2023 Book Award

The 2023 Winner

After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging (Theological Education between the Times (TEBT))

After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging

By Willie James Jennings

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2020 

ISBN: 978-0802878441

After Whiteness addresses many of the most important contemporary themes in higher education—inclusion, access, racial justice, and diversity in the academy—it does so in a truly novel way—a way that gives those of us in the academy, and especially those of us in theological education or who want to understand higher education within a Christian context, eyes to see and ears to hear. This is because Jennings roots his reflections on racial justice within a larger narrative of the academy, and in doing so sheds light on the way the contemporary academy’s goals and ideals of liberal education are marred in hidden ways by the wounds of colonialism, racism, and economic exploitation. While higher education in Jenning’s telling both liberates and forms us, these darker legacies also enslave and deform. 

To enable us to see and hear, Jennings employs stories, poetry, and imagery in such a way that opens our hearts to the ways in which activities such as grading, faculty searches, and plagiarism involve practices that are complicit in this deformation but also hopeful sites of redemption. These vignettes, these stories, stick with the reader—they become opportunities for meditation, for reflection on why we think and do the things we do in higher education, and how we could rethink these activities in light of the gospel—the good news that Jesus meets those following him—the motley crowds—with love and offers them a home in which they belong.  This book is meant to be read over and over again. It offers hope. It offers a path to learning—a path not just to integrating learning with faith but also towards learning that is animated by hope and love.

2023 Finalists

The Future of Catholic Higher Education: The Open Circle

By James L. Heft

Oxford University Press, 2021

ISBN: 978-0197568880

Why Boredom Matters: Education, Leisure, and the Quest for a Meaningful Life

Kevin Hood Gary

Cambridge University Press, 2022

ISBN: 978-1108813921

Cultivating Mentors: Sharing Wisdom in Christian Higher Education

Todd C. Ream, Jerry Pattengale, and Christopher J. Devers., Eds. 

IVP Academic, 2022

ISBN: 978-1514002520

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.