Undergraduate School

Grants - Type: Undergraduate School - 304 results

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Consultations to Develop Teaching and Learning Strategies in Three New Areas (Pastoral Care, Administration and Catechetics) for the Graduate Program

Awarded Grant
Dwyer, Ruth Eileen
St. Mary-of-the-Woods College
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Consultations between graduate school faculty and current professionals working in one of three specific ministry areas will elicit strategies for better teaching and learning in pastoral administration, pastoral care ministries, and catechetics.
Proposal abstract :
Consultations between graduate school faculty and current professionals working in one of three specific ministry areas will elicit strategies for better teaching and learning in pastoral administration, pastoral care ministries, and catechetics.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund three consultations "to assist the College in its development of additional curricular options and directions in its Graduate Program in Pastoral Theology." The consultation process involves three dialogic sessions of three days duration each and included program administrators, faculty and recognized professionals in the examined areas of Pastoral Administration, Pastoral care and Catechesis.
Content was specified for the new program and priorities within specialty areas were clarified. An appropriate and potentially effective strategy was designed for curricular delivery. A pedagogical model was constructed and agreed upon. Potential compatible faculty was identified within the consultative process.
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Teaching Religious Studies: Teaching Development Seminar and Religious Studies Head TA

Awarded Grant
Gamble, Harry
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Train graduate students in teaching Religious Studies and promote excellence in undergraduate teaching through the continuation and enrichment of the department’s Teaching Assistant (TA) development seminar and through the appointment of a Religious Studies Head TA
Proposal abstract :
Train graduate students in teaching Religious Studies and promote excellence in undergraduate teaching through the continuation and enrichment of the department’s Teaching Assistant (TA) development seminar and through the appointment of a Religious Studies Head TA

Learning Abstract :
The project was designed to assist with the ongoing implementation of a Teaching Assistant training seminar program that emerged from a successful pilot program. This program included meetings, guest speakers, development of a Teaching Assistant handbook, resources for a religious studies teaching library, and involvement with teaching conferences. As a result graduate students and faculty enhanced their ability for pedagogical reflection and discourse through involvement in the program. Teaching Assistant skills have been improved and some are involved with extensive mentoring projects with specific faculty. In addition, the grant provided for the development of enhanced seminars on teaching skills and issues, the development of a Teaching Assistant handbook, and improved mentoring practices - classroom observations, individual consultations, etc.
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The Sacred Sites of Asia: A Georeferenced Multimedia Instructional Resource

Awarded Grant
Holdrege, Barbara
University of California - Santa Barbara
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Design and construction of a geospatially-referenced, multimedia World Wide Web site for the study of sacred sites in Asia that will provide an important instructional resource that can be utilized in a range of undergrad and grad courses on the religions of Asia in depts. of religion and theology in U.S.
Proposal abstract :
Design and construction of a geospatially-referenced, multimedia World Wide Web site for the study of sacred sites in Asia that will provide an important instructional resource that can be utilized in a range of undergrad and grad courses on the religions of Asia in depts. of religion and theology in U.S.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funds to design and construct a "geospacially-referenced, multimedia World Wide Web site" for the study of 20 sacred sites in Asia. It sought to create a website with a network of interwoven map layers and multimedia resources to allow student interaction from a variety of perspectives.
The team of researchers was able to develop the website database, to develop the website architecture and user interfaces, to maintain and support the website, to collect field data, to collect archival and library data, to inventory and prepare multimedia resources, to design course lessons, and to develop guidebooks and student evaluation procedures.
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The Pedagogical Project of The Meaning and End of Religious Conflict: A Departmental Teaching and Learning Initiative

Awarded Grant
Patton, Laurie|Patterson, Barbara|Laderman, Gary|Smith, Theophus|Reinders, Eric
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
To develop a new pedagogical approach to religion and conflict by integrating Theory-Practice Learning, mediation skills, and the use of case studies.
Proposal abstract :
To develop a new pedagogical approach to religion and conflict by integrating Theory-Practice Learning, mediation skills, and the use of case studies.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a new pedagogical approach to the topic of religion and conflict. This approach would actively integrate Theory Practice Learning, mediation skills and the use of case studies. Specifically, they sought funding for four pedagogical projects: a teaching workshop for graduate students, mediation as a pedagogical skill, a theory-practice learning internship in the area of religion and conflict, and a pedagogy task force.
The department engaged in bi-weekly seminars on the topic, with outside speakers fueling their thinking and developing their perspectives. They were able to host seminars on religion and conflict in which pedagogical issues were discussed. They were able to develop internship sites on the topic and, also, were able to connect with other areas of the university on this issue. In the period of the grant, the events of 9/11/01 occurred and they were well-prepared to engage it in service to the Emory community. Specifically, they hosted a forum on religion and violence for the university that was attended by over 300 people. They felt that because of the work they had done, supported by the Wabash Center, they were able to help the community think about, react to, and assess the meaning of those events.
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The Teaching Fellows Program: Mentoring Religion Graduate Students for Careers as Teachers

Awarded Grant
Parsons, Mikeal|Beck, Rosalie
Baylor University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To mentor graduate students in the craft of teaching by a variety of experiences which engage student and teacher alike, including instruction and critical reflection on pedagogy, supervised teaching experiences, and team-teaching experiences with faculty members.
Proposal abstract :
To mentor graduate students in the craft of teaching by a variety of experiences which engage student and teacher alike, including instruction and critical reflection on pedagogy, supervised teaching experiences, and team-teaching experiences with faculty members.

Learning Abstract :
The project had six components that included: 1) a workshop, 2) four colloquies, 3) bi-weekly meetings, 4) a weekend conference, 5) mentoring and teaching critiques, and 6) ongoing project assessment. The workshop was focused on the development of skills in the use of various digital technologies, syllabi development, increased understanding of the Baylor University system, and teaching practice sessions. The colloquies provided a venue for conversation among 20 graduate students and a host of faculty about specific texts related to teaching and learning in theology and religion. Peer-led sessions in bi-weekly meetings were designed to promote conversation among students on the "nuts and bolts" of teaching. The sole weekend conference was dedicated to a presentation and discussion about the pros and cons of technology in the classroom. The project director also engaged graduate students in one-to-one conversations about their teaching after observing a class session. The evaluation of the project was ongoing and involved exit interviews with participants in the project.
The results included the following. Student participants in the project ranged in classroom teaching experience and skill. Graduate students regarded the entire experience as helpful for their development as teachers. Enthusiasm ran high among participants and has encouraged other Ph.D. students to consider involvement with a similar course. The response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive. So much so that the department of religion of Baylor University is considering making the colloquy a requirement for all of their Ph.D. students.
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Teaching the Bible for Leadership in the United Church of Canada

Awarded Grant
Ascough, Richard|Vaage, Leif
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
A three-year consultation of all teachers of biblical studies from the different theological faculties of the United Church of Canada (UCC) on how biblical studies are taught.
Proposal abstract :
A three-year consultation of all teachers of biblical studies from the different theological faculties of the United Church of Canada (UCC) on how biblical studies are taught.

Learning Abstract :
Through the gathering of Bible from the seminaries of the United Church of Canada we helped one another define and articulate who we are as teachers, what we do in the classroom, how we contribute to the church, particularly the UCC, and how we can further develop this identify, both individually and collectively. We grew from a dispersed bunch of individuals linked only by larger institutional connections to become a ‘community of practice' centered on teaching the Bible for leadership in the church. We learned that the nurturing of such a community takes time and energy, but that this investment will "pay-off" through the development of reflective teachers who are engaged in the construction of deep learning. While full agreement on core values may constantly elude the group, healthy debate and frank exchanges leads to an atmosphere of trust where participants can learn from one another how to become better teachers.
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Improving Classroom Instruction in the Department of Theology

Awarded Grant
Stanley, Christopher
St. Bonaventure University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A project to (a) assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Dept. of Theology at SBU and (b) give faculty the resources they need to create a more stimulating educational experience for general education students, majors, and Masters students.
Proposal abstract :
A project to (a) assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Dept. of Theology at SBU and (b) give faculty the resources they need to create a more stimulating educational experience for general education students, majors, and Masters students.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Department of Theology and to give the faculty resources to create a more stimulating educational experience. With the funds they intended to cover three types of activities: personalized consultations and classroom observations by an educational consultant for each department member; workshops led by experts in educational theory and practice; a series of discussions among theology faculty base don common readings in educational theory and practice.
They found that university-wide curricular changes that affected their department created an environment of openness to new ideas for teaching. They were able to take good advantage of this energy for departmental renewal. Evaluations of participants indicated that the activities of the grant had a major impact on all department members, many of whom found themselves rejuvenated as teachers as a result of the success of new models of instruction. On a departmental level it created an unprecedented ongoing dialogue about pedagogical matters that, in their assessment, transformed the culture of the department. Finally, it generated an interest in assessment and evaluation within the department. Overall, enrollments increased as students responded favorably to the changes.
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National Enhancement of Teaching Project

