Current LFP Update

LFP Update 14.3

September 2019

Welcome to the LFP Update, an e-publication from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts 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:


The 2019 LFP National Conference: The Character of the University

The 29th National Conference, The Character of the University, will take place on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, October 18-20, 2019. 

From their inception in the high Middle Ages, universities saw their essential mission as the formation of their students’ character, involving the cultivation of moral and intellectual virtue animated by eternal truth. In contemporary times, many prominent critics of higher education lament that the modern academy has all but forgotten—even rejected—character formation. But there are signs that character education is alive and well. Due in part to the contemporary revival of virtue ethics in philosophy and theology, a broad range of academic disciplines and research programs are now focusing on the nature of the virtues and how character might be shaped in the context of families, schools, and faith communities.

The Character of the University will explore the challenges and opportunities for character formation in the context of 21st-century higher education. How might educators better understand and practice their shared aims to help students grow in virtue as they prepare to pursue lives of meaning and purpose? How might this task require colleges and universities to re-examine their own intellectual, moral, and even spiritual commitments?

Download a Conference Flyer here

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, Click Here.  The registration Deadline is September 4, 2019.



The 2019 Workshop for Senior Administrators: Our Students: Their Spiritual and Religious Lives

Immediately preceding the National Conference will be the Twentieth Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Our Students: Their Spiritual and Religious Lives. The Workshop will be held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, October 17-18, 2019, and aims to help senior administrators help senior administrators from church-related institutions understand their students’ religious and spiritual lives and consider broad missional responses to this information in terms of faculty development, teaching, spiritual/pastoral care, and student services. Dr. John Schmalzbauer, Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, will present contemporary data on the religious lives of college students. The presentation will explore the religious and spiritual lives of students at church-related colleges and universities, drawing on UCLA’s American Freshman study and recent surveys from Catholic, evangelical, and mainline Protestant institutions. It will focus on the rise of the “nones,” the impact of cultural and religious diversity, and the relevance of student spirituality for academics and student affairs. This presentation will be followed by workshop conversation convened by Denise Doyle, Provost Emerita of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas; Brian Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana; and Kathleen M. Light, Provost of the University of the Incarnate Word. The workshop will not offer a declension narrative; rather, we hope to understand contemporary shifts in our students’ lives so that we can best align our institutional practices with these shifts. In short, we want to engage the students we have, not the ones we think we have.

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 September 4, 2019, and will be enrolled as slots become available.

Registration is now open. For more information and to register, click hereThe application deadline is September 4, 2019. 



Introducing the Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows 

We are excited to report the successful selection of ten graduate students for the Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows. We especially want to thank you, the representatives, faculty, and administrators in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities, not only for your hard work in nominating 98 students over two years from whom the selection committee had the difficult task of selecting only ten, but for providing the intellectual and personal formation evident in this impressive group of graduate students.

An eight-member selection committee selected the ten Fellows from the 26 finalists who interviewed on April 4-7, 2019. The new Fellows met together for three days at an Inaugural Conference on July 29-August 1, 2019, at the campus of Hope College in Holland, MI, with their mentors, Dr. Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Pepperdine University, Dr. Mark Ruff of Saint Louis University, and the LFP staff. Throughout the three-and-half-day conference, the Fellows participated in discussions related to the subject of hospitality, engaging works such as the Gospel of Luke, And You Welcomed Me, edited by Amy Oden, Raymond Carver’s Cathedral¸ Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath, and the film, Babette’s Feast.

As have the first ten cohorts of Fellows, the Eleventh Cohort will embark on a long-distance colloquium drawing on classical theological and other texts. This coming fall the Eleventh Cohort will continue its focus on the theme of Hospitality. The Fellows will also engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships and participate in the second of four conferences at Saint Louis University in August 2020.

Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

Chelsea Elzinga is a PhD student in French and Francophone literature at Stanford University. She received a BA in French and in Art History from Seattle Pacific University. After completing an MA in French from Florida State University in 2017, she taught English and French in Luxembourg as a Fulbright grantee. Her research examines the senses (particularly the olfactory) in Francophone literature, film, and culture. In addition to sensory studies, she is interested in the related fields of embodiment, postcolonial studies, and cultural history. At the root of her research are two questions: What do texts and the senses teach us about ourselves and the “Other”? How is the sensorial experience translated into the written word?

Morgan Flannery is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at New York University. She received her BA from Houghton College in western New York, where she studied ancient languages, computer science, and philosophy. Her primary research interests lie in logic and ancient philosophy, though she is broadly interested in philosophy of language and metaphysics as well. Alongside her work in philosophy, Morgan writes liturgical poetry and enjoys atonal music.

Jonathan Hall is a graduate student at Indiana University where he is pursuing a PhD in French Renaissance Literature. His interests focus on the confluence of the pre-modern and the modern, the pre-secular and the secular with reference to the distinctly literary consequences of their interactions. Broadly speaking, he is pursuing questions of secularization, memory, religion, and interactions with the Other in 16th and 17th century France. Jonathan completed a BA in French Literature and Applied Linguistics at Union University. He and his wife (a graduate student in Spanish Literature) currently live in Bloomington, IN. 

Benjamin Keoseyan received a BA in Hispanic Studies with minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing from Pepperdine University, and an MA in philosophy from Northern Illinois University in 2019. He is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Arizona, where he is studying Ancient philosophy. He is particularly interested in researching Plato’s views on metaphysics and political philosophy, as well as Late Ancient philosophy. He also hopes to study contemporary metaphysics, and political philosophy. In his free time, he writes poetry and is an avid birdwatcher. 

Rebecca Korf completed a BS in Biochemistry from Whitworth University and an MA in Environmental Philosophy from the University of Montana. She will begin her studies as a PhD student in the fall of 2019 in the Logic and Philosophy of Science program at the University of California-Irvine, where she will investigate the relationship between the public, science, and the environment, especially the roles that values can and should play in scientific practice. Her work brings together research interests in applied ethics, social and political philosophy, environmental ethics, and science and technology studies.

Saribel Morales-Rivera graduated from Mount St. Mary's University with a BA in History and Spanish, and has completed her first year at the PhD program in History at the University of California San Diego. Saribel studies modern Spanish history, primarily focusing on the relationship between the portrayals of the Spanish Civil War in Spanish literature and politics, as well as these portrayals’ mutual relationship to the collective and historical memory of the Spanish people. She is particularly interested in definitions of victim and victimization, and their connection to popular politics.

Andrew Smith received a BA in History, with minors in Classical Studies and Biblical and Religious Studies, from Grove City College. He is now pursuing his MA and PhD in medieval History at Saint Louis University. His primary research interest is medieval Spain, with particular attention to political, religious, and cultural interactions between Muslims and Christians in tenth-century Al-Andalus. He hopes to place these interactions in the context of Christendom and the medieval Islamic world.

Keely Smith is a PhD student in History at Princeton University. She received her BA from Samford University, where she majored in History, Spanish, and Global Studies. At Princeton, she studies colonial America and southeastern Native Americans, with particular interest in multiethnic encounters, cultural intermediaries, and performative communication. She hopes to incorporate missionary efforts into her research on how Native Americans and European colonists incorporated religion and worldview into their strategic methods of communication.

Dawson Vosburg is a PhD student in Sociology at The Ohio State University. He earned his BA from North Park University, where he also studied sociology. He studies the intersection of race and religion in the United States, focusing on civil religion and Christianity. His research topics include the use of religion in American politics, theory of religion and worship, and worship's role in creating and responding to social structures.

Kirsten Welch is a PhD student in Philosophy and Education at Columbia University. She earned her BA from Baylor University, where she studied classics and philosophy.  After teaching elementary and middle school for two years at a Great Hearts Academies network school in San Antonio, TX, Kirsten completed an MA in Philosophy at Western Michigan University. Her research interests are primarily in virtue ethics and epistemology, focused especially on their educational implications and the formation of moral and intellectual virtues.



