Recently Completed and Past Mentoring Programs

Recently Completed Mentoring Programs


Belmont University: "Mentoring to Strengthen Multicultural Christian Education"
Director: Bernard Turner

Belmont University created a multicultural Christian academic community that required intentionality at all levels. Our grant provided senior faculty of color to serve as mentors to new, adjunct, and senior faculty by voluntarily being involved in this institutional-wide program. The experience of all would foster deeper and broader conversations about how to make Belmont an even more welcoming community for all students, faculty and staff. To this end, we were able to have seven faculty of color participate in a leadership positions which mentored 17 faculty, at various levels, of different races regardless of color. Activities included: a) An initial meeting for all mentors with the Provost, Vice President for Spiritual Development, Director of the Teaching Center, and the Program Director to discuss the program and thank the mentors for their willingness to lead and serve. b) Matching of the mentors and mentees. c) Four designated group meetings with a speaker. This included two breakfast meetings, a retreat and a post-retreat meeting. d) Mentors attending the 23rd Annual Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation (SCORR) Conference at Biola University. e) At least 34 mentor/mentee meetings.

North Park University for "Vocation of the Christian Scholar"
Director: Liza Ann Acosta

North Park University's mentoring program focused mostly on the New Faculty Seminar. Mentors and last year’s cohort were invited to participate in the program voluntarily. Mentors and new faculty met for six sessions on topics such as: Developing a Professional Development Plan; Understanding the University and its Mission; Tenure and Promotion; and Service. Alternatively, after setting goals, pairs were able to choose how to check in on progress of goals on teaching or research or to discuss challenges encountered as well as discuss additional questions about the book, Vocation of the Christian Scholar. 

Saint Louis University: "Mentoring Faculty for a New, Interdisciplinary,  Mission-Driven Core"
Director: Mark Ruff

Saint Louis University created two pilot interdisciplinary cohorts from across the entire campus, including the humanities, natural sciences, engineering, nursing, health sciences and medicine. Over the course of two academic semesters, faculty in these cohorts engaged with seminal works in the Catholic intellectual tradition with the goal of incorporating its central themes into new mission-driven courses intended for use in a new university-wide core curriculum. Each cohort began with a two day retreat. Each retreat featured presentations by Mark Edward Ruff on the Catholic intellectual tradition and as well as by Gina Merys on Ignatian pedagogy. Our second retreat featured an overview of SLU’s history led by its now emeritus head archivist, John Wade. The retreats also contained discussions of readings from and about the Catholic intellectual tradition as well as opportunities for all participants to share vocational stories.


Aquinas University: "Teaching and Research Partnerships"
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 year are paired with tenured associate professors).


Calvin College: "Mentoring New Faculty through Classroom Observation and Collaboration"
During the 2014-15 academic year Calvin College used its LFP-funded mentoring program to try to achieve its primary goal--better teaching for mission—through commitments to (1) classroom practice, (2) evidence-based decisions about teaching (relying mostly on current pedagogical research), (3) pairing new and recently hired faculty with mentors outside of their department (to focus on confidential, formative mentoring), and (4) mutual and frequent classroom observations. Best practices developed by individual mentoring pairs were shared in group meetings. Mentoring pairs read books on teaching and learning and on faith and learning, using these texts to plan classroom practice and discuss results. Probably the two features that the new faculty liked best were doing classroom observations grounded in published research and working with a “safe” mentor outside of their department. Without any prompting to do so, twelve of the sixteen mentoring pairs reported that they will continue working together this year.

Dordt College: "Perspectives in Practice"
The Perspectives in Practice mentoring program at Dordt College was developed in response to a desire among faculty to learn more about how to unfold and apply a Reformational perspective in practices for teaching and scholarship. Additionally, faculty identified the need for sustained time to work closely with small groups of colleagues on developing perspectival approaches to broader topics (such as pedagogical frameworks, scholarly methods, or issues/questions essential to their work within and across disciplines). Dordt therefore planned an ongoing series of Pedagogy Perspectives workshops for interested faculty. They also developed an internal mini-grant program, which gave professors opportunity to design their own small-group seminars—with priority given to groups that connected newer and veteran faculty. Dordt invited proposals from within and across departments. Small groups developed proposals matched to their unique needs and interests; each group planned for sustained time of in-depth collaborative study. These small-group proposals took a variety of different formats: weekly breakfast meetings, 2-3 days together in retreat, a week of sequential half days together on campus, or time for a group to attend a conference together and debrief afterward—with a follow-up of regular shorter meetings to continue their communal inquiry. Together, the workshops and seminars fostered Reformationally grounded, in-depth inquiry into teaching and scholarship. They helped faculty deepen and broaden their engagement with Reformed perspectives, encouraged them to explore and respond to disciplinary resources, and promoted practices that will have significant influence on teaching and scholarship. Recipients shared presentations or publications based on their project, and Dordt concluded the year with a celebration breakfast for faculty that focused on new mentoring opportunities in the year ahead.