Awarded Grant
Cohen, Norman
Hebrew Union College - New York Jewish Institute of Religion
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Spring faculty teaching seminars followed by a 3-day national colloquium, adapted from a prototype created by the AAHE, which will be held in June 2001 for 10 new & recently appointed non-tenure faculty that focuses on the sharing of syllabi, discussion of critical teaching incidents and preparation for peer observation. This event will be followed by a semester of peer observation.
Proposal abstract :
Spring faculty teaching seminars followed by a 3-day national colloquium, adapted from a prototype created by the AAHE, which will be held in June 2001 for 10 new & recently appointed non-tenure faculty that focuses on the sharing of syllabi, discussion of critical teaching incidents and preparation for peer observation. This event will be followed by a semester of peer observation.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funding to pilot a national enhancement of teaching project for the recently appointed, non-tenured faculty, as well as to raise the general level of dialogue on teaching among the faculty. They also sought to introduce peer observation as a technique for formative teaching evaluation. The centerpiece of the project would be a three-day colloquium on the enhancement of teaching for their three stateside schools in Cincinnati, Los Angeles and New York.
The colloquium was the first time in the history of HUC-JIR that faculty colleagues from all three of their North American campuses came together for an intensive gathering on the enhancement of classroom teaching. It was their first experience of intentionally creating activities to support the growth and development of junior faculty. Evaluations indicate it was a major success. Also, junior faculty participated in a cycle of mentoring and clinical supervision. They report that instructors were pleased by the power of the new instructional strategies to engage the students. They were also able to design an online Faculty Resource Center as a virtual meeting ground for cooperative work, discussion and learning.
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Studying the Impact of Distance Learning on Learning, Quality and Community

Awarded Grant
Laughner, Thomas
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Three goals. Determine whether students taking online courses that are offered many miles from them are able to learn material presented to them via WebCT? Does the manner in which online materials are provided affect how students process them? Determine if a sense of community can be provided on-line.
Proposal abstract :
Three goals. Determine whether students taking online courses that are offered many miles from them are able to learn material presented to them via WebCT? Does the manner in which online materials are provided affect how students process them? Determine if a sense of community can be provided on-line.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to study the quality of instruction provided to participants in the Institute for Church Life's distance education program, as well as help to understand the implications of Notre Dame's efforts to implement a distance education program. The goals were to assess the course delivery method and interface design, and to determine if a sense of community can be built online between the class and the instructor and each other.
Researchers found that with few exceptions users found the interface easy to use and well-organized. In terms of the creation of community, they found 12 key factors that contributed to a sense of community in the online course. The most important of these were small group chat sessions and online biographies and photos. In general, any strategy that added a personal, human component was well-received and contributed to a sense of community in the online classroom.

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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Project

Awarded Grant
Walvoord, Barbara
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Supports the participation of two religion faculty (Kyle Roberts, Trinity International University, and Paul Keim, Goshen College) in an interdisciplinary faculty project on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, sponsored by the Kaneb Center at Notre Dame.
Proposal abstract :
Supports the participation of two religion faculty (Kyle Roberts, Trinity International University, and Paul Keim, Goshen College) in an interdisciplinary faculty project on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, sponsored by the Kaneb Center at Notre Dame.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to support research to assess the curriculum approach of the REACH program (Relevant Education for Adults) of Trinity International University. This research was a project of the Kaneb Center of Notre Dame University. They sought to develop a questionnaire to analyze how their liberal arts approach to biblical studies is received and appropriated by students in the foundational courses of their Christian Ministry major.
Researchers report that the original objectives were met to a degree. They were able to discern to a limited degree some apparent progression in students from the first course through the final course. However, the research tool was unable to provide clear criteria to determine objectively the results. The most beneficial outcome was in acquiring a "snapshot" of student perceptions of the Bible and their approaches towards solutions to contradictions they observed in the Bible.
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Pre-conference workshop on service-learning in religious studies, prior to the Upper Midwest Regional Meeting of the AAR in St. Paul in 2001.

Awarded Grant
Thompson, Deanna
Hamline University
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
The event focuses on teaching and learning for civic engagement and social justice and revitalizing the vocations of teaching and learning through service.
Proposal abstract :
The event focuses on teaching and learning for civic engagement and social justice and revitalizing the vocations of teaching and learning through service.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to support a pre-conference workshop to be held before the Upper Midwest Regional Meetings of the AAR-SBL. The event focused on two key themes: teaching and learning for civic engagement and social justice, and revitalizing the vocations of teaching and learning through service. Specifically, the workshop would engage the issues of service learning in religious studies..
The event was held prior to the regional meeting. Two nationally known leaders in service learning led the workshops. Participants reported that the event provided them with a clear overall understanding of service learning and many ideas for ways to use it in their teaching. One other outcome of the workshop was participants' interest in having more programming at the regional meeting on pedagogical issues.
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Putting Bible 105 on Solid Ground: Strengthening Messiah College by Improving its Basic Bible Class

Awarded Grant
Cosby, Michael
Messiah College
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Faculty workshop to explore and develop a pedagogical philosophy, structure, and resources for improving the required introductory Bible class at Messiah College.
Proposal abstract :
Faculty workshop to explore and develop a pedagogical philosophy, structure, and resources for improving the required introductory Bible class at Messiah College.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funding for a faculty conference aimed at improving the content and delivery of the basic Bible course. This included developing a consistent methodological approach, a statement of philosophy and expectations, the construction of web pages for biblical resources for teaching, and the development of computer-generated visual aids for instruction. An important outcome they hoped to achieve was the assessment and mentoring of adjunct biblical faculty.
The faculty conference enabled curriculum standardization. The remainder of the project focused on evaluating and mentoring the Bible teachers in the school, especially the adjunct professors. A high quality of teaching was observed and individualized mentoring had the effect of affirming teaching and strengthening morale. A website was developed and used to great benefit by the faculty.


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Teaching and Learning in a Multicultural Setting

Awarded Grant
Bain - Selbo, Eric
Lebanon Valley College of PA
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts

Proposal abstract :
Assist a one-year research project on the teaching of Maori religion and culture in New Zealand colleges and universities to develop a pedagogy for teaching and learning in a multicultural setting.
Proposal abstract :
Assist a one-year research project on the teaching of Maori religion and culture in New Zealand colleges and universities to develop a pedagogy for teaching and learning in a multicultural setting.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund research investigating the ways Maori religion and culture is taught in New Zealand colleges and universities today. Goals included understanding how Maori-Pakeha (white) relations are played out in college classrooms and curricula; to broaden an understanding of how we should teach about "the other" in classrooms and through curricula in the United States.
Through faculty interviews, library research and classroom learning at the University of Waikato he was able to think carefully about teaching in a multicultural context. First, he had to overcome assumptions about the British model of higher education and about "the myth of racial harmony that is present in New Zealand society today." Fundamentally, in regards to the teaching and learning, he discerned the necessity of teaching Maori culture as a cooperative effort among Maori and Pakeha faculty.
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Off-campus seminar/workshop on “Person as Teacher”

Awarded Grant
Killen, Patricia
Pacific Lutheran University
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
1 1/2 Day Retreat/Workshop to welcome four new faculty and affirm three near-retirement faculty by building of departmental identity and community through discourse on teaching.
Proposal abstract :
1 1/2 Day Retreat/Workshop to welcome four new faculty and affirm three near-retirement faculty by building of departmental identity and community through discourse on teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funds to support an off-campus workshop for religion department faculty, focusing on "person as teacher." The project intended to build community and colleagueship in the faculty by developing the department's reflection on teaching and the profession. It focused faculty on the unique stories of their teaching lives, to articulate qualities of good teaching, to honor an appropriate diversity of style and approach to teaching in the department.
The project director reported the following: "The seminar/workshop succeeded beyond expectation in creating a space within which the department would ‘welcome new faculty' by getting away together and enacting a culture of colleagues who openly and honestly discuss the craft of teaching … Our newer colleagues left the workshop with a deep sense of permission to speak about the challenges and rewards of teaching, with a sense that their senior colleagues view it as a craft on which one works throughout one's career, and aware that they have the freedom and are encouraged to teach in ways that draw on them at their best."
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Student Portfolio Assessment Across the New Graduate Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Finan, Barbara
Ohio Dominican University
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
1 and 1/2 day workshops to acquaint theology faculty with the concepts of student portfolios, to assess the use of these and to discuss students’ use of the portfolio from a personal and theological perspective.
Proposal abstract :
1 and 1/2 day workshops to acquaint theology faculty with the concepts of student portfolios, to assess the use of these and to discuss students’ use of the portfolio from a personal and theological perspective.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to support a special project on student portfolio assessment designed to enhance teaching and learning through integration of portfolio assessment across their new graduate curriculum in theology. They hoped to pioneer theology faculty use of portfolio as an assessment tool to evaluate student growth in three competency areas: personal, theological and professional.
Workshops were held in collaboration with colleagues from their departments of Education and Social Work, who had considerable experience and expertise in the use of portfolios. The workshops included information on current research on portfolios in assessment, along with opportunities to devise strategies and templates for introducing the process to students. As a result, three of the participants began a process for developing a set of portfolio guidelines for the campus community.
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Teaching Mentor Program