The 2019 Lilly Graduate Fellows Conferences

A key component of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is its summer conferences. Following an inaugural conference at the start of the three-year program, the Fellows meet with their mentors and other scholars on three occasions; the mentors host the first two conferences typically at their home institutions. These conferences continue the conversations and friendships that develop over the course of the online colloquium and provide a setting for a more focused conversation about a particular issue or text. These are also times of intellectual and spiritual renewal and refreshment.

From August 3-7, 2019, the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program continued its tradition of holding each cohort’s final summer conference at Saint John’s University, in Collegeville, Minnesota. Cohort Nine, with its mentors Doug Henry (Baylor University) and Gretchen Van Dyke (The University of Scranton), spent several days on the Minnesota Benedictines’ campus—especially the charism of stability in that place. While the Fellows stayed in the Abbey Guesthouse, they also visited Saint John’s partner institution, the College of Saint Benedict, where they attended mass, had lunch with the Benedictine Sisters, and toured the monastery there. They also engaged with the  Saint John’s Bible and the Saint John’s Pottery studio back at Saint John’s University. The Fellows shared papers and discussed Benedict’s Rule, Graham Greene’s The Burnt Out Case, and Kathleen Norris’s The Cloister Walk. Saint John’s, Saint Benedict’s, and everyone the group met at both places extended their usual characteristic hospitality, and everyone left the conference with gratitude for the time spent there.

Cohort 10 met for its second summer conference at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. The university, the city, its surroundings, and its fine Creole cuisine left a permanent impression on each person who attended. Using Richard Hughes’s book Myths America Lives By, the group gave extended consideration to issues of racial reconciliation, cross-cultural understanding, and the place and vocation of African-American religious traditions and educational institutions within the wider fabric of American and academic life. The group was blessed by the leadership of their two mentors, John Ware (of Xavier University of Louisiana) and Lisa DeBoer (of Westmont College), as well as the wisdom and guidance of Xavier’s Prof. Ronald Dorris, who led the discussion sessions. Sister Eva Lumas, also of Xavier, led a discussion of Xavier’s important and unique place in American higher education. Rev. Mitchell Stevens and Mr. Stephen Lee introduced the group to African-American spirituality and worship, and the group ate lunch at Mount Zion after attending the Sunday morning service there. The group also visited Whitney Plantation, outside of the city, for a sobering remembrance of the slaves who worked there. Another night, the group experienced New Orleans’ vibrant musical culture by taking in a performance in the French Quarter. It was a moving, memorable time for everyone, and ended too soon.


Save the Date and Call for Papers: Regional Conference at Sacred Heart University: “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century”

On April 16-18, 2020, Sacred Heart University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, will host a conference titled The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century. Confirmed speakers include Gregory Kalscheur, Boston College, Carolyn Woo, Purdue University, Michael Higgins, Sacred Heart University, and Gerald. J. Beyer, Villanova University.

The Core of a Catholic University is its intellectual and faith life. However, Catholic colleges and universities, today, face vexing challenges: a growing secularism and careerism among students, an increasing number of students who identify as “nones,” a “hyper-specialization” among faculty and an epistemology of relativism within disciplinary thought, and a diminishing focus on Mission and Catholic Identity. Faced with these challenges, Catholic colleges and universities wrestle with the question of how to maintain a robust and distinct Catholic identity that will prevail across the institution. This Conference affirms that the compass that can serve as a creative guide for transforming Catholic higher education is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition which, characterized by rigorous intellectual inquiry and with rich roots in the past, animates an ongoing conversation in the present that looks to the future.

We invite conference paper proposals or roundtable discussion topics that engage the Conference themes.

For More Information and the Call for Papers, Click Here.  Proposals are due November 1, 2019.



