Small Grants Program

LFP National Network Institutions are invited 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 each year.  See below for the application process.

Current Small Grant Programs

At its Fall 2021 meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Asbury University, Assumption University, Hellenic College Holy Cross, and Samford University.

At its Fall 2020 meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Azusa Pacific University, Belmont University, Dordt University, East Texas Baptist University, Indiana Wesleyan University, McMurry University (2), Northwest Nazarene University, Sacred Heart University, Saint Louis University (2), Saint Xavier University, Samford University, Seton Hall University, St. John's University, The University of Scranton, University of Dayton, University of Pikeville (2), and Westmont College. Note: In 2020, the National Network Board issued a special call for small grant proposals related to anti-racism and/or COVID-19, and the number of grants represented here indicates a strong response to that call.

At its Fall 2019 meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Loyola University MarylandSaint Louis UniversitySaint Mary's University of Minnesota, and Villanova University.

Recently Completed Small Grant Programs

At its Fall 2018 meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Anderson UniversityBelmont UniversitySaint Xavier UniversitySalve Regina UniversityXavier University, and Whitworth University.

Anderson University: "Orienting Part-Time Faculty to the Mission and Religious History of Anderson University"

Our small grant was awarded for the development of an adjunct and part-time faculty handbook. Our university previously had not provided any standard handbook or orientation to the university. Of particular focus for the handbook was a focus on university mission. The university’s founding denomination, the Church of God, does not endorse any creeds or have a formal statement of faith. The non-creedal nature of the Church of God is a central part of its identity, yet makes it especially difficult for newcomers to the university to understand its distinctive faith heritage. A small grant allowed the university to develop an orientation booklet to welcome new adjunct and part-time faculty and orient them to the faith heritage and mission of the university. A highlight of the project was the handbook’s collection of adjunct faculty written reflections. These reflections explore the faculty members’ motivations for teaching and their relationship to the university’s mission and ethos.

Saint Xavier University: "Core Beliefs in the Examined Life" and "Considering the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Catholic Social Teaching”

Saint Xavier University received two small grants to fund programs in response to changes within the General Education Program, in an effort to promote our religious mission “across the curriculum.” Two first-year courses were pivotal to the success of these changes. The Examined Life and the First Year Seminar. The two programs were combined and designed to help faculty revise these two first-year courses to make them stewards of our specific requirements to promote ethical decision making and consider the history and charism of the Sisters of Mercy. The program brought together full-time and adjunct faculty to consider these characteristics. The program was a success. Full-time and Adjunct faculty felt more confident and connected to one another. Faculty had a stronger and more nuanced understanding of the requirements associated with these two courses and the shared responsibilities for the General Education Program, and the program led to demonstrable changes in course syllabi, course assignments, and student learning.

Xavier University: "Supporting Faculty Members Understanding of Ignatian Pedagogy: Developing a Video Resource"

Xavier University is generating new academic courses and programs or modifying existing programs to be delivered online or in locations other than the home campus. As a result, XU’s Center for Mission and Identity was searching for ways in which to help all faculty, but especially off-campus and/or adjunct faculty, connect to a Jesuit Catholic university and feel a stronger sense of belonging. This connection includes information on the mission, values, and characteristics on what it means to be a faculty member in a Jesuit Catholic institution with the critical component to teaching being Ignatian pedagogy, specifically, the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm which is a dynamic interplay of 5 key pedagogical components – Context, Experience, Reflection, Action, and Evaluation. Thus, we sought to develop a contemporary pedagogical tool, a light-hearted brief video, to post on Xavier’s website for easy dissemination, viewing and learning. 

At its Fall, 2017 meeting, the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to John Brown UniversitySeton Hall UniversitySterling College, and Villanova University.

John Brown University: "Reimagining and Reinvigorating the Core Curriculum"

As John Brown University is undergoing a core curriculum revision, the academic departments, divisions, and colleges needed to develop or update curriculum in five areas: Intercultural Engagement, Christian Formation, Evangelical Theology, Whole Person Wellness, and Integrated Humanities. The faculty who would be teaching these classes met for a three-day workshop to develop course frameworks, outcomes, and assessments.

Seton Hall University for "Medical Humanities: Pedagogy and Praxis"

This project aimed to bring diverse faculty from across Seton Hall to explore the idea of the medical humanities through public lectures and faculty panel discussions. Questions that were considered included whether studying theology and philosophy is necessarily salient for the practice of medicine as well as what the study of literature and history might contribute to medical questions. These events provided opportunities for students and faculty to consider the larger reach of humanistic disciplines and challenged participants to think about the health fields as more than simply about scientific knowledge and technical expertise. 

Sterling College: "Understanding Christian Faith"

Sterling College created new initiatives: a Faculty Fellows reading group and a Departmental Chapel program. These initiatives exist to further Sterling College’s mission, “to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith.” 