Awarded Grant
Bounds, Elizabeth|Laderman, Gary|Tipton, Steven
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Matching funds to support 3 pedagogically gifted and experienced ABD doctoral students as teaching mentors for beginning doctoral students who are TAs. Includes supervision by and consultation with faculty, peer observation, small groups, and workshops.
Proposal abstract :
Matching funds to support 3 pedagogically gifted and experienced ABD doctoral students as teaching mentors for beginning doctoral students who are TAs. Includes supervision by and consultation with faculty, peer observation, small groups, and workshops.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop doctoral students as teaching assistants to work in the teacher training program of the Graduate Division of Religion. These teaching mentors would work primarily with the required division seminar on teaching religion. Specifically, they would assist in the planning and execution of the teaching seminar, lead small working groups of students from the class, observe each student from the class in a teaching setting and provide feedback, and organize teaching workshops for all students in the Graduate Division of Religion.
The project proceeded as described above and was very successful. The division came to see "the challenge of developing a self-sustaining program." The teaching mentor position was extremely valuable to both those who have been mentors and those who have been mentored, but the cost could not be maintained within their structures of funding. They ended the program seeking ways to maintain some of the program's strengths within available university funding parameters.
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Welcoming the New, Gracing the Old: Strengthening a Department in Transition by Cultivating Reflection on Teaching and the Profession

Awarded Grant
Killen, Patricia
Pacific Lutheran University
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Multiple activities (workshops, reflection group, teaching portfolios, etc.) to strengthen teaching during a time of major faculty turnover and transition by engaging in sustained, critical, collaborative reflection about practices of teaching and the profession.
Proposal abstract :
Multiple activities (workshops, reflection group, teaching portfolios, etc.) to strengthen teaching during a time of major faculty turnover and transition by engaging in sustained, critical, collaborative reflection about practices of teaching and the profession.

Learning Abstract :
During a period of rapid personnel turnover, the religion department at Pacific Lutheran University applied for a grant from the Wabash Center. In a time of multiple retirements, our department needed to efficiently bring new faculty, who are transitioning from doctoral work and untenured teaching positions, into leadership positions. In its experience of numerous, concurrent retirements, Pacific Lutheran reflects a situation faced by many colleges and universities throughout the country. Of a ten person department, eight new faculty will join the department between the years 2000 and 2005. In addition to this challenge, the department faces a unique regional challenge of teaching religion in the Pacific Northwest. In this region, skilled pedagogy needs to take into account several factors. This is the most "unchurched" region of the United States and yet it contains the greatest diversity of practiced religions. Multiple retirements within the department and the pedagogical environment of the Pacific Northwest served as the impetus driving the specific goals of the grant.
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Developing Pedagogies on Catholicism as Ritual and Practice

Awarded Grant
Morrill, Bruce|Pierce, Joanne|Rodgers, Susan|Ziegler, Joanna
College of the Holy Cross
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty seminar to explore inclusion of the performative dimension of Catholic ritual and practice in eight undergraduate courses across the curriculum that examine religion.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty seminar to explore inclusion of the performative dimension of Catholic ritual and practice in eight undergraduate courses across the curriculum that examine religion.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to re-connect participation, ritual, practice and performance more adequately to classroom pedagogy and scholarship about Catholicism. Through a faculty seminar, it hoped to explore the performative dimension of Catholicism and of Catholic knowledge. Specifically, they hoped to exchange ideas on how to enhance aspects of their courses to include aspects of ritual and practice in Catholicism.
Twelve faculty members met for a four-day interdisciplinary seminar on teaching, research, and writing about the bodily and performative dimensions of Roman Catholicism. Faculty representation was in the areas of religious studies, philosophy, psychology, Spanish, sociology-anthropology and visual arts. Each scholar shared scholarship on practices of Catholicism from their discipline, reflecting upon pedagogical strategies that help to teach that practice. The project director reports that faculty were highly engaged with the discussion and found the seminar stimulating and useful. Participant evaluations bear this out.
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The Virtual World Project: Creating a Virtual World of the Bible and The Early Church

Awarded Grant
O’Keefe, John|Simkins, Ronald
Creighton University
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for modern computer imaging technology to create virtual tours of ancient sites for use in teaching biblical studies and history of Christianity.
Proposal abstract :
Support for modern computer imaging technology to create virtual tours of ancient sites for use in teaching biblical studies and history of Christianity.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to use computer imaging technology to create virtual towns of ancient sites for use in the teaching and learning of students of the Bible and early Christianity. They hoped to make the archeological remains of the ancient world more accessible. They also hoped to link those images to interactive maps, photographs of the excavations and artifacts, voice narrations, and samples of ancient texts.
The project directors were able to visit and photograph ten archeological sites in Turkey and six sites in Greece. They produced nearly 8000 photographs, 500 of which are "stand alone" photos depicting details from the various sites visited. The remaining photos were in the process of being assembled into approximately 750 Quick Time Virtual Reality movies of the sites. They also continued development of the Virtual World website, found at http://www.virtualworldproject.org/
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Knowledge, Power and Wisdom: Transforming Biblical Studies

Awarded Grant
Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth
Harvard University
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Research and writing to develop intellectual frameworks, methodological practices, educational measures and institutional analyses to rethink biblical doctoral studies as regards the rhetorics and ethics of biblical inquiry.
Proposal abstract :
Research and writing to develop intellectual frameworks, methodological practices, educational measures and institutional analyses to rethink biblical doctoral studies as regards the rhetorics and ethics of biblical inquiry.

Learning Abstract :
The project is a study leave work that is part of an overarching project to rethink the standard educational methods and framework of Biblical Studies in order to address "the uneasy relationship between church and critical biblical scholarship" and "the political functions of Biblical Studies in the face of increasing global fundamentalism and Scriptural literalism."
During the study leave two types of work were engaged: "further research on the issues and initiation of public discussion on how to reshape graduate biblical education in general and doctoral education in particular." A total of four articles on the research topic were published during the study leave period.
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Building a Community of Learners

Awarded Grant
Cohen, Norman|Grant, Andrew
Hebrew Union College - New York Jewish Institute of Religion
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Preparation of faculty to apply learner-centered approaches to teaching, assessment and advisement within a new College-wide integrative core curriculum: an all-faculty retreat, consultations and training sessions, committees on assessment.
Proposal abstract :
Preparation of faculty to apply learner-centered approaches to teaching, assessment and advisement within a new College-wide integrative core curriculum: an all-faculty retreat, consultations and training sessions, committees on assessment.

Learning Abstract :
Overall, we are pleased to report that the College-Institute has made tremendous progress implementing the Core Curriculum and assessment protocols. We have now had a full year of experience with narrative assessment on each HUC-JIR campus--Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York and Jerusalem. Faculty pairs have been meeting with second year rabbinical students in small groups and individually. The meetings focus on individual growth and each student's own journey, emphasizing larger enduring questions that grow out of the Core Curriculum.

Students have been positive about their experiences with integrative teaching. Those enrolled in a team-taught course during their Year-In-Israel at the Jerusalem School, were enthusiastic. We would like to see more faculty planning courses together. This will require additional training, leading to the development of alternative integrative models tailored to different types of courses. For example, we would like to develop more short-term intensive integrative models.

