Current LFP Update

LFP Update 16.1

February 2021

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 2021 LFP National Conference

The 31st annual LFP National ConferenceScience, Faith, and the Common Good, will take place on the campus of Boston College, October 8-10, 2021. 

At this year’s Lilly Fellows National Conference, we will come together to explore the fruitful ways in which science and religious faith can mutually enrich one another. Although there has been a long history of animosities between science and religion, in this conference we will hearken to voices witnessing to their compatibility and cooperation. We will ponder how this reinvigorated conversation and cooperation can benefit the common good of humankind – what Pope Francis called “care for our common home.”

This theme is most appropriate, as the Lilly Fellows Program has begun a new stage of its mission. Branching outward from many years of conversations focused on the humanities and arts, the Lilly Fellows Program is now developing new models for integrating faith, higher learning and research in the fields of the natural sciences, social sciences and professional disciplines through its Faculty Fellows Program.

At the same time, Boston College has inaugurated its Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, using science and technology to search for solutions to society’s most pressing challenges, while educating the next generation of science leaders in the areas of energy, health and the environment. These are the goals of its new interdisciplinary initiatives and undergraduate majors in “Global Public Health and the Common Good,” and “Human Centered Engineering.”

Speakers include Stephen M. Barr, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware; Thea L. James, Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer at the Boston Medical Center, and Nancey Murphy, Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary

Registration will open in May 2020.

The 2021 LFP Virtual Consultation for Senior Administrators

In place of the annual Workshop for Senior Administrators, on Tuesday, March 23, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm Central Time, the Lilly Network will provide an opportunity for senior administrators of Lilly Network Schools to meet together virtually in small groups to address the theme: Racial Injustice and Church-Related Colleges and Universities.

Since last spring, colleges and universities have been more intensely engaging the national discourse about race and injustice. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, the inequities exposed by the pandemic, the rise of white nationalism, and the lingering unrest over immigration and systemic racism have prompted both unrest on campuses and more deliberate debates about curriculum, equity, and inclusion.

With this in mind, our virtual consultation will address the question: In light of this historical moment, how have our campuses addressed racial injustice over the past year?  What have we learned about ourselves and our institutions, and what hope do we offer our communities and stakeholders? Specifically, we will address such questions as: How do our institutions’ histories, traditions, missions, and guiding ethical and theological ideals: (1) Offer resources for understanding of and response to systematic racism in our nation? (2) Help us interrogate and understand our own institutions’ relationship to racial injustice? (3) Impede such investigations? (4) Cultivate hope and provide resources for justice for our institutions and broader communities?

I urge you to attend this consultation or to pass this information along to other administrators on your campus. Participation in and registration for this consultation is offered only 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).  Additional participants from member schools will be waitlisted until March 11, 2021 and will be added as slots become available. Please note, we anticipate that this consultation will fill to capacity well before the registration deadline.

Registration is Now Open. To Register, Click Here or visit or call 219-464-5317

The Registration Deadline is March 11, 2021.

Note on COVID-19 and the LFP Activities

Given the impact of COVID-19 on colleges and universities across the country as well as at Valparaiso University, the institutional home of the Lilly Fellows Program, we will do our best to communicate with you regularly about how our programs might be impacted. For now, we know the following.

1. We fully intend to hold the thirty-first annual National Conference in person at Boston College on October 8-11, 2021. 

2. Our annual Workshop for Senior Administrators on the topic, Mapping Institutional Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus and Why Does It Matter?, will be held on October 7-8, 2021, at Boston College.

3. For the status of Regional Conferences, see the Events menu or Regional Conference Page of the LFP website at

4. The recruitment of the twelfth cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows is moving forward.

5. The recruitment of the second cohort of Lilly Faculty Fellows is moving forward.

6. We will still receive nominations for the 2021 LFP Book Award, which are due March 1, 2021.

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

Call for Nominations, The Ninth Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2021

The Lilly Fellows Program invites nominations for the ninth biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2021. 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 2017 to 2020, 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 Boston College, in October 2021. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2021.

For more information and to nominate books, click here. 

Nominations and Applications for the LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships and for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program

We are happy to announce that the LFP received 70 completed applications for the LFP Postdoctoral Fellowships at Valparaiso University. Look for the announcement of the incoming Fellows, including profiles, in the August issue of the LFP Update.

