Current LFP Update

LFP Update 18.1

November 2023

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:

Save the Date: the 2023 LFP National Conference

The 33rd annual LFP National ConferenceContemplating Integral Ecology for the Common Good, will take place on October 20-22, 2023, at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

What is integral ecology, and how can it be oriented to the common good? How can faith-based liberal arts institutions of higher education train their students to be attentive to both natural and human ecology so as to contemplate and develop effective solutions to questions of ecology and sustainability? Hosted by Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a liberal arts college in the Catholic, Dominican tradition, this conference will explore these questions from multiple perspectives, engaging the natural sciences, philosophy/theology, and the humanities/arts.

Speakers include Kerry Andrew Emanuel, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Marie I. George, Professor of Philosophy at St. John's University in New York, and Debra Rienstra, Professor of English at Calvin College.

Registration will open in May 2023.

The 2023 Workshop for Senior Administrators will be held at Aquinas College on October 19-20, 2023 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Check the website in spring 2023 for more information on next year’s workshop.

Call for Nominations, The Tenth Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2023

The Lilly Fellows Program invites nominations for the tenth biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2023. The biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award honors an original and imaginative work from any academic discipline that best exemplifies the central ideas and principles animating the Lilly Fellows Program.  These include faith and learning in the Christian intellectual tradition, the vocation of teaching and scholarship, and the history, theory or practice of the university as the site of religious inquiry and culture.

Works under consideration should address the historical or contemporary relation of Christian intellectual life and scholarship to the practice of teaching as a Christian vocation or to the past, present, and future of higher education. Single authored books or edited collections in any discipline, published in 2019 to 2022, are eligible. The committee will receive nominations of academic faculty, clergy, and others. Authors or editors cannot nominate their own works. A Prize of $3000 will be awarded at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference at Aquinas College, in October 2023. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2023.

For more information and to nominate books, click here. 

Third Cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows

We are happy to announce that the LFP received 16 applications for the third cohort of the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program. Six teams were chosen to form this cohort from Concordia University Texas, Mercer University, Samford University, Seattle Pacific University, University of Portland, and University of the Incarnate Word. The group will have its first meeting on June 25-28, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Applications for Fourth Cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows coming soon

In spring 2023, the LFP will issue a call for applications for the Fourth Cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows. You can read about the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program Here.

Conference at Grove City College, “Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads,” March 30-April 1, 2023

The Grove City English Department invites participants and presenters to an in-person Lilly Fellows Program Regional Conference: “Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads,” held on campus at Grove City College on March 30-April 1, 2023. The conference will feature plenary addresses by graphic novelist and artist Gene Luen Yang and scholar Dr. Susan Van Zanten.

Describing the vexed position of the Christian in a postcolonial nation, Ghanaian theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye writes, “What is specifically Christian is irresistible. But Christianity in Africa began by confusing Christianity with European culture” (Inheriting Our Mothers’ Gardens 39). Christianity has often been mistaken for and sometimes presented as a purely Western phenomenon, but this has never been the case—Christian communities like the Ethiopian Church and the Saint Thomas Christians of India trace their roots back to the time of the apostles. This fact is becoming ever more apparent today as the demographic center of even Western Christianity shifts eastward and southward. If, as St. Paul says, the Gospel is “a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles,” then Christianity presents a challenge to the conventional wisdom of any culture or nation. Christianity is not inherently more compatible with Western culture than it is with any of the cultures of the East or the Global South. How might American scholars and American students, especially those who also find Christianity “irresistible,” understand and learn from Christian thinkers and treatments of Christian communities in these global texts?  

For more information about the conference and to register, click here.

Recent LFP Mentoring Grants

Mentoring Programs have been among the most popular and successful of all LFP initiatives. Mentoring Programs provide funds to nurture new and junior faculty at Network institutions and strengthen the commitment of all faculty to institutional mission. Well-constructed mentoring programs encourage new faculty as well as 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. To learn more about mentoring programs, see the LFP website here. The current deadline for the submission of applications for the 2024-2025 academic year is September 15, 2023.

In 2021-22, the LFP National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants for the 2022-23 academic year to John Brown University and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Recent LFP Small Grant Programs

The Lilly Fellows Program National Network invites Network institutions to apply for small grants of $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 for the 2024-2025 academic year is September 15, 2023.

In 2021-22 the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants for the academic year 2022-23 to Asbury University, Assumption University, East Texas Baptist University, Hellenic College Holy Cross, and Samford University.

Recent LFP Collaborations and Conferences at Sacred Heart University, Sterling College, and Valparaiso University

Sacred Heart University celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, as well as the 60th anniversary of the University’s founding in the spirit of Vatican II in October 2022.  To celebrate this landmark moment in the history of Catholic higher education and the Catholic intellectual tradition, Sacred Heart University assembled a conference of thinkers, writers, and artists who will offer deep, creative, and interpretive reflection on the impact of Vatican II on Catholic higher education. We examined how Vatican II can lead and move Catholic higher education forward. We explored how our reading and understanding of Vatican II documents, as well as the formative thinkers of Vatican II and the Catholic intellectual tradition, can deepen and expand our vision of Catholic higher education, addressing new and old challenges. The Conference showcased four keynote speakers whose papers are posted on the Lilly Fellows Program site: Massimo Faggioli, Villanova University; Grant Kaplan, St. Louis University; Susan Reynolds, Emory University; and Patricia McGuire, Trinity Washington University. The conference featured 12 panels with 30 presenters, and approximately 60 participants in total.