We are now in the midst of a comprehensive strategic planning process. As part of that process, we have reviewed the Rabbinical program, as well as all other programs of the College-Institute. Much of the focus of Strategic Planning has been on the successes and challenges of the Core Curriculum. We have sought to use our experience in planning and implementing the Core Curriculum, including its integrative and assessment aspects, as a model for our other programs, such as the Cantorial and Education programs. We continue the process of taking a hard look at the lessons of the process to determine what we can incorporate across the programs of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
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Teaching the Context of Theological Education: The Role of the Field Educator

Awarded Grant
O’Gorman, Robert
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
A study of contextual pedagogy in selected theological schools to assess effective methods, underlying curricular vision, and faculty transition to new methods.
Proposal abstract :
A study of contextual pedagogy in selected theological schools to assess effective methods, underlying curricular vision, and faculty transition to new methods.

Learning Abstract :
This study leave project sought to study in selected theological schools the teaching practices of field educators that best connect students' learning to the contexts of ministry, and thus, provide a fuller description of teaching in professional theological education. He hoped to assess the following issues: the methods of teaching and learning relating ministerial contexts and theology; the curricular vision this approach to teaching and learning requires; and change strategies necessary for a faculty to make a commitment to contextual theological teaching practices.
A total of six theological schools were studied with 97 persons interviewed (45 students and 52 faculty). He found, overall, that for each school the definition of context differed, and this in turn influenced the models used to relate theory to practice and the dominant characteristic of the school.
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Teaching Religion in a Secular Setting

Awarded Grant
Maffly-Kipp, Laurie
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Preparing graduate students to teach religious studies in a variety of contexts including the public school environment through installation of a religious studies head TA and ongoing training for TAs.
Proposal abstract :
Preparing graduate students to teach religious studies in a variety of contexts including the public school environment through installation of a religious studies head TA and ongoing training for TAs.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to accomplish three interrelated goals through a series of monthly seminars: 1) improve undergraduate education through 2) expanded training of graduate students for 3) diverse professional experiences. The primary goals promulgated additional related goals: "enhancing networks of knowledge and collegiality among graduate students and between students and faculty members, initiating a formal dialogue about pedagogical issues specific to religious studies, fostering conversations across narrow field specializations, preparing graduate students for the job market, clarifying the role of Teaching Assistants, and encouraging individuals to develop their own teaching methods and styles by participating in ongoing reflection about pedagogy."

Those involved with the program affirmed that they had been able to meet and exceed their stated goals by "revolutionizing the quality of pedagogical training, levels of engagement and collegiality among students and faculty, and the extent of reflection about the rights and roles of graduate students in the department." In addition, they determined that the project also enhanced and increased discussion and cooperation among teaching assistants and professors. It also was considered to be a success in the manner by which the professional development of graduate students was appreciably improved.
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Teaching the Bible: How the History and Culture of Biblical Interpretation in the Bible Belt has Influenced Teaching and Learning in Theology

Awarded Grant
Bonilla, Max
University of St. Thomas (MN)
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To make explicit the cultural assumptions of the Bible Belt that affect teaching and learning in biblical studies by videotaping interviews with Southern pastors, students, and teachers; to develop web resources from the data collected for exploring the formational aspects of learning.
Proposal abstract :
To make explicit the cultural assumptions of the Bible Belt that affect teaching and learning in biblical studies by videotaping interviews with Southern pastors, students, and teachers; to develop web resources from the data collected for exploring the formational aspects of learning.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to understand how teaching trends contributed to the development of hermeneutical and theological assumptions concerning the Bible in the "Bible Belt." Through interviews with pastors, students and professors, the research hoped to discern primarily the role that "Bible Belt" culture plays in the teaching and learning process, as well as the influence of the teaching process directly on the "Bible Belt" cultural perception of the Bible. Hoped for results included a website of collected data and a course on the topic.
Research data collected was put into a website as www.biblebeltresearch.org. The course that emerged was well attended and included a variety of pedagogical strategies including field research and multimedia presentations. Important outcomes of the research also included a paper entitled, "Hermeneutics of the Bible Belt: Struggles in Interpretation" and various talks to local churches to raise awareness of the culture and cultural dynamics of their context.
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Teaching Seminars at the Hebrew Union College

Awarded Grant
Dallaire, Hélène
Hebrew Union College - New York Jewish Institute of Religion
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Support for a guest speaker on Teaching Biblical Hebrew for the faculty’s monthly teaching seminar.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a guest speaker on Teaching Biblical Hebrew for the faculty’s monthly teaching seminar.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund a consultant who specializes in Biblical Hebrew instruction to work with their teaching assistants and private tutors who instruct their rabbinical and graduate students in Biblical, Rabbinic and Modern Hebrew.
The consultant, Dr. David Levenson of Florida State University, gave a three-hour presentation on the teaching of Biblical Hebrew. Following the session, the students engaged Dr. Levenson over lunch with more specific questions, including scenarios from their classroom experience. The project director reported positive feedback from participants and that the teaching seminar served as springboard for further discussion on the use of technology in teaching Biblical Hebrew.
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Reading Hebrew: A Biblical Hebrew Web Course

Awarded Grant
Bandstra, Barry
Hope College
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To create Reading Hebrew which will be a complete first-year Biblical Hebrew language course of instruction that will be available over the Internet at no cost to students or their institution; it will include course management tools for instructors.
Proposal abstract :
To create Reading Hebrew which will be a complete first-year Biblical Hebrew language course of instruction that will be available over the Internet at no cost to students or their institution; it will include course management tools for instructors.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to create a web-based introductory course of instruction for Biblical Hebrew, including course management tools for instructors. The course hoped to provide a complete Biblical Hebrew learning package for individual students of biblical literature who may not have access to college or seminary instruction.
The project director reports that the course was successfully developed and can be found online at http://readinghebrew.org The program was demonstrated in the Pedagogy section of the 2003 international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature at Cambridge University in England. This setting provided valuable scholarly evaluation and feedback on the work.
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Ecumenical Spirituality: A Collaborative Paradigm for Teaching and Learning Theology

Awarded Grant
Reistroffer, Dianne|Kilcourse, George
Bellarmine University
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of an innovative process for faculty team-teaching and cohort student learning through an intentionally ecumenical perspective on the history, theology, and ministry issues for both non-professional and professional students.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of an innovative process for faculty team-teaching and cohort student learning through an intentionally ecumenical perspective on the history, theology, and ministry issues for both non-professional and professional students.

Learning Abstract :
Five consultations anchored the faculty from Bellarmine University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in our joint task of improving teaching for the newly offered Master of Arts in Spirituality degree. Each consultation, led by an outside facilitator, addressed unique topics: 1) Teaching Ecumenical Spirituality; 2) Teaching Adults/Adult Learning; 3) Creative Ecumenical teaching and learning; and 4) Collaborative teaching involving prayer, worship, art and music. The final session allowed the group to "exit" this cumulative process of the last 2 1/2 years with a wisdom, energy, and commitment that would not have been imaginable at the beginning as we completed a session on Ecumenical assessment.
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Multimedia Resources in Teaching Worship: Teaching the Process of Pastoral Discernment

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Todd
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Support for the analysis and development of a pedagogy used in teaching worship, moving it from a product of theological abstraction, to a process of pastoral engagement. This grant also supports the development of digital multimedia resources (Web Site and CD-Roms) for professors who teach worship.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the analysis and development of a pedagogy used in teaching worship, moving it from a product of theological abstraction, to a process of pastoral engagement. This grant also supports the development of digital multimedia resources (Web Site and CD-Roms) for professors who teach worship.

Learning Abstract :
Although this grant did not proceed as hoped, there were many positive outcomes that resulted. First, at both Loyola and North Park, I was able to engage the question of technology and teaching, specifically how we do distance learning. I was also able to raise the question of contextual teaching and pastoral theology pedagogy. These conversations continue at both institutions and will be a key component to the development of Fuller's PhD in liturgy, which I am developing. The central question I have is how can we develop doctoral students who are both solid scholars and thorough the creative teaching.

Second, I have been able to engage scholar/teachers from numerous disciplines in the discussion of the use of media in teaching. Beyond presentations to various groups of liturgists beyond my two focus groups, I have engaged those involved in congregational studies, sociology of religion, ritual studies, homiletics, and liturgical music. In these conversations I saw possibilities for these resources that I had not seen before.

