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, in order to discuss the relation of reason and faith as it is understood in both the Academy and Church over the past five hundred years. The conference seeks to make an inquiry into the reaffirmations and reconsiderations of the nature of faith and reason and their relations to each other as they have influenced the Academy and the Church. There will be a call-for-papers for scholars interested in contributing to the conference.



Deadlines for Grants and Other Opportunities

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsNetwork ExchangesSmall Grants, and Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2017.


Applications to host the LFP Summer Seminar for College Teachers in summer, 2018, are due March 15, 2017.


The deadline for submitting nominees for the 2017 LFP Book Award is March 1, 2017.


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 Joseph Goss’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

Save the Date: Upcoming 2017 Regional Conference

On October 13-14, 2017, Central College in Pella, Iowa, will host "Reason and Faith on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation."  For More information, click here

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!

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