Sterling College received a regional conference grant from the Lilly Fellows Program to host “Fostering Community and Hospitality on a Diverse Campus” on May 16, 2022. The goal of the conference was to gather faculty, staff, and administration from multiple church-related colleges and universities in Kansas and surrounding areas in order to discuss and deepen our commitment to diversity and its connection to our respective missions as faith-based institutions. The one-day conference featured two plenary speakers, Richard Hughes and Nathan Luis Cartagena, and included break-out sessions on specific topics, a question-and-answer session with the plenary speakers, and time for fellowship and collaboration. Dr. Hughes’s plenary address was titled “Escaping the Grip of White Supremacy: A Mandate for Christian Higher Education” and Dr. Cartagena’s was “Cultivating Mercy on Diverse Campus.” The plenary talks encouraged the conference attendees to listen to the stories of underrepresented students, enter into the suffering of others, and understand how white supremacy often inhibits us from doing so. The breakout sessions were designed to provide take-aways for attendees from different corners of college/university work, such as “Diversity in Athletics” and “Biblical Theology of Hospitality.” Our goal was to encourage professionals from multiple church-related colleges and universities to realize their role as leaders in the realms of community, hospitality, and diversity, thereby shaping the character of their institutions of higher-learning to reflect justice, peace, and reconciliation and the significance of these practices in the Christian tradition. The conference had nearly 90 attendees from eight regional institutions.

Valparaiso University hosted a special symposium, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities,” on April 8, 2022. This symposium was sponsored by the Lilly Fellows network. The symposium explored the thorny dynamics of religion, state, and nationalism in three sessions. Atalia Omer, Antoine Arjakovsky, Scott Hibbard, and Slavica Jakelic were among the internationally-acclaimed panelists exploring the problems caused by political exploitation of religion, and the theological possibilities for positive relations between governments and religious institutions. A special panel discussed the challenges and potential of developing curricular resources and pedagogical strategies for teaching religion and state issues in undergraduate programs of institutions of Christian higher education.

Description and Guidelines for Hosting a Conference or Collaboration
Collaboration and Conference Grants represent a flexible category of programs that encourage examination of topics of special significance to faculty, administrators, and students at a particular institution or group of institutions, or matters of special intellectual concern to faculty and others in Christian higher education. The focus, character, and constituency of the conference, collaboration, or workshop may vary to suit the needs of the applicant, within the general guidelines listed above. Previous successful conferences, collaborations, and workshops have focused on issues facing schools in a particular region, topics of current debate among faculty at a particular school, student life issues, graduate student matters, various theological or denominational traditions in higher education, an array of topics in liberal and professional education, and issues of civic and public concern to the Christian intellectual community. The Deadline for applications to host a Collaboration or Conference in the 2024-2025 academic year is September 15, 2023. For more information, click here.

Apply to hold a LFP Network Exchange

Network Exchange Programs allow Network institutions to showcase distinctive, signature projects, institutes, or curricula that highlight the Christian or church-related characteristics of their schools. They provide for an extended visitation by faculty and leaders from other Network colleges, allowing close observation and study of the pertinent program, so that other institutions might learn from the host institution's experience and perspectives.

Any established and distinctive institution, program, or curricular emphasis that especially promotes the college or university's mission and Christian character may be an appropriate focus for a Network Exchange. These may be programmatic initiatives like core programs, honors programs, interdisciplinary programs, or capstone courses. Or they might take the form of research or study institutes, international experiences, co-curricular programs, off-campus study centers, or service learning programs.

A Network Exchange program may be funded for $25,000. The next deadline for applying for a Network Exchange in the 2024-2025 academic year is September 15, 2023. Click here for more information about submitting a proposal.

Deadlines for Grants and Other Opportunities

The next series of programs that will receive funding are: Mentoring ProgramsSmall GrantsNetwork Exchanges, and Collaboration and Conference Grants. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2023

Other Opportunities:
The Deadline to submit nominations for Lilly Fellows Program Book Award is March 1, 2023.

For more information, visit the LFP website.

Facebook and Twitter

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


Noteworthy News

February LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for February 2023 is now available. Click here.

Call for nominations for the 2023 LFP Book Award

The Lilly Fellows Program invites nominations for the tenth biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2023. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2023. Click here for more information and to nominate a book.

Announcing the winner of the 2022 Arlin G. Meyer Prize

We are pleased to announce Gordon Johnston, Professor of Creative Writing at Mercer University, as the winner of the 2022 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Imaginative Writing for his book of poetry, Scaring the Bears. For more information and to see the finalist for this prize, click here.

Grove City College Conference March 30-April 1, 2023

Grove City College's conference entitled "Christianity and Core Texts at Global/Cultural Crossroads" will take place March 30-April 1, 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.