Save the Date: Regional Conference at Valparaiso University: "Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities"

On April 24, 2020, Valparaiso University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, invites you to a special symposium, “Religion, State, and Nationalism: Problems and Possibilities,” on April 24, 2020. The symposium will take place in three sessions, with the first focusing on problems, the second on possibilities, and the third on integrating issues of faith, nationalism, and the problems of historical memory into undergraduate curricula.

Description: Today’s world is witnessing to new configurations of alliances and conflicts between religious institutions and the state. Religion is a key player in rewriting nationalist narratives that underpin state policies. In the United States, evangelical Christians influence state policies and contribute to nationalist agendas. The Orthodox Church is a leader in the resurgence of nationalism in post-Soviet Russia and the rehabilitation of the mythological past of “Holy Russia” that contributes to the state’s ideological agenda. Analysts express concern that religion will fuel the flames of nationalist isolationism and increase the possibilities for international incidents of polarization, violence, and war. Critics call for the complete separation of religious organizations from the state. In some places of the world, cooperation between religious institutions and the state can become a positive force at the local and international levels. Religious leaders can consult the state and contribute to the formation of national identity that is inclusive and does not pose a threat to international peace.

Confirmed panelists:

Antoine Arjakovsky, Collège de Bernardins, Paris

Scott Hibbard, DePaul University, Chicago

Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame, South Bend

Robert Saler, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis

Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., Santa Clara University

Slavica Jakelic, Valparaiso University

Timothy Larsen, Wheaton College

Philipp Gollner, Goshen College

Samuel Graber, Valparaiso University




Selection of the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

It is time to begin the process of selecting the first round of nominees for Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows who will be entering graduate school in the fall 2020. Each network school can nominate up to three students for the Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Students are eligible for the Lilly Graduate Fellowship who plan to enter PhD or comparable programs in fall 2020 and received a bachelor’s degree from your institution after April 2015.  For additional eligibility requirements, click hereThe deadline for nominations is November 12, 2019.

Last year, with the Eleventh Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows, we began a new era of self-sustainability for the program by inaugurating a new group of Fellows every two years, rather than every year, while nevertheless continuing to select finalists every year. As was the case with the Eleventh Cohort, finalists chosen this academic year (2019-20) will be interviewed in the next academic year (2020-21), with an additional set of finalists chosen at that point, and, ifselected, will be appointed to the Lilly Graduate Fellowship in fall 2021. Thus, nominees for a fellowship this year for Cohort 12 would begin their fellowships in the summer of 2021, even thought they begin their doctoral work in fall 2020.

LFP Representatives are responsible for nominating applicants, and we are in the process of mailing promotional materials to you. The time is now to begin preparation for nominating students from your school. For more information, please click here or contact us here.



Deadlines for Grants and Other Opportunities

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, 2019


Fellowship Programs:
The deadline for submitting up to three nominees for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is November 12, 2019.


The Registration Deadline for the Lilly National Conference and the Lilly Workshop for Senior Administrators is September 4, 2019

Paper Proposals for the Regional Conference at  Sacred Heart University titled The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century is November 1, 2019.

For more information, visit the LFP website.


List of Books for Mentoring for Mission

Instead of the usual “From the Colloquium” column, we suggest this list of books that the Lilly Fellows Program has found useful for mentoring Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Faculty at all stages of their careers in church-related mission. For the list, Click Here.



Facebook and Twitter

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




Noteworthy News

September LFP Update

The Current LFP Update for September 2019 is now available. Click here.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2020-2022 Lilly Postodoctoral Fellowship

The Lilly Fellows Program is now accepting applications for the 2020-2022 two-year Lilly Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship at Valparaiso University. For more information, click here.

Announcing a call for Nominations for the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Music Performance

The National Board of the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities is proud to announce the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Music Performance. For more information and how to nominate, 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.

Follow the Exiles from Eden Blog!

The LFP is now sponsoring a new blog, Exiles from Eden.  Go check it out!