Third, I have seen students over the past two years engage in pastoral questions about worship in greater detail than I ever had before. Students began seeing the implementation of various rites and liturgies as being done not in a general way but with a specific community of people, with unique likes and dislikes and a distinct history. This has helped our discussion about worship move from issues of personal preference to issues of pastoral concern. This has been the most successful part of being able to bring pieces of a community's liturgical life into the classroom as a text used for our learning. It has also improved the quality of the student's participant-observation of liturgies.
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www.HolyLandPhotos.org Development Project

Awarded Grant
Rasmussen, Carl
Bethel College
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to redevelop, expand, and maintain a web site that provides free, hi-resolution, and PowerPoint-ready images of biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Israel, and other places.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to redevelop, expand, and maintain a web site that provides free, hi-resolution, and PowerPoint-ready images of biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Israel, and other places.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to redevelop, expand and maintain a web site that provides free, Hi-Resolution and Power Point ready images of biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.
The site developed can be found at http://www.holylandphotos.org/ As a result of the grant, the site was redesigned to be more functional, the database more flexible, the search engine more powerful and the user interface more attractive. A new "build your own collection" feature was added. Also, they selected, posted and linked over 1000 new images and associated maps. As of the project report the site held 1782 images. The site grew from registering 3,000 views per day to 15,000 – 20,000 per day.
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Workshop on Teaching Religion and Ecology

Awarded Grant
Haberman, David
Indiana University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support for the gathering of a group of twenty college-level teachers to explore together thoughts and strategies for effective teaching in the emeging field of religion and ecology.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the gathering of a group of twenty college-level teachers to explore together thoughts and strategies for effective teaching in the emeging field of religion and ecology.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather together 20 college-level teachers for a 3-day workshop to explore together thoughts and strategies for effective teaching in the field of religion and ecology. The group invited comprised members of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. This group developed out of a series of ten conferences on the world's religious traditions and ecology, held at the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Harvard Divinity School from 1996-1998.
A total of 22 scholars in the area of religion and ecology attended the workshop held at Indiana University. The project director reports: "Elements of this workshop I would highlight for others to emulate would be 1) clear assignments and provocative pre-workshop readings, 2) short presentations (rather than long polished presentations), 3) a combination of small discussion groups and whole-group discussions, and 4) creation of a ‘safe' environment to try out new ideas and discuss those troubling aspects of teaching."
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The Role of the Religious Studies Introductory Course in Supporting the Jesuit Mission in Catholic Higher Education in the 21st Century

Awarded Grant
McGinn, Sheila
John Carroll University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave grant to improve religious and theological education at the 28 Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States by structuring a conversation among the institutions concerning how their current introductory Religious Studies/Theology courses can better support the Jesuit mission in higher education in the current environment of religious pluralism, technological innovation, and a developing global culture in the 21st century.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave grant to improve religious and theological education at the 28 Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States by structuring a conversation among the institutions concerning how their current introductory Religious Studies/Theology courses can better support the Jesuit mission in higher education in the current environment of religious pluralism, technological innovation, and a developing global culture in the 21st century.

Learning Abstract :
The primary points I learned from the data-collection and analysis phases of this project were that a) collecting and analyzing survey data takes at least five times more time and energy than projected, and (b) faculty and administrators are not nearly as responsive to a colleague's request for data as one might like.

1. Mail-in surveys have a notoriously low rate of return, so it takes considerable effort to follow up with recipients if you want a substantial response to the survey. We resorted to email, telephone calls, and even personal visits to certain key respondents in order to get a broad response to the questionnaires.

2. Collating the results - including generating the schema for collating the responses to the open-ended questions-took somewhat less time than anticipated, but the tremendous learning curve for using SPSS to analyze the student data more than compensated for this. I relied heavily on a colleague in the Psychology department for both a tutorial on how to use the program and suggestions about which kinds of analyses to run.

My success with the course re-design phase of the project reinforced for me the idea that it is essential to lay a solid foundation for collaboration if you want to gain a consensus on a key decision, particularly in the abbreviated time frame of a grant project. This project was designed to include consultation with a wide range of individuals and interest groups, and this consultation was key to achieving the final result of changing the course design in ways that all the faculty could support.
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Consultation on Teaching Religion 121: The bible in Culture and Community

Awarded Grant
Odell, Margaret|Langerquist, L. DeAne
St. Olaf College
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a 2-day workshop for faculty devoted to enhancement of teaching and learning in The Bible in Culture and Community. Goals for the project include: enhancing student learning in The Bible in Culture and Community course, exploring modes of instruction appropriate to first year students and to biblical materials with the goal of developing students' abilities as interpreters of biblical materials, and to increase interaction and collaboration between instructors ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a 2-day workshop for faculty devoted to enhancement of teaching and learning in The Bible in Culture and Community. Goals for the project include: enhancing student learning in The Bible in Culture and Community course, exploring modes of instruction appropriate to first year students and to biblical materials with the goal of developing students' abilities as interpreters of biblical materials, and to increase interaction and collaboration between instructors of the course.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to hold a two-day workshop for specific St. Olaf faculty devoted to enhancing the teaching and learning in their required first-year course in Biblical and Theological Studies, called the Bible in Culture and Community.
With a strong turnout, almost ¾ of the faculty who teach this course attended the workshop. The project director reports as particularly useful, "a long conversation about what sorts of interpretive assignments are appropriate to the particular set of students in these courses." Another goal was to explore modes of instruction. This was met with examples provided by an outside consultant. Enhancing student learning was a goal, and it could not be evaluated until used in classes. However, they planned to evaluate the new techniques upon use to determine effectiveness. Finally, informed follow-up appeared to be occurring as colleagues reported results to each other. More formal sessions were planned for ongoing critique and evaluation.
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The Sacred Sites of Asia: A Georeferenced Multimedia Instructional Resource

Awarded Grant
Holdrege, Barbara
University of California - Santa Barbara
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of a georeferenced multimedia Web site for the study of sacred sites in Asia that can be utilized as an instructional resource in a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Asian religions and cultures at educational institutions throughout the world.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of a georeferenced multimedia Web site for the study of sacred sites in Asia that can be utilized as an instructional resource in a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Asian religions and cultures at educational institutions throughout the world.

Learning Abstract :
The grant funded ongoing collaborative interdisciplinary work at the University of California at Santa Barbara to continue development of The Sacred Sites of Asia Project. It is hoped that this project will revolutionize the way in which courses on Asian religions and cultures are taught by studying the various sacred spaces of these religions. The collaborators during this phase of the grant were Barbara Holdrege (Hindu), William Power (Chinese Religions and Buddhist traditions), Juan Campo (Islamic traditions) and Jose Cabezon (Tibetan Buddhist traditions). This project was concerned with expanding the instructional applications of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and technologies beyond the earth sciences and social sciences into the humanities.

Students were generally very enthusiastic in their responses to the website, emphasizing the value of this instructional resource in facilitating their understanding of key terms and concepts and enhancing their ability to assimilate and integrate the course material.

When copyright issues are settled, the Sacred Sites of Asia website modules will be made available through the Alexandria Digital Library to faculty, students, and the wider public as broad-based instructional resources that can be adapted to fulfill the pedagogical objectives of a range of courses on Asian religions and cultures – not only at UC campuses but also at other educational institutions throughout the world.
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Teaching and Learning Scriptual Reasoning

Awarded Grant
Ochs, Peter
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support a consultation between the Scriptural Reasoning group and experts in contemporary theory of education/religious education -- to test, for example, our (members of the Scriptural Reasoning group) sense that Scriptural Reasoning does not fit into the persistent tendencies of that theory to draw dichotomies between universal/value-neutral and religion-specific subject matters, and to help frame the pedagogic inquiry for the Scriptural Reasoning group.
Proposal abstract :
Support a consultation between the Scriptural Reasoning group and experts in contemporary theory of education/religious education -- to test, for example, our (members of the Scriptural Reasoning group) sense that Scriptural Reasoning does not fit into the persistent tendencies of that theory to draw dichotomies between universal/value-neutral and religion-specific subject matters, and to help frame the pedagogic inquiry for the Scriptural Reasoning group.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a pedagogical approach to the biblical hermeneutical method of "Scriptural Reasoning." To this end, directors from the Societies for Scriptural Reasoning proposed a three-day consultation of its Scriptural Reasoning Theory group in dialogue with educational theorists so as to frame long-term strategies of research and programmatic planning in this area.


