Current LFP Update

LFP Update 14.4

November 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:

Selection of the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows

The Deadline for nominations for the Twelfth Cohort of Lilly Graduate Fellows is November 12, 2019. 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 here. For more general information or questions, please click here or contact us here. LFP Representatives are responsible for nominating applicants

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, if selected, 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 though they begin their doctoral work in fall 2020.



The 2019 Twenty-Ninth LFP National Conference

On October 18-20, 2019, on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the Lilly Fellows Program (LFP) presented its  29th annual National Conference on “The Character of the University”. This LFP conference combined with the annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture sponsored by Baylor’s Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL). Speakers for both conferences included Candace Vogler, University of Chicago; Talbot Brewer, University of Virginia; Elizabeth Corey, Baylor University; Christian Miller, Wake Forest University; Francis Su, Harvey Mudd College; Elizabeth Newman, independent scholar; and Thomas Hibbs, University of Dallas. The combined conferences had more than 600 in attendance from 170 institutions. In the IFL symposium, nearly 150 other presentations examined the conference theme from across the academic disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, history, theology, business, and engineering.

“As higher education meets unprecedented changes and challenges, the need to think about the character of the university has never been greater,” said Darin H. Davis, director of the IFL. “We viewed this year’s conference as a unique opportunity to think together about how character formation might be fostered and how such efforts require colleges and universities to reflect upon their own character, mission, and identity.”

“The Lilly Fellows Program’s annual national conference provides a rare opportunity for teachers and administrators from a wide range of church-related institutions to learn from each other,” said Joe Creech, director of the LFP. “Those who attend frequently find this to be unique discursive space comprised of folks from a wide variety of school type—doctoral universities to small liberal arts colleges—and from numerous Christian traditions. Attendees bring not only an ecumenical mix but a full range of views on big questions.  They are drawn together by a common commitment to the idea that these traditions in Christian thought and practice have something critical to contribute to higher learning.”

Creech was especially enthusiastic about combining IFL’s symposium on faith and culture and the LFP conference because of the synergy that exists between the two constituencies. Creech found the conference “intellectually and spiritually engaging” and said that participants left renewed in their commitments to higher learning.

Founded in 1997, the IFL aims to cultivate careful reflection, rigorous scholarship, and vital practice that supports Baylor’s mission as a Christian research university.  The Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, held annually since 2007, has explored topics such as: friendship, global poverty, secularization, human dignity and the future of health care, technology and human flourishing, and faith and film.

The LFP will hold its thirtieth annual National Conference on October 9-11, 2020, at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.  The conference will address the theme, “Tranquillitas Ordinis: Liberal Arts Education and the Common Good.”  Look for more information in the spring.


The 2019 Twentieth Annual LFP Workshop for Senior Administrators

On October 17-18, 2019, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the Lilly Fellows Program held the Twentieth Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators and welcomed participants from Network Schools to discuss the theme, “Our Students: Their Spiritual and Religious Lives.” Dr. John Schmalzbauer, Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, presented contemporary data that explored the religious and spiritual lives of students at church-related colleges and universities. This presentation was 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. To see Dr. Schmalzbauer’s PowerPoint presentation, click here.

The Twenty-First Annual Workshop for Senior Administrators will be held at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, on October 8-9, 2020, on the tentative theme, “Mapping Mission: Where Does Mission Live on Your Campus, and Why Does It Matter?” Check the website in spring 2020, for more information on next year’s workshop.


The Eighth Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2019

On October 18, 2020, at its Twenty-ninth Annual National Conference at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts presented the 2019 Biennial Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for 2019 to Dr. John Schmalzbauer, Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, and Dr. Kathleen A. Mahoney, at the GHR Foundation, for their book, The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education.

Amidst a general atmosphere of lament or celebration over the alleged decline of religion in American public life, John Schmalzbauer and Kathleen Mahoney have provided a thoughtful, balanced, and highly informative assessment of religion’s continuing impact on one important segment of society, higher education.  Drawing on historical and sociological studies of American higher education from the founding of the first colleges up to the twenty-first century, the authors demonstrate that religion in these settings has been--in the well-chosen key word of their title--“resilient,” despite radically fluctuating intellectual, social, and cultural conditions in the academy and beyond.

The Lilly Fellows Program also honored four finalists for the award:   The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis, by Alan Jacobs (Oxford, 2018); Vocation Across the Academy: A New Vocabulary for Higher Education, edited by David Cunningham (Oxford, 2017); The State of the Evangelical Mind: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future, edited by Todd C. Ream, Jerry A. Pattengale, and Christopher J. Devers (IVP Academic, 2018); and The Wounded Angel: Fiction and the Religious Imagination by Paul Lakeland (Liturgical Press, 2017).  The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education will be featured for recognition on the Lilly Fellows Program website ( and in our national publications over the next year.

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.


Regional Conference at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT: 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.

For More Information, Click Here.



Regional Conference at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ: Communication and Religion in the 2020 US Presidential Election

On April 22, 2020, in anticipation of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election, the Institute for Communication and Religion (ICR) within the College of Communication and the Arts at Seton Hall University will host a regional conference, “Communication and Religion in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.” Seeking to bring faith into the public sphere and promote civic dialogue, a full day of expert keynotes and panel discussions will explore the intersection of communication and religion in our current presidential race.

Featured Speakers:

Ronald C. Arnett Yoder/Wolfe Endowed Chair of Communication Ethics, Duquesne University

Peter Beinart Professor of Journalism and Political Science, CUNY

Heidi Campbell Professor of Communication, Texas A&M University

Special Guest:

Jaroslav Franc Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology, Palacký University, Czech Republic

For more information, Click Here



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


Call for Nominations, The Tenth Biennial Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Music Performance for 2020

The Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts announces that it is now accepting nominations for the Tenth Biennial Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Music Performance .  The Nomination deadline is March 1, 2020.  For more information, read below, click here or view the flyer (PDF) here

The Prize is in Music Performance, and we encourage you to coordinate with those on your campus who especially might be able to identify a worthy nominee for this prize.

The Arlin G. Meyer Prize is awarded biennially to a full-time faculty member from a college or university in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. Work that exemplifies the practice of the Christian artistic or scholarly vocation in relation to any pertinent subject matter or literary and artistic style will be considered. The prize will be awarded in different years for works of creative imagination and for works of scholarship. The 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize will reward the conductor or performer of a musical work that emerges from his or her practice of the vocation of the Christian musician, in accord with the principles and ideals of the Lilly Fellows Program.

The Prize honors the late Arlin G. Meyer, Professor Emeritus of English at Valparaiso University, who served as program director of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts from its inception in 1991 until his retirement in 2002.

The 2020 Arlin G. Meyer Prize will be awarded to a full-time faculty member at a school in the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities who has conducted or performed a musical work before a live audience in 2017, 2018, or 2019.

The Prize of $3000 will be awarded at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, October 9-11, 2020.

For more information or to submit nominations, click here.


Changes to our Website

We have added two new menus to our Website: one for the Lilly Faculty Fellows Program and a second for “Events,” which will list upcoming Regional Conferences and our annual National Conference and Workshop for Senior Administrators.


Deadlines for Grants and Other Opportunities

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

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

The deadline for applications for the 2020-2022 Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowships in Humanities and the Arts is Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

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

November LFP Update

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

2019 LFP Book Award Winner Announced

The Resilience of Religion in American Higher Education by John Schmalzbauer and Kathleen Mohoney is the 2019 winner of the LFP Book Award. For more information and to learn about the 2019 LFP Book Award Finalists, 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.