We are also happy to announce that the LFP received this year 40 nominations from 23 National Network schools for ten 2021 Lilly Graduate Fellowships. Finalists from this group will interview virtually in April 2021 along with finalists from 2020 for a spot in this the twelfth cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows. Thank you for all your work in making the nomination process of this cohort of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program a success.

Call For Papers: Upcoming Virtual Regional Conference at Azusa Pacific University

You are invited to submit a proposal to the conference, Reckoning and Reimagining: Envisioning a Faithful Presence in the Liberal Arts. This two-day virtual (live and pre-recorded) conference is funded by the Lilly Fellows Programs, hosted by Azusa Pacific University, and is free of charge to registered participants. 

Key dates:

  • February 1, 2021: Call for proposals opens
  • March 1, 2021: Call for proposals closes
  • March 15, 2021: Proposal notification and registration opens
  • April 15, 2021: Pre-recorded presentation deadline
  • May 26-27, 2021: Conference

The Conference Committee is inviting submissions of proposals for 10-minute pre-recorded presentations addressing one or more of the following themes described below. The one-hour presentation sessions will have four pre-recorded 10-minute presentations, followed by 15 minutes in which the four presenters respond to participants’ questions.  

The Four Conference Themes:

  • Health care: How does scholarship help us understand medical, social, and psychological challenges for creating a more equitable health system?
  • Economics: How does Christian scholarship address the support of human and economic flourishing of communities trying to rebuild?
  • Anti-racism: How can we work to address a legacy of racist policies and practices in our nation, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Socio-politics: How might we better understand the complex and diverse ways in which Christians in the U.S. navigate social and political action?

To submit a proposal, click here for the proposal submission form.

For more information, Click Here or contact

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 2022-2023 academic year is September 15, 2021.

In 2019/2020, the LFP National Network Board awarded Mentoring Program grants for the 2020/2021 academic year (some are delayed due to COVID-19) to St. Mary’s University (San Antonio, TX), Goshen College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Xavier University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Dallas, Whitworth University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Baylor University, and Westmont College.

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 2022-2023 academic year is September 15, 2021.

In 2019/2020 the LFP National Network Board awarded Small Grants for the academic year 2020/2021 to Saint Louis University, Saint Mary’s University (MN), Villanova University (postponed to 2021) and Loyola University Maryland.

In spring 2020, the LFP made a special call for small grant programs to address COVID-19 and issues of racial injustice sparked by events over the summer. At its fall 2020 meeting the LFP Board funded grants for these activities, most of which have already begun, for the following Network Schools: Azusa Pacific University, Belmont University, Dordt University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Sacred Heart University, Saint Louis University, Samford University, Seton Hall University, St. John’s University (NY), The University of Scranton, University of Dayton, University of Pikeville, and Westmont College.

Recent LFP Regional Collaborations and Conferences at Sacred Heart University, Seton Hall University, and University of Pikeville

From the 21st to the 23rd of October 2020, the Institute for Communication and Religion (ICR) at Seton Hall University hosted a Lilly Fellows Program Regional Conference entitled “Communication and Religion in the ’20 Election.”  Approximately 2500 viewers attended six events broadcast live online including a Presidential debate watch party and keynote addresses from leading scholars in Political Science, Religion, Journalism, and Communication.  Heidi Campbell (Texas A&M) shared research on “Internet Memes and American Civil Religion,” Ronald C. Arnett (Duquesne University) spoke on “Practices that Matter: The Faith and Politics of Dorothy Day,” Rob Pallitto (Seton Hall University) shared expertise on “Trump, the 2020 Election, and the limits of Ideology Theory,” and Jo Renee Formicola (Seton Hall University) addressed “Catholics, The Media, and the ’20 Election.” The final program “Judaism and Christianity in the ’20 Election” was co-presented by Jon Radwan (Seton Hall University, ICR Director) and Peter Beinart (CUNY, The New York Times).  Audience questions were answered at all sessions and remaining queries were covered in a follow-up interview with Ronald C. Arnett conducted by Asya Robinson (Seton Hall University). Video recordings of all sessions have been posted to SHU’s YouTube channel and can be accessed via the ICR website.  ICR Director Jon Radwan reported strong positive feedback and expressed gratitude for LFP support.  “We had originally planned a physical conference for April 2020. COVID made us re-design everything for a virtual format, and the results have been overwhelming! We reached at least ten times as many viewers than we first anticipated, and our post-event survey results are very encouraging. We greatly appreciated Regional Conference funding from the Lilly Fellows Program, and we are especially thankful for the flexibility and understanding that enabled re-scheduling online. SHU’s motto is ‘Hazard zet forward’ and LFP encouraged our intrepid spirit with wonderful support as we met pandemic challenges.”