The consultation was held successfully in May, 2003, with Dr. John Proctor, professor of theological education at Westminster College, Cambridge University. The project director reports that work with the consultant helped to fulfill the goals of the project: "uncovering the basic categories of teaching and learning that pertain to the practice of scriptural reasoning and, thereby, preparing representatives of the SRT to plan a comprehensive project on pedagogy and scriptural reasoning … the consultation and report has enabled members of the SRT to identify the types of cognitive skills, text-learning, and social interaction that are required to practice scriptural reasoning across the boundaries of the three Abrahamic faiths."
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Retreat for building Department Relations and Fostering the Sharing of Teaching and Learning Resources

Awarded Grant
Ross, Susan
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Support for a departmental retreat to clarify faculty responsibilities and share resources as teachers of undergraduate and graduate students, to specify the role of Theology in undergraduate curriculum and how Loyola religion department faculty might best contribute to a revised core curriculum, to foster a sense of corporate identity as a department, and to continue exploring the nature of theology in relation to the requirement for the mandatum.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a departmental retreat to clarify faculty responsibilities and share resources as teachers of undergraduate and graduate students, to specify the role of Theology in undergraduate curriculum and how Loyola religion department faculty might best contribute to a revised core curriculum, to foster a sense of corporate identity as a department, and to continue exploring the nature of theology in relation to the requirement for the mandatum.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather faculty from the department of theology for a retreat to reflect upon the enormous changes and challenges of their new context within the university structure and to address these challenges effectively. Specifically, they hoped to share teaching and learning resources for their new situation in the university, specify the role of theology in the university's revised curriculum, and to foster a sense of corporate identity as a department.
The faculty retreat was held in 2003 before the beginning of the new academic year. The project director highlights the following successes of the retreat: the department was able to reconnect personally; they were able to hold "serious conversations about teaching and techniques for classroom management," and they were able to set priorities for future work together. As a result, "the department has been working towards a renewed sense of its identity and mission."
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Collegial Observation and Pedagogy Enhancement

Awarded Grant
Quanbeck, Philip|Kleckley, Russell|Edwards Farley, Barbara
Augsburg College
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for the Augsburg College religion department faculty to assist one another to teach outside of their particular sub-disciplines; and support for an evaluation process designed and implemented by the faculty to assess both the teaching and learning that takes place in two new required courses at Augsburg College.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the Augsburg College religion department faculty to assist one another to teach outside of their particular sub-disciplines; and support for an evaluation process designed and implemented by the faculty to assess both the teaching and learning that takes place in two new required courses at Augsburg College.

Learning Abstract :
The most significant effect of the activities supported by the grant was the change in the Augsburg College religion department culture. We moved from being a collegial department to being a department of close collaboration in the teaching of the new religion courses within general education. It has become a practice and habit to see the courses (REL 100 and 200) as a shared enterprise. To that end we continue to develop shared projects and assignments and seek the expertise of colleagues. We also have created a shared culture of ongoing revision and adaptation in course content and teaching styles. The challenge now will be the sustaining of the culture. The greatest challenge we encountered had to do with assessment and differentiating assessment of student learning, assessment of teaching and assessment of the grant activities.
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Being Black/Teaching Black: An African-American Dialogue Connecting the Influences of Blackness in Theological Education Teaching Practices

Awarded Grant
Westfield, Nancy
Drew University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for an African-American cohort group to engage the central question of how our embodiment of Black Church/Black Theology/Black culture influences our teaching in theological and religious studies. Goals include: charting the impact that Black presence has had on theological pedagogy; consideration of the liminality of Black theological education at this critical time in its history; and to write an anthology concerning the influence and embodiment of Blackness ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for an African-American cohort group to engage the central question of how our embodiment of Black Church/Black Theology/Black culture influences our teaching in theological and religious studies. Goals include: charting the impact that Black presence has had on theological pedagogy; consideration of the liminality of Black theological education at this critical time in its history; and to write an anthology concerning the influence and embodiment of Blackness on theological education.

Learning Abstract :
In our research about the presence, influence, role and contribution of African-American professors on the classrooms of religion and theological education, it was our hunch that white supremacy and patriarchy are still a major obstacle and genuine threat that demands critical strategy both in the identity politic with colleagues and also in the classrooms with our students. We suspected that the presence of race is a critical aspect to the curriculum in general and the teaching practices, specifically. We wanted to analyze the teaching practices that Black professors have developed and have come to rely upon that will push-through or thwart some of the racism, classism, and sexism involved in teaching and learning. During our research, we rehearsed a multiplicity of issues and strategies which a Black professor negotiates daily and which White colleagues are not burdened by. We were fascinated at the amount of attention the presence of our Black bodies, our literal physicality, received in the classroom and have written about these issues of body. A major thread of our work had to do with the role and strategies we use to educate others about their own racist behaviors that keep them from a critical understanding necessary in our disciplines and subject matter. And significant time has been spent by our group advising, discussing and strategizing on ways of maintaining health, sanity, creativity, and faith.
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Teaching through Oral History Resources- Phase Three of the Oral History Project: Composing A Life- Women Changing the Church & Society

Awarded Grant
Moore, Mary Elizabeth
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the conversion of interviews and oral history materials to accessible and enduring formats for purposes of teaching with future generations. Goals include: conversion of oral history materials to digital, audio-visual, and print formats; preservation of stories of women who have composed strong lives through their moral authority; and development of a pedagogy for engaging with oral history resources in classroom teaching and independent research.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the conversion of interviews and oral history materials to accessible and enduring formats for purposes of teaching with future generations. Goals include: conversion of oral history materials to digital, audio-visual, and print formats; preservation of stories of women who have composed strong lives through their moral authority; and development of a pedagogy for engaging with oral history resources in classroom teaching and independent research.

Learning Abstract :
The primary learning is that the inclusion of teaching resources in the Oral History Project has made it more far-reaching and long-lasting than it would otherwise be. The power points are effective in classroom teaching, as are the DVD's. Finally, the project director is grateful for the opportunity to contribute a large collection of permanent teaching resources to the Pitts Theology Library archives.
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Teaching through Oral History: Phase Two of the Oral History Project: Composing A Life- Women Changing the Church & Society

Awarded Grant
Moore, Mary Elizabeth
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to engage students with women who have potential to inspire and guide, to uncover realities of Christian tradition as embodied in diverse lives and contexts. Specific pedagogical goals include: teaching the art of oral history; teaching the art of hermeneutics with living texts; teaching the art of discerning dynamics and patterns of religious life; creating a collection of teaching resources; and teaching through oral history in ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to engage students with women who have potential to inspire and guide, to uncover realities of Christian tradition as embodied in diverse lives and contexts. Specific pedagogical goals include: teaching the art of oral history; teaching the art of hermeneutics with living texts; teaching the art of discerning dynamics and patterns of religious life; creating a collection of teaching resources; and teaching through oral history in extra-curricular and public venues.

Learning Abstract :
The project director and associates learned the power of teaching through oral history, especially the inspiration and wisdom that emanates from people's lives when others listen with care. In particular, they learned the many different ways by which oral history can contribute to teaching and learning. It can be especially effective in the following forms: 1) Central focus of pedagogical content and method, as in the Prophetic Pioneers course that draws heavily upon biography and life story; 2) Case studies that reveal how human lives interact with a particular subject or issue in religion and theology; 3) Source for contextual or theological analysis, revealing complexities in social and theological movements in different times and places; 4) Enrichment of textual analysis, especially when combining textual interpretation with an author interview; 5) Methodological tool for developing skills, especially skills in significant conversation, active listening, and interpreting human lives.
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Formation and Training of Catholic Women for Ministry

Awarded Grant
Zagano, Phyllis
Hofstra University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to investigate the pedagogical needs in formation and training of Catholic women for ministry outside Catholic seminaries and universities through research (literature review and consultation with experts), and to present this research in a scholarly forae (conference paper and journal article).
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to investigate the pedagogical needs in formation and training of Catholic women for ministry outside Catholic seminaries and universities through research (literature review and consultation with experts), and to present this research in a scholarly forae (conference paper and journal article).

Learning Abstract :
Several problems surrounding the formation and training of Catholic lay ministers were identified during the research period. The research demonstrates that a large population of Catholic women and lay men in the highest levels of full-time ministry training (i.e. M.Div., D.Min.) are training under non-Catholic auspices.