Saint Louis University: "Beyond Branding: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Corporate Models of Higher Education"
The “Beyond Branding” mentoring program at Saint Louis University involved three stages in fall, 2014 and spring, 2015, and is ongoing in the academic year 2015/2016.  The first stage in August, 2015 brought together 14 faculty from 5 different Colleges in Saint Louis University for a week-long seminar on the Catholic, Jesuit character of the institution.  Readings and discussions followed on the tension between the three traditions that have informed the university: the Catholic/Jesuit tradition; the enlightenment model of the university privileging specialized research; and the American corporate and consumer model of education that has more recently shaped our university culture.  Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Dean of the Honors College at Baylor University, was a featured speaker. Participants continued to meet over the course of the yea and put together a list of 10 new mission-driven initiatives in their colleges.  The second stage in spring, 2015, involved a series of the university’s “Teach to the Mission Syllabus Project,” in which four veteran faculty and staff collaborated to put on a series of gathering for six junior faculty members from a variety of disciplines.  In March, 2015, the third stage saw the College of Arts and Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Forum (which has run for several years) hold a special forum on mission-driven administration. Speakers included former Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. John McGreevy, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame. The space created by this grant for conversation, confronting the challenges and imagining the future is already bearing great fruit and has generated a sense of confidence and creativity among a wide variety of faculty leaders in the institution.



Northwest Nazarene University - Ezer: Helping New Faculty Connect to Mission and Vocation
In fall 2013, Northwest Nazarene University began its extensive nine-month orientation program for new faculty with the purpose of acclimating new faculty to the university’s spiritual, academic, and social culture.  This program, Ezer: Helping New Faculty Connect to Mission and Vocation, explored the biblical Hebrew idea of Ezer, which characterizes the act of “coming along side to help, to give strength to another.”  Participants engaged in consistent personal conversations and consultations with the program director; and attended six group meetings to discuss salient issues pertaining to NNU’s history, religious foundations, and academic processes. One other element of the program involved the pairing of veteran faculty mentor/companions to a new faculty to provide a collegial perspective and give opportunity for developing personal relationships across academic disciplines. The program’s success inspired the continuation of the mentoring orientation program into the 2014-2015 academic year.


At its 2011 fall meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded funding to the following schools to host Mentoring Programs on their campuses for the 2012-2013 academic year:

Hope College: Initium: A Newly Integrated Program for Mentoring New Faculty to be Mission-Oriented Teacher-Scholars
Co-Directors: Carol Simon, Interim Dean for Social Sciences and Professor of Philosophy, Jack Mulder, Professor of Philosophy, and Laura Pardo, Professor of Education

Hope College plans to redesign its existing mentoring programs into an integrated program which will be more effective in serving all new faculty members.  The program will provide new faculty with insight into what it means to be a mission-oriented professor at Hope College and will equip them with skills and knowledge to become full participants in Hope’s mission as a liberal arts college in the context of the historic Christian faith.  The mentoring grant will support the redesign of the mentoring program at Hope, including the development of new syllabi and lesson plans for the workshops that stretch from just before new faculty start teaching through their second year as Hope faculty.

Salve Regina--Mentoring Junior Faculty for Mission
Directors: Donna M. Cook, EdD, Dean de la Motte, PhD

Salve Regina University’s mentoring program for junior faculty is a new pilot program to serve as the catalyst and framework for a permanent commitment to faculty mentoring in subsequent years.  The goals of the mentoring program are to use the Salve Regina mission as a guidepost for all university programming, whether academic or co-curricular to integrate the tenants of Catholic social teaching, incorporate the Mercy charism into instruction wherever possible, and to bring the ideas of service and stewardship into faculty practice.  The program will also act as a vehicle for professional development, support both the psychosocial and career aspects of development, encourage discipline-specific research both internally (with faculty and students) and externally (through professional organizations), and provide a variety of informational sessions based on faculty preferences.  It will also foster and nurture relationships, create a collegial atmosphere to encourage interaction between faculty members, offer ample opportunities for collaboration among faculty colleagues, and provide information on various constituencies across campus to encourage collaboration across divisions.  The mentoring program also seeks to enhance teaching through best practices of educational pedagogy, provide guidance on multiple teaching strategies to engage today’s learners, increase faculty awareness of available teaching tools, and present information on teaching and learning theory

Westmont College – Lilly Mentoring Grant
Director: Deborah Dunn, PhD

The purpose of Westmont College’s Lilly Mentoring Grant was to support ongoing mentoring activities for incoming, new faculty, and develop a “mutual mentoring” program for senior faculty six years out from final promotion reviews. By supporting these mentoring relationships, the program aimed to accomplish two main things: 1) to strengthen the mentoring and orientation for new faculty; and 2) to reinvigorate the mutual mentoring program for senior faculty. The program was very well received by new faculty and their mentors, and most found the experience an invigorating and worthwhile use of time.


