Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Tue, 01/01/1991

A group of professors at Christ College, the Honors College at Valparaiso University, developed the Lilly Fellows Program (LFP), a postdoctoral teaching fellowship program for Christian scholars in the humanities interested in working at church-related universities and colleges. Each year the program offers three to five scholars the opportunity to renew and deepen their sense of vocation, to enrich their intellectual life within a Christian community of learning, and to acquire pedagogical skills through a variety of classroom teaching experiences. The program has also included the appointment of a Senior Fellow who is selected each year to pursue research as well as shape and direct the Fellow’s experience. Valparaiso faculty members serve as mentors to the Fellow. The program is designed to be mutually beneficial to both the fellows receiving training and mentoring and the church-related colleges looking to hire committed Christian scholars. In 1992, a national conference and several regional gatherings on a theme related to academic vocation within the context of church-related higher education institutions were implemented as annual features of the program. LFP has been awarded several continuation grants by the Lilly Foundation, allowing it to evolve in new directions. A national network has been established to aid faculty and researchers at member institutions in pursuing the goals of the program began at Valparaiso University. In 1995, the LFP’s national network board supported mentoring programs on network campuses, summer institutes for advanced graduate students and summer seminars for junior faculty. A series of network exchanges has allowed member schools to showcase the distinctive features of their programs that highlight their Christian vocation. Grants to network schools have also been awarded to foster the development of different models of mentoring junior faculty, and a series of conferences have been organized for under graduates to encourage them to consider a career in church-related colleges and universities.
A web site for the LFP ( has been created to provide information on the program, its participants and publications. The web site incorporates web pages form other network members that describe the distinctive characteristics of their efforts. (AS)