While the level of non-Catholic institutions is uniformly high, the lack of specifically Catholic formation and training puts these students at a disadvantage. Many courses necessary for Catholic ministry are simply not available. While some students at non-Catholic institutions in or near major metropolitan areas (Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C.) can register for necessary courses through their institutions' consortia memberships, large areas of the United States have no Catholic resources nearby. Preliminary conversations with officials of the Vanderbilt Divinity School and with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops during the project indicated the need to measure the problem and provide pedagogical solutions to non-Catholic institutions. This is especially important in the light of coming Catholic requirements for lay ecclesial ministry that include four competency areas: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation.
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Religious Identities in the Religion Classroom

Awarded Grant
Shapiro, Faydra
Wilfrid Laurier University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a conference with the goals of intellectual, pedagogical, and community development around concerns about the insider/outsider (subjectivity/objectivity) issue in teaching Religious Studies. Professors and grad students will be encouraged to develop, discuss and share strategies for dealing with religious identities in the classroom. Professors and undergrad students will be encouraged to recognize the parts they play as a shared learning community in the Religious Studies classroom.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a conference with the goals of intellectual, pedagogical, and community development around concerns about the insider/outsider (subjectivity/objectivity) issue in teaching Religious Studies. Professors and grad students will be encouraged to develop, discuss and share strategies for dealing with religious identities in the classroom. Professors and undergrad students will be encouraged to recognize the parts they play as a shared learning community in the Religious Studies classroom.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund the conference of religion scholars to examine teaching and learning issues around negotiating both a private religious identity and a public academic identity. They hoped to examine ways that teachers are both insiders and outsiders to the tradition they teach, and the teaching strategies that are approach to that reality.
The project director reports that the conference occurred in February 2004 with a total of 60 participants. They found that the small group discussions were quite worthwhile for both students and faculty. Overall, they were most pleased with the diversity of the audience, with the mix of faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students.
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Connecting Local History with National and Global Themes

Awarded Grant
Strobel, Johannes|Callahan, Richard
University of Missouri - Columbia
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support to design an exemplary class including the design of activities for the students and the teacher, implementation of appropriate technologies, assessment and evaluation.
Proposal abstract :
Support to design an exemplary class including the design of activities for the students and the teacher, implementation of appropriate technologies, assessment and evaluation.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to design a model class with a constructivist learning environment to support teaching and learning the history of religion in post-Civil War America. The design centered on a hyper text system, which contained the course content, rearranged around cases, perspectives and themes.
The project directors report the activities of the grant in the areas of instructional design, system development and content development. The class (with 65 enrolled) was redesigned to be "case-based oriented instead of coverage oriented". New assessment instruments were developed to fit the design. Also, system software was developed to link cases, perspectives and themes together for critical examination. Finally, the grant supported the development of model cases for use in the "crisscrossing" environment that the technology created. Researchers found that after initial conceptual adjustment by the students, the quality of their papers improved over time in this new learning environment.
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Teaching Theology through Music: Conveying Theological Concepts through the Music of the Church

Awarded Grant
Cavadini, John|Kroeker, Charlotte
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to help 10 academic theologians and 10 musicians develop pedagogy for teaching theology through music, to implement applications in academic coursework, and to compile projects created by the group for distribution via the Web.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to help 10 academic theologians and 10 musicians develop pedagogy for teaching theology through music, to implement applications in academic coursework, and to compile projects created by the group for distribution via the Web.

Learning Abstract :
Some of the learnings and outcomes from this grant include the following. 1) It is possible for musicians and theologians not only to learn from each other, but for musicians and theologians from different denominations to work together congenially, and to enhance their own faith experience by coming into contact with Christian traditions different from their own. 2) Musicians know little about theological meaning in the sacred music they perform; theologians know little about the complexity or meaning of the music that accompanies sacred texts, or about its power to carry and communicate theological truths. Addressing these voids was perhaps one of the most important outcomes of the seminar. 3) What we shared from our Christian traditions far outweighed any differences. That was so evident as we explored together the music of our faith, which is remarkably ecumenical. 4) The participants expressed what a rare experience this seminar was for them. Perhaps this would be the case for most musicians and theologians, whose roles may be parallel but do not intersect. In this case, theology and music were studied and experienced together, for common goals, with shared understanding. 5) There is substantial need for written materials that probe the nature of what happens when theological texts are combined with music. Great works of sacred music are not studied by scholars for both their theological and musical characteristics, as a general rule. 6) Having the two week seminar at the beginning of the summer worked well. 7) We are only starting to understand the nature and power of the arts to convey theological meaning. It is a field waiting to be discovered, nurtured and probed.
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Teaching Pentecostalism

Awarded Grant
Wacker, Grant|Blumhofer, Edith
Wheaton College - Illinois
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a day-long invitational consultation, followed by collaboration to create a web-based global conversation on teaching Pentecostalism. Purpose of the project is to address particular pedagogical challenges and construct models for teaching the history of Pentecostalism.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a day-long invitational consultation, followed by collaboration to create a web-based global conversation on teaching Pentecostalism. Purpose of the project is to address particular pedagogical challenges and construct models for teaching the history of Pentecostalism.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to address particular pedagogical challenges and construct models through a consultation of scholars. They hoped to identify challenges and concerns, offer several models and rationales and prepare web resources.
The consultation was hosted by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College. Scholars invited to the consultation prepared syllabi for reflection and discussion on teaching about these movements. They summarized the practical implications of their discussion as follows: 1) most secondary sources by insiders are "unapologetically normative"; 2) "the secondary materials produced by outsiders commonly reflect a mirror image of the insider sources; 3) "the primary materials are packaged with claims of supernatural activity"; 4) the majority of the sources are not published books and articles; 5) "the definition of the subject itself is problematic"; 6) the study of Pentecostalism is politically charged; 7) unlike some of the traditions historians study, Pentecostalism is "rapidly growing and changing"; 8) "Pentecostalism is no longer, if it ever was, primarily a North American phenomenon."
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Teaching for Mission at Samford University: The Religion Department as an Enabling Environment for Instructional Excellence

Awarded Grant
Roxburgh, Kenneth
Samford University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for the religion department to engage in a sixteen month process to study the interplay of institutional, departmental, and individual history, culture, and vocation to enhance instructional excellence.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the religion department to engage in a sixteen month process to study the interplay of institutional, departmental, and individual history, culture, and vocation to enhance instructional excellence.

Learning Abstract :
The project coincided with a prolonged and unsuccessful search for a candidate who would supplement the department's current curriculum, especially in the area of World Religions. This was a disappointment and an obstacle towards making full use of the time and resources of the project.


On a much more positive note the project allowed us the opportunity to spend time together as a department sharing our own stories, building personal and intellectual relationships, reflecting on the nature and direction of our department and envisioning hopes and plans for the future development of the department.


We have affirmed our intention to be fully involved in the engagement of Christian piety and intellectual inquiry without sacrificing academic integrity or rigor; to offer a critical approach to the study of religion that encourages students to develop a personally mature and critically reflective faith. Faculty members see themselves as scholar-teachers who are interested in and committed to the Christian mission of the university and preparing students for vocations in both church and society."
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Meeting the Challenge of Teaching Religion in Community Colleges (A Collegial Consultation)

Awarded Grant
Everist, Burton
Northeast Iowa Community College
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts

Proposal abstract :
Support for a consultation to address the challenges, discern resources, and develop collegial support for teaching religion in community college contexts. Goals include: clarifying the tasks of teachers of religion; sharing insights and resources; developing communications focused on teaching religion in community colleges; and planning an annual community college activity in conjunction with the AAR and the Religious Education Association.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a consultation to address the challenges, discern resources, and develop collegial support for teaching religion in community college contexts. Goals include: clarifying the tasks of teachers of religion; sharing insights and resources; developing communications focused on teaching religion in community colleges; and planning an annual community college activity in conjunction with the AAR and the Religious Education Association.

Learning Abstract :
The consultation sought: 1) to undergird the critical task of teaching about religion in community colleges. It did! 2) to share information about the courses being offered in community colleges: the course guidelines that establish course transferability to other institutions, the syllabi, and the texts currently in use. Clearly the evaluations said this happened. 3) to learn about the successes and the challenges the teachers and colleges encounter. Evaluations affirmed this. 4) through the process of the consultation, to model adult teaching/learning modes and thereby enhance teaching skills. Participants appreciated the open process. 5) to develop a collegial network, with a listserv, a web presence, and, if desired, future conferences. This will continue, but remains to be accomplished. People are working on the field trip and all have expressed interest in the AAR Regional. 6) to link teachers to extant collegial resources such as the American Academy of Religion (both nationally and regionally) and to the Religious Education Association together with the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education. More needs to be done here, perhaps providing a year's membership in these two organizations as well as following up the AAR Midwest regional.
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Revolutionaries Come to Life: Using Technology for Active Shared Learning

Awarded Grant
Oliver, Dianne
University of Evansville
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to enhance teaching and learning by creating an active, shared learning environment through the use of web-based, interactive, student generated materials and discussion forums rather than only traditional papers evaluated exclusively by the professor. Specifically, the project includes development of assignments and the necessary technological foundations and evaluative mechanisms for student work to be done in a communal, shared setting on the web.
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to enhance teaching and learning by creating an active, shared learning environment through the use of web-based, interactive, student generated materials and discussion forums rather than only traditional papers evaluated exclusively by the professor. Specifically, the project includes development of assignments and the necessary technological foundations and evaluative mechanisms for student work to be done in a communal, shared setting on the web.