Houghton College

“Willing to Be Wiser,” Director: Linda Mills Woolsey

The purpose of Houghton College's mentoring program is to expand the college’s existing faculty mentoring beyond the first year through senior and peer mentoring.   With a group of five mentoring pairs, the program met in the fall 2011 to discuss chapters 1-3 of Ken Bain’s What the Best Teachers Do.  The group met for dinner with guest presenter Dr. Jason Adsit, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, University of Buffalo, to discuss the relationship of teaching and scholarship. They had a third meeting to discuss Christian Smith and Patricia Snell, Souls in Transition:  The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, chapter 2.  Professor Woolsey reports that “On the whole it has been encouraging to faculty to be able to converse about teaching across disciplinary and generational lines.”

Mercer University

"College of Liberal Arts Faculty Mentoring Initiative", Directors: John Marson Dunaway and Bryan J. Whitfield

The purpose of this mentoring program is to help young faculty understand and embrace the church-related mission of Mercer University, by pairing junior faculty with senior faculty. Fourteen mentors worked together during a one-day training workshop for mentors in August 2011 which included Dean Lake Lambert, College of Arts and Sciences, the two co-directors, and Scott Walker, Director of the Center for Life Purpose. This was followed by monthly reports from mentors and plenary workshops on Baptist heritage, on service-learning, on research opportunities, and on the history of interdisciplinary and transformative education at Mercer University. The final workshop was held on the site of Mercer's founding in 1833 in Penfield, Georgia.

Roanoke College

“Freedom with Purpose,” Director: Mary Henold

The purpose of this mentoring program is to develop a sense of shared mission among senior and new faculty and develop a true mentoring program at Roanoke College.  A group of thirteen faculty members, with four mentoring pairs (new and tenured faculty), met in early Fall, establishing mentoring relationships, and developing a plan of assessment for both the mentoring pilot and the larger conversation program concerning Roanoke College’s “Freedom with Purpose” statement.  Professor Henold reported that "There’s a fine chemistry within the cohort and the level of dialogue we’re achieving on questions of mission is highly unusual for the campus.”

Saint Xavier University

"Mercy Scholars Program,"  Directors: Michael O’Keeffe and Susan Sanders

Saint Xavier University began its mentoring program in the fall 2011 with a select group of senior faculty to “deepen their understanding of their own faith and religious traditions” and to connect this to their professional lives.  The Mercy Scholars Program began with five teacher-scholars who engaged in readings which connected their own faith tradition to a larger Catholic conversation.  Drawn from various disciplines (Biology, English and Foreign Languages, Education, and Business) the five scholars did common readings, like The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser, Without the Buddha I could Not Be a Christian by Parker Palmer, and Teaching as an Act of Faith by Arlin Migliazzo.  They then proceeded to do discipline-specific readings suggested by the five scholars. The result of this year-long program was a set of five new syllabi informed by their readings for the 2012-2013 academic year to be completed by August 2012.  Participants found the program enriching to their lives as teacher-scholars. Saint Xavier University already has plans for another round of Mercy Scholars, this time expanded to seven.

Past Mentoring Programs

Belmont University
Lewis University
Wittenberg University
Xavier University - Cincinnati

Concordia University Portland
University of Dallas

Illinois College
Loyola Marymount

Belmont Abbey College
Bethel University
Westmont College

Concordia University, NE
Eastern Mennonite University
Presbyterian College

Geneva College
Luther College
St. Xavier University
Xavier University

Columbia College
Saint Mary’s University
Seattle Pacific University

Dordt College
Mount St. Mary's College
Wartburg College

Fordham University
Samford University

Augsburg College
Baylor University
Goshen College
Gustavus Adolphus College

University of Scranton
Loyola Marymount University

Abilene Christian University
Bethune Cookman College
University of The Incarnate Word
University of Notre Dame

Berea College
Hope College
Midland Lutheran College

Concordia College-Moorhead
St. Olaf College
Whitworth College

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.