On October 29-31, 2020, Sacred Heart University, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and Seton Hall University, hosted a virtual Regional Conference titled The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Challenges and Opportunities for the Catholic University in the 21st Century. Speakers included: Gregory Kalscheur, Boston College; Carolyn Woo, Purdue University; Michael Higgins, Sacred Heart University; Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, President of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and Gerald. J. Beyer, Villanova University. The aim of the Conference was to generate a wide, broad conversation about how the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) could provide a ‘compass across the college or university’ to promote and imbue the Catholic identity and ‘ethos’ of an institution There were panels on Catholic identity, Catholic thought, on the CIT across disciplines, on pedagogy, on programs, on the Catholic Imagination, on social justice, on student life, and from the perspective of the VPs for Mission. For more information, click here. For video of the Plenary Presentations by Kalscheur, Woo, Higgins, and Beyer, along with a reading by Paul Mariani, Poet and Professor Emeritus, Boston College, Click Here. 

On February 19, 2021, University of Pikeville hosted an online conference titled Higher Education's Moral Obligation of Addressing Addiction: A Humanities Response. Today as almost 21 million Americans are addicted and drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990, universities are being confronted with this crisis through its students, yet more profoundly through the tidal wave of impact on student’s families and surrounding communities. Annually the USA spends over $600 billion every year due to addiction and the traditional age of college students is the most likely demographic to become addicted. With staggering facts like these, very few would argue that the country does not have an addiction crisis on its hands, yet does an institution of higher education have a moral obligation to address this issue? Can such things as theatre, art, music, language, English, film, history, classics, and religion address this crisis? Conference presentations ranged from the moral obligation of higher education to address addiction, practical responses through community organizations, student life for students in recovery, and humanities-based therapeutic and awareness programs. A recording of the conference can be accessed here.

Description and Guidelines for Hosting a Regional Conference or Collaboration.
Regional Collaboration and Conferences 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 Regional Collaboration or Conference in the 2022-2023 academic year is September 15, 2021. For more information, click here.

Please Visit our “Upcoming Events” menu for future Regional Conferences. Many will be scheduled for 2021-2022 as restrictions on travel ease.

Apply to hold an 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 2022-2023 academic year is September 15, 2021. 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 Regional Collaboration and Conferences. Proposals for the programs are due September 15, 2021

Other Opportunities:
The Deadline to submit nominations for Lilly Fellows Program Book Award is March 1, 2021.

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 2021 is now available. Click here.

2021 Lilly Network Consultation for Senior Administrators

Click Here for Information about the 2021 Lilly Network Virtual Consultation for Senior Administrators, March 23, 2021, 2:00 to 3:00 PM Central.

2021 National Conference

Save the date: The 31st annual LFP National Conference, "Science, Faith, and the Common Good," will be held at Boston College on October 8-10, 2021. Click here for more information.

Regional Conference: Reckoning and Reimagining: Envisioning a Faithful Presence

Save the date! Azusa Pacific University will host an online regional conference, Reckoning and Reimagining: Envisioning a Faithful Presence on May 26-27, 2021. This diverse, interdisciplinary conference will offer insights, theory, and research for reimagining the liberal arts and a robust response to the global enduring impacts of COVID-19 related to health, justice, politics, and the economy. Click here for more information.

Announcing the 2021 LFP Book Award

We are now accepting nominations for the 2021 LFP Book Award. Please nominate books that exemplifies the central ideas animating the LFP by March 1, 2021. See here for more information.

Announcing the winner of the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize

We are pleased to announce that Stephen Heyde of Baylor University has won the 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize in the Performing Arts for Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2. For more information and to hear the piece performed, please see our official announcement.

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.

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.