Current LFP Update

LFP Update 15.2

May 2020

Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program to keep LFP representatives and others informed about the activities of 1) Lilly Network institutions, 2)  present and former Lilly Fellows and, 3) the LFP office at Valparaiso University.

In this Issue:


Note on COVID-19 and the LFP Fall Events

The Lilly Fellows Program Staff would like to open this quarterly LFP Update with a note about COVID-19 and its impact on programing for the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. First, like you, we are daily assessing the impact of COVID-19 on higher education and thus its impact on our activities. We will do our best to communicate with you regularly about how our programs might be impacted. Also, we are discussing ways in which this summer and fall the Lilly Network can provide an opportunity for member schools to process COVID-19 in light of church-related mission. For now, we know the following.

1. Our annual Workshop for Senior Administrators and National Conference are still scheduled for October 8-9, 2020, and October 9-11, 2020, respectively, at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. We are monitoring the situation, and we will decide whether to go ahead with the Workshop and Conference, cancel them, or modify them, in the second week of July 2020. Should we go forward with face-to-face meetings, registration will open on July 13.

2. We recognize that current Mentoring Programs and other projects or those slated for academic year 2020-2021 might require adjustments to timelines, reporting, etc. Please let our office know what adjustments you are making. Know that we understand you may need a good deal of flexibility.

3. The recruitment of the next cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows is moving forward.

4. The recruitment of the next cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows is moving forward.

5. We will still receive applications for Mentoring Program, Small Grant, Regional Collaboration and Conference Grants, and Network Exchange Grants as usual by September 15, 2020.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.


COVID-19 and Church-Related Mission

Schools in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities are currently experiencing unprecedented challenges related to the spread of COVID-19. The Lilly Network Board is interested in hearing stories of how different Network schools have developed specifically mission-based responses to the current challenges. What particular aspects of your institution's response have been driven by your school's mission? How does the response relate back to your school's identity? We invite you to contribute to a collection of stories focusing on this connection. We suggest a response of approximately 500-600 words. Please respond by May 22, 2020. We would ask your permission to edit and publish these later, once we determine overall interest.

Here is a link to a form you may use to submit your response.



The 2020 LFP Annual National Conference: Tranquillitas Ordinis: Liberal Arts Education and the Common Good

We anticipate that the 30th National ConferenceTranquillitas Ordinis: Liberal Arts Education and the Common Good, will take place on the campus of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, October 9-11, 2020, Tranquillitas Ordinis: Liberal Arts Education and the Common Good, will include a liturgical music celebration featuring works by current and former Lilly Graduate Fellows commissioned for the occasion: Of Mercy, Ave Maria, and Annunciation at the Scrovegni Chapel.

Speakers and Presenters include:

  • Jeremy D. Wilkins, Boston College
  • Nathan Cornelius, Johns Hopkins University
  • Joel Scott Davis, Samford University
  • Daniel Gee, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

The theme of this year’s conference, The Tranquility of Order, suggests how we should think about, and engage in, Christian higher education as we continue to read the “signs of the times” (Gaudium et Spes, para. 44). The theme indicates to us, as educators, that we have a responsibility to the tranquility of order, which we recognize can be mirrored in the souls of students, through the process of education, and for the sake of the common good that flows from education.

The conference will focus on the crucial role played by liberal arts education in this emergence of a personal and social tranquillitas ordinis, insofar as it is within the liberal arts that, first, serving the common good becomes an explicit goal and value; that second, it is clearly recognized what it means to belong to a regional, a national, and a global community; and third, that the discovery is made by students that they know, and are obligated by, genuine truths and values which guide them toward affirming the dignity of persons, and protecting the rights of others; in particular, the most vulnerable among us in our communities today. Our theme suggests that much is at stake in a properly liberal education.

We are monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and the LFP office will decide in the second week of July whether to go forward, modify, or postpone the conference. Should we go forward with face-to-face meetings, registration will open on July 13, 2020.

Download a Conference Flyer here

The Registration deadline will be in early September.


The 2020 Workshop for Senior Administrators: Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter?

Immediately preceding the National Conference will be the Twenty-First Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter?. The Workshop will be held at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, October 17-18, 2019. This workshop will help participants explore how church-related mission is embodied and institutionalized in particular individuals, groups, practices, and buildings on their campuses. Mission does not exist in the ether. The workshop will help participants begin to map “geography” of mission on campus and explore how it affects the ways mission is expressed and enacted in campus structures, activities, objectives, and programs. Attendees will see and understand their campuses in new ways. Together we will identify aspirations, common and extraordinary challenges, strengths, and opportunities around mission. Participants will take concrete strategies to address challenges and opportunities back to their institutions. The workshop will be convened by Patricia Killen, Provost Emerita of Gonzaga University, and Caroline Simon, Provost of Whitworth University, both in Spokane, Washington.

The Workshop is offered at no cost to senior administrators at Lilly Network member institutions. Each Institution is eligible to register one senior administrator (president, vice president, academic dean, provost, or equivalent). One participant from each school will be reimbursed for travel costs up to $600. Meals and hotel accommodations will also be paid for by the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. Additional participants from member schools will be on a waiting list until early September 2020, and will be enrolled as slots become available.

We are monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and the LFP office will decide in the second week of July whether to go forward, modify, or postpone the conference. Should we go forward with face-to-face meetings, registration will open on July 13, 2020.

Download a Workshop Flyer here

The Registration deadline will be in early September.