Villanova University for "Caritas Towards Unitas: Teaching African-American Literature in the Spirit of Augustine--A Faculty Dialogue at Villanova University"

The aim of Caritas toward Unitas was to invite faculty who teach in Villanova
University’s first-year Augustine & Culture Seminar Program (ACS) to discuss and meditate on select works of African American literature, and to do so in the spirit of Augustine and the central ACS question, “Who am I?” In the Fall semester 2018, different faculty gathered for four luncheons to engage and be challenged by James Baldwin’s famous letter to his nephew “My Dungeon Shook” (1963). Then in the Spring semester 2019, faculty gathered for two dinner and one lunch conversation on Toni Morrison’s essay “A Slow Talk of Trees” (1976). 


At its Fall 2016 meeting the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants to Saint Louis University for "SLU Programs for Jesuit History, Identity, and Mission" and to Westmont College for "From All Tribes and Peoples and Languages" 

Saint Louis University: "The Opioid Epidemic: What would Ignatius Do" 

Saint Louis University held a Lunch and Learn series for its Health Sciences Campus to operationalize the Jesuit mission, professional formation, and action and advocacy to address the opioid epidemic. The opioid epidemic in the US can be overwhelming to university stakeholders. The problem seems too large and too intimidating to address. We developed a five-lesson lunch and learn series that ran during the Spring 2018 semester. The format of each session included watching a video prior to attending the session, an Examen, and a group discussion. One of our Jesuit faculty led participants through a guided Examen exercise, and guests from the criminal justice ministry led the small group discussion based on the video and Examen. Discussions were on topics such as, "Do I consider addiction a disease?" and "What does 'as long as it takes' therapy mean to you?"

Westmont College: "From All Tribes and Peoples and Languages"

The program "From All Tribes and Peoples and Languages" supported by the Lilly Fellows Small grant was designed to deepen Westmont faculty's understanding of diversity as an essential aspect of Christian and evangelical identity; it was also aimed at assisting faculty in developing cross-cultural communication skills. The program benefited our college in numerous ways. Specifically, four reading groups were formed in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years that created the opportunity for faculty to read and discuss seminal books on diversity, while the LARA Method workshop offered in the fall of 2018 equipped faculty with basics of successful cross-cultural communications. Biblical and theological foundations of diversity were discussed by the reading group participants and linked to everyday practices that support and enhance equity and inclusiveness on campus. The diversity activities of the 2017-2019 created momentum for collective learning and courageous conversations in the future. We believe that faculty learning about diversity will enhance Westmont student experiences embodying diversity as Christian identity in the classroom and beyond.

Read more about previous small grants programs here.

The Application Process

LFP National Network Institutions are invited 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.

Proposals must be submitted by LFP campus representatives by September 15 of each year.  Activities funded will take place during following academic year. 

Examples of programs that might be funded include but are not limited to:

  • On-campus reading or discussion groups for faculty or administrators on church-related mission, faith and higher education, faith and the academic vocation, etc.
  • Workshops for faculty and administrators on church-related mission or the academic vocation.
  • Lectures or a lecture series connected to reading groups or workshops on church-related mission or the academic vocation.
  • Discussion groups, workshops, or exchanges of best practices regarding church-related mission or the academic vocation among campuses in close proximity.
  • Peer mentoring for administrators or junior, mid-career, or senior faculty.

Funds might be used to secure supplies, to provide faculty incentives, to provide travel, or honoraria for speakers.

Applicants must consult with the Lilly Fellows Program Associate Director prior to submitting the application.

Before applying, please consult the "Guide to Writing Lilly National Network Grant Proposals."

Grant recipients are required to provide a thorough assessment of the program to be submitted in a report to the LFP upon completion of the funded program. Plans for this assessment should be included in the proposal.

Required Application Materials:

  • Description of the Program (5 pages), including Executive Summary, Rationale, Connection to the Lilly National Network Mission, Goals of the Project, Project Description, and Evaluation Plan
  • Preliminary schedule of events for participants, if applicable
  • Projected budget
  • CV of the Director
  • Application Cover Sheet (available here)

Please include an estimate of how many members of the campus or campuses will be involved, a description of how the program will be structured, monitored, and evaluated, and an indication of the need and support for this program on the host campus (including how the funded activity fits into other related efforts currently on your campus). Proposals for reading groups should include a potential reading list.

Applicants must consult with the Lilly Fellows Program Associate Director prior to submitting the application.

Please submit applications as a PDF attachment to

Or you can mail application materials to:

Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts
Valparaiso University
Linwood House
1320 Chapel Drive South
Valparaiso, IN 46383


Noteworthy News

LFP Office Closed for Holiday Break

The LFP office will be closed December 20, 2021-January 4, 2022. We wish you a joyous Christmas celebration!

November LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for November 2021 is now available. Click here.

Announcing the 2022-2024 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship

The 2022-2024 Lilly Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and the Arts will be taking applications through January 19, 2022. To learn more about this two-year, residential postdoctoral fellowship at Valparaiso University, click here.

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 Hosts Regional Conference

Grove City College invites participants and presenters for a regional conference entitled "Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads" April 7-9, 2022. For more information, click here.

Hope College Big Read

Hope College is hosting a Network Exchange March 6-8, 2022 to showcase their annual month-long community-wide reading program. Click here for more information.

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.

Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference at Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is hosting a conference on April 8, 2022 entitled Religion, State, and Nationalism Conference: Problems and Possibilities. For more information, click here.

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.