Wabash Center History
The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion grew out of a conference hosted by Wabash College at the request of the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc.
Some fifty scholars invited by Lilly Endowment and Wabash College, along with Craig Dykstra and the staff of the Religion Division, met for three days in March 1995 to propose ways to improve teaching and learning in theology and religion. At the conclusion of the meeting, Raymond Brady Williams prepared a summary of the discussion for Craig Dykstra and proposed a structure of activities for an initiative to improve teaching and learning. He concluded by making a tentative suggestion that some of the activities could be undertaken through a center at Wabash College.
Further discussions led to a planning grant and the first implementation grant that established the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion in 1995. President Andrew Ford designated Hovey Cottage, an 1830s building on the Wabash campus, as home for the Center. Raymond Brady Williams was the founding director of the Center.
Lucinda Huffaker joined the Center as associated director in 1997 and became director in 2002. Lilly Endowment has provided two subsequent implementation grants in support of the Center.
Blackwell Publishers initiated conversations with the Wabash Center about plans to publish a new journal on teaching in religion. An exploratory conversation was held at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature in Philadelphia in 1995. Subsequent discussions led to an agreement between Blackwell Publishers and Wabash College and to the inaugural issue of the journal Teaching Theology and Religion in February 1998. Raymond Brady Williams and Judith A. Berling served as founding editors.
- June 2019
Nancy Lynne Westfield Named New Director
- May 2019
She Wren Retires
- April 2019
New Digital Communications Coordinator: Carly Dannenmueller
- December 2018
Dena Pence Announces Retirement
- April 2017
Beth Reffett assumes position of Meeting Coordinator
- May 2016
New Grants Coordinator: Gina Haile
- April 2016
Rita Arthur retiring as Grants Coordinator
- March 2016
Mary Stimming: New Associate Director
- Summer 2013
Wabash Celebrates 1000th Workshop Participants
- July 2011
Lilly Renews Support with 6.2 Million Dollar Grant
- April 2010
New “Insights into Religion” Web Portal
- July 2009
Lilly Endowment Awards $8.1 Million Grant to Continue Wabash Center Work
- April 2009
Wabash Center Launches a New Logo
- November 2008
Wabash Mourns the Death of Bill Placher
- April 2008
Wabash Center Moves to a New Building
- January 2007
New Website Launched
- June 2006
Nadine (Dena) S. Pence Named Director of the Wabash Center