Call for Applications for the Second Cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows

The Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities is happy to announce the 2021-2023 cohort of The Lilly Faculty Fellows Program for mid-career faculty leaders across the disciplines to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation. This initiative will: (1) refresh and enliven a sense of calling for participants as people of faith, as teachers, and scholars; (2) provide a space for creative exploration of how Christian thought and practice intersect the academic vocation; and (3) provide funds for Fellows to develop and pilot Faculty Fellow programs on their own campuses. Although the Lilly Network has in the past emphasized faculty programs in humanities and the arts, this project especially seeks applicants from STEM, social scientific, and professional fields.

The Lilly Network will select 6-7 teams of two Fellows each, from different Network Schools. Teams will participate in a two-year program that includes four conferences in Indianapolis and Chicago. We will provide start-up funds of $8,000 to each participating team to inaugurate a Lilly Faculty Fellows Program on its own campus, and individual Fellows will be awarded a $4,000 honorarium for participation, for a total award of $16,000. Travel, meals, and lodging for all four conferences will be provided as well as all necessary books and materials.

The program will commence in June 2021 and conclude in June 2023.

Click here for Dates and Schedule, Eligibility, and Application Information

Application Deadline is November 15, 2020.

Applicants will be notified of their status by February 15, 2021.


Call to Apply for Lilly Network Grants

We are very happy to announce that the Lilly Network received a five-year grant of $2.5 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2018 to support activities on Network campuses that connect Christianity and church-related mission to the academic vocation. We invite Lilly Network member schools to submit grant proposals in order to take advantage of these newly available funds by September 15, 2020. Proposals can be submitted for the following:


Spring 2020 Regional Conferences Postponed until 2020/2021

Three Regional Conferences scheduled for April 2020 have been postponed.

The Regional Conference at  Sacred Heart University, titled The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century, is rescheduled for October 29-31, 2020. For More Information, Click Here.

The Regional Conference at Valparaiso University titled, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities,” has been postponed until the 2020/2021 academic year. We will let you know the new date as soon as it is available. For more information, click here.

The Regional Conference at Seton Hall University titled “Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election,” is postponed until the 2020-2021 academic year. We will let you know the new date as soon as it is available.


LFP National Network Board Actions in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020

The National Network Board of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts met for its fall meeting on October 17-18, 2019 at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and its online spring meeting on March 28, 2020. After considering proposals for Small GrantsMentoring Programs, and Regional Collaboration and Conference Grants, the Board awarded grants to the following institutions: 

The National Network Board elected the following LFP Representatives to the National Network Board:

  • Darin H. Davis, Director of the Institute for Faith and Learning, Baylor University in Waco, Texas
  • Franklin T. Harkins, Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Professor Ordinarius, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
  • Mark Sargent, Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California

We welcome these colleagues to the Board and thank retiring Board members Todd Lake of Belmont University, Mark Ruff of Saint Louis University, and Caroline Simon of Whitworth University, for their service to the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities.


Update on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

This year marks the second time the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program will select biennial cohorts. Even though the LFP will select a cohort every other year, it will select finalists each year. This year, the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program received 48 nominations from 25 Lilly Network schools. From these 48, 30 applied, and a selection committee of 8 is in the process of selecting finalists who will be interviewed in Indianapolis in April 2020. They will be interviewed along with finalists selected next year. This upcoming cohort will be the twelfth selected. There are 145 Lilly Graduate Fellows.

A very special thanks to all of you who nominated your students for this highly competitive fellowship.  Your hard work keeps this program vital, as does the education and formation that our Fellows receive at your institutions. Again, thank you.

The two active cohorts have been active in online colloquia throughout the academic year. The summer conference at Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse for the Tenth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows has been postponed to next year. The Eleventh Cohort hopes to meet on the campus of Saint Louis University in August. The Ninth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows anticipates a reunion that will coincide with the annual National Conference at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, in October 2020.


Deadlines for Grants

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsSmall GrantsNetwork Exchanges, and Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2020


Applications for the Lilly Faculty Fellowship are due November 15, 2020.

For more information, visit the LFP website


From the Cresset

With the Lilly Fellows Program Blog, Exiles from Eden, and the print newsletter network Communiqué on hiatus, we will now emphasize and publicize the LFP’s ongoing relationship with The Cresset, Valparaiso University’s review of literature, the arts, and public affairs. See the most recent Lent 2020 edition here. It contains a number of articles by folks associated with the LFP, including former Lilly Postdoctoral Fellows Christine Hedlin and Samuel Graber. Due to COVID-19, the annual LFP edition of the Cresset is delayed.

Also, congratulations to the Cresset for winning three awards from the Associated Church Press for articles in 2019. Two of the winning articles were by former Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow Lisa DeBoer of Westmont College and former Lilly Graduate Fellow (Cohort 7) Hilary Yancey.


Facebook and Twitter

As always, the LFP can be followed on Facebook and Twitter at @LFProgram and @Exilesfromeden.


Noteworthy News

Registration open for National Conference

The 2020 LFP National Conference will be hosted online by St. Mary's University in San Antonio, TX. Registration is now open. Click here for more information and to register.

May LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for May 2020 is now available. Click 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.

LFP Grant Application Q&A Sessions

There will be two LFP Grant Application Q&A sessions hosted via Zoom. They will be Monday, June 29, 2020 at 2pm CST and Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 12pm CST. Please email Jenna Van Sickle for more details and the login information. 

Rescheduled: Catholic Intellectual Tradition Conference at Sacred Heart University

The “Catholic Intellectual Tradition Conference: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century,” at Sacred Heart University has been rescheduled to October 29-31, 2020 as an online conference. Click here for more information and to register. 

Seton Hall conference on Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election 10/21-10/23

Seton Hall University will host an conference on “Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election,” on October 21-23. This conference is free to attend and will be broadcast live for those who cannot attend. Register now at www.shu/edu/ICR2020.

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.