Mentoring Program

Description and Guidelines

Mentoring Programs  have been among the most popular and successful of all LFP initiatives. Mentoring Programs provide funds to nurture faculty at all stages of their careers at Network institutions and strengthen the commitment of faculty to institutional mission. Well-constructed mentoring programs encourage faculty ranging from new hires to junior, mid-career, and 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. Applications are due on September 15 of each year.

To learn more about Mentoring Programs and to submit an application, please click here.

Current Mentoring Programs

At its Fall 2021 meeting, the Lilly National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants to John Brown University and Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

At its Fall 2020 meeting, the Lilly National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants to Loyola Marymount University and and Mount St. Mary's University. 

Most Recent Mentoring Programs

Sterling College: “Mentoring for Community, Diversity, and Hospitality”
Director: Rachel Griffis

Sterling college  developed a mentoring program that would engage activities and programs to develop faculty leaders, provide opportunities for all faculty to learn about teaching in a diverse environment, and to deepen faculty’s understanding of Christian community and hospitality. We accomplished these goals by sending faculty to a CCCU conference, gathering small groups of faculty for leadership training and mentoring, and providing a training for all faculty to attend. The COVID pandemic disrupted our plans for the mentoring grant, and so some of our activities changed, due to the need for virtual programs and increased workload/stress on faculty who were expected to participate. However, all the goals of the program were met. In fall 2019, four faculty attended the “Diversity and Inclusion Conference” at George Fox University. Upon their return, they shared what they learned with Sterling College faculty at a faith and learning coffee event that same semester. In spring 2020, eight faculty members met as a small group to discuss readings on hospitality and their application to serving our students. In fall 2020, the faculty members involved in the group who met the previous spring led small group discussions over five books on diversity and 42 people participated in these small groups. We will continue this work through a regional conference, “Fostering Community and Hospitality on a Diverse Campus,” also funded by an LFP grant, that has become a requirement for all faculty. We hope that it will be an opportunity for Sterling College faculty, along with staff, administrators, and educators from other campuses, to unite around the concepts of community and hospitality.

Goshen College: “Mission in Action” 
Directors: Beth Martin Birky, Jody Saylor

Goshen College (GC) developed a one-year “Mission in Action” mentoring program to foster faculty understanding of GC’s mission as a Christian liberal arts institution shaped by Anabaptist Mennonite tradition. GC’s mentoring program paired 11 new faculty with mid-career mentors in order to help new faculty understand GC’s unique culture and core values, build strong connections to campus, consider their professional development at GC, enhance faculty retention, and strengthen their pedagogy, and to engage mid-career faculty mentors in the integration of GC’s mission with their own faith and with inclusive teaching strategies for increased student success. All participants met monthly for group seminars that included reading, structured input, discussion, application, and reflection. In fall 2020, group seminars included presentations on GC’s mission and the college’s Anabaptist context, its global education program, and the GC Core. A faculty panel addressed faith and teaching. In the spring, group workshops gave faculty time to practice valuable pedagogical skills: establishing trust, active listening, goal setting, reflective observation/interaction, productive feedback and revision. At the end of each semester, participants wrote personal statement on the GC mission and core values and their teaching. Although COVID-19 impacted new faculty’s campus experience, participants were empowered to translate GC’s mission into effective, student-centered teaching and learning. By implementing and testing effective teaching strategies, faculty articulated their own mission-centered professional goals. Due to this year’s success, the 2021-2022 “Mission in Action” mentoring program will include new administrative faculty and mentors. We anticipate that the “Mission in Action” mentoring program will increase faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship in the context of Christian higher education.

St. Mary's University Texas: "New Faculty Mentor for Mission Program"
Director: Alicia Tait

The New Faculty Mentor for Mission Program revolved around the Catholic Marianist mission of the institution. Each event centered around the connection between our Marianist Educational Characteristics and the pillars of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT). The five Engaging the Mission Conversations EMCs) were titled after the five Marianist Educational Characteristics (MECs). Each EMC session included pre-readings and reflective questions. EMC speakers were asked to present, from their own experiences, how they engaged the MEC and CIT pillar. The final retreat connected the vocation of teaching at a Catholic Marinist institution as well as the particulars of HSI and the influence of the Hispanic community on the Church in San Antonio and globally, the latter of which although not entirely unique to St. Mary’s is significant to understanding our student body. This program was developed to support the needs of faculty and introduce them very intentionally to the distinction of working at a Catholic university reflective of the Marianist charism and to build mentorship into a yearlong orientation program for faculty. 

Anderson University: “New Faculty Mentoring for Christian Ethos and Mission.”
Director: Joel D. Shrock

Anderson University redesigned its long-standing new faculty orientation program to more directly and proactively work with new faculty and their faculty mentors on inculcating our new members into the distinctive Christian ethos, traditions, and mission of our institution. The program not only helped new faculty understand university operations, but also challenged them to see how Anderson’s Christian commitments pervade our daily activities and goals. The mentoring grant supported the new program design, mentoring training, and activities designed to bond our new faculty to each other and the university. The new program provided space for the development of stronger interpersonal connections and greater support for conversations of how faith informs being a faculty member and Anderson University.

University of Pikeville: "Breaking Down Silos: Building Up Spirit"
Director: Pamela Gilliam

Our mentoring program had three goals: to foster relationships across disciplines and build collaboration among faculty, to promote understanding and appreciation of our Appalachian culture while acclimating new faculty to our rural location, and to reinforce the UPIKE mission of adhering to Christian principles by practicing servant leadership. When COVID-19 hit, the program was extended into the 2020 academic year. During the two years, 32 undergraduate, graduate, and professional faculty participated. Mentees were paired with faculty mentors across disciplines when possible. Although the pandemic restricted on-campus activities beginning in spring 2020, mentors-mentees continued to meet virtually. Additionally, mentees attended workshop on the history of the region and interacting with mentors who have spent time in the area, they collaborated to interview incoming medical school students, created new projects across disciplines such as film/media arts faculty working with music faculty to record and share performances. Finally, new service projects were created with increased faculty participation in existing activities.


To See More Recent and Past Mentoring Programs, click here.

Noteworthy News

February LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for February 2022 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the 2023-2025 Lilly Faculty Fellows Program

We are pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2023-2025 Lilly Faculty Fellows Program for mid-career faculty leaders across all disciplines to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation. Click here for more information and to apply.

Announcing the winner of the 2021 LFP Book Award

We are pleased to announce that On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom by David I. Smith has won the 2021 LFP Book Award. For more information and to see the five finalists, click here.

Grove City College Regional Conference Postponed to 2023

Grove City College's regional conference entitled "Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads" will now take place in spring 2023. For more information, 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.

Vatican II and Higher Education: Leading Forward

Sacred Heart University will host a regional conference on October 13-15, 2022 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Vatican II and the University's founding. For more information including a call for papers, click here.