Learning Abstract :
The project developed a course utilizing technology to create an active, shared learning environment where assignments themselves and the evaluation of student learning occurred mainly in a more public, communal space online to enhance its "active" nature. Project learnings included: 1) requirements for students to share their work and to interact helps create learning community, even for a general education class where students are not always open to the course goals and content; in addition, requiring students to interact with the course materials and with one another regularly online helps develop critical and analytical thinking skills; 2) making assignments more "public" creates a different ownership of the learning process and allows students to learn from and with one another; 3) software and hardware used to create websites and to do online discussion are becoming ubiquitous enough that using these tools as a mechanism for student learning doesn't require significant training.
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Teaching and Learning Scriptural Reasoning

Awarded Grant
Ochs, Peter
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study of how to teach and learn a new approach to religious studies called "Scriptural Reasoning." "Scriptural Reasoning" refers to two dimensions of practice: a learning practice that engages students of all three Abrahamic traditions in the activity of scriptural study, and a scholarly practice of generating theories that both guide and account for this learning practice.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study of how to teach and learn a new approach to religious studies called "Scriptural Reasoning." "Scriptural Reasoning" refers to two dimensions of practice: a learning practice that engages students of all three Abrahamic traditions in the activity of scriptural study, and a scholarly practice of generating theories that both guide and account for this learning practice.

Learning Abstract :
During the leave period I completed all background research and composed most of the book manuscript. Following the leave period I continued to work on the book and acquired a book contract with Eerdmans/SCM Press. As noted in my application, Scriptural Reasoning names a new approach to scriptural study and interpretation. Nurtured over the past 10-15 years by a still expanding movement of Christian, Jewish, Muslim scholars, SR has at least two purposes: (a) To show how scriptural study serves as a neglected source of instruction in patterns of reasoning that apply not just to religious life but also for all manners of reflection on what we are to make of this world and how to live in it; (b) To show how such patterns of reasoning can be drawn out of each of the three Abrahamic traditions of scriptural study. For, the more deeply they study scripture together, the more these erstwhile religious adversaries may begin to see in each other's faces evidence of an analogous love of God. I would not have felt it so important to write a book about SR if it were not for these unexpected outcomes.

While members of SR fellowships have begun to write about SR in journal essays and some collected works, there is as yet no singly authored volume on the character and implications of SR practice.

The book will have three basic foci. First, it welcomes university and seminary teachers, and other interested readers, to "observe" scriptural reasoning as it has been practiced in several fellowships. Second, it gives a speculative account of the kinds of reasoning the SR folks are engaged in. Third, it focuses more concretely on how SR might be introduced into various classroom settings in the university and in the seminaries.

The book is due to be published in late Fall of 2006.
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Teaching Theological Literacy through Scriptures in a LaSallian Tune

Awarded Grant
Windley-Daoust, Susan
St. Mary's University of Minnesota
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts

Proposal abstract :
Support for a two day workshop to address the pedagogical issues involving teaching theological literacy through Scriptures to first year students.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a two day workshop to address the pedagogical issues involving teaching theological literacy through Scriptures to first year students.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funds to support a two-day workshop in the summer of 2004 to address the pedagogical issues involved in teaching theological literacy through Scripture to their first year students. It was their hope that the workshop would help them to better articulate the pedagogical vision in the courses, to problem-solve some teaching and learning issues particular to their contexts, and to cultivate a language for presenting the method to the liberal arts community of learner in their university.
The project director reports very engaged and useful conversation was held around four key sets of questions:
- What is our vision for the experience, engagement, and lifelong learning in theology offered by these courses? How do our course goals flow from our vision?
- What are the primary pedagogical issues in presenting scriptural materials to different first year audiences? How do we address these issues?
- How is our teaching in this set of first year courses "La Sallian Catholic"?
- How may we best present these materials to students and other faculty that will facilitate the liberal arts emphasis of the St. Mary's University campus?

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Peer Evaluation and Teaching Portfolio Development for Doctoral Students in the Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University

Awarded Grant
Bounds, Elizabeth|Patterson, Barbara
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To strengthen the teaching training program for doctoral students in religion at Emory University by revising the evaluation process in two ways: 1) reframe the overall process of evaluation to focus on producing a teaching portfolio; 2) develop a peer evaluation process as part of the second year teaching experience. Project Goals. Primary Goal: Revise process for evaluating doctoral teaching in order to improve skills and to promote self- sustenance ...
Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To strengthen the teaching training program for doctoral students in religion at Emory University by revising the evaluation process in two ways: 1) reframe the overall process of evaluation to focus on producing a teaching portfolio; 2) develop a peer evaluation process as part of the second year teaching experience. Project Goals. Primary Goal: Revise process for evaluating doctoral teaching in order to improve skills and to promote self- sustenance of program. Secondary Goals: 1) Begin to devise an overall evaluation process which will enable doctoral students to compile a teaching portfolio; 2) Revise written evaluation process by which faculty evaluate doctoral students as part of their portfolio; 3) Develop a peer evaluation process which will contribute to the students' learning and which can continue to be sustained, regardless of financial support; 4) Offer a workshop in peer evaluation that will train students and a select group of faculty in peer evaluation skills.

Learning Abstract :
The project's main goal was to "revise the process for evaluating doctoral teaching in order to improve skills and to promote self-sustenance of program." The project was centered on the development of graduate student teaching through use of peer teaching reviews.

Graduate students were equipped with basic skills for peer mentoring. They collectively worked with the project directors to enhance skills in peer mentoring, develop their abilities to reflect on how the experience can improve teaching, and to discuss future training needs. The program was mutually regarded as a positive experience and they shared a hope for future training. Ongoing work also involves specific attention to development of knowledge and skills in teaching religious practices and expansion of knowledge about teaching and learning resources.
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Promoting a Culture of Academic Excellence through General Education in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Yocum Mize, Sandra
University of Dayton
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
In Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, the majority of courses fulfill general education requirements. Students too frequently enter those courses expecting minimal academic requirements. Yet precisely because Religious Studies courses are central to the distinctive educational experience at the University of Dayton, they can make the study of religion central to students’ integration into the academic culture at the University of Dayton. This large group project involves all ...
Proposal abstract :
In Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, the majority of courses fulfill general education requirements. Students too frequently enter those courses expecting minimal academic requirements. Yet precisely because Religious Studies courses are central to the distinctive educational experience at the University of Dayton, they can make the study of religion central to students’ integration into the academic culture at the University of Dayton. This large group project involves all the Religious Studies instructors in a process that will produce a clear articulation of specific learning outcomes and pedagogical strategies to establish Religious Studies as a substantive influence in students’ developing a passion for academic excellence in the study of religion while at the University of Dayton and long after they graduate. Project Goals. Religious Studies general education instructors will collaborate in a year-long process to determine learning outcomes in Religious Studies general education courses, especially the university-wide requirement, REL 103 "Introduction to Religion," and to identify a range of pedagogical strategies for realizing those outcomes so that all undergraduates engage in the study of religion in ways that contribute substantively to the culture of academic excellence at the University of Dayton and give students the basic critical skills and intellectual confidence required to pursue the study of religion-related topics beyond the four years of undergraduate study. A written version of these learning outcomes and pedagogical strategies will serve as a resource for those who teach Religious Studies general education and as a point of departure for ongoing discussions of the teaching-learning process in Religious Studies.

Learning Abstract :
Participating in this year-long discussion of teaching general education courses, particularly the required introductory course, reaffirmed the importance of the required course in establishing a positive academic climate at our institution. A well-constructed, first-year course with clearly stated objectives and sound pedagogical strategies can have a significant influence on how a student engages in learning at the university. About 75% of this work is done before the course even begins through a carefully planned syllabus. The teaching consultants plus those who shared best practices re-confirmed how important it is for the teacher to have realistic expectations of students, and in general education courses that usually means expecting them to excel through gradually more challenging reading and writing assignments. The best teachers seem to have the best students, i.e., the students who are motivated to go beyond what they initially thought themselves capable. Though exceptional abilities in teaching are a gift, effective teaching is a skill that can be acquired and improved. To improve requires a willingness to be challenged to become a better teacher which in turn requires thinking of teaching as a communal activity - something for peers to observe and discuss with each other. The current focus on quantitative evaluation system, plus the divisions among adjunct, full-time, and graduate assistants, works against fostering a teaching community learning from each other and being supported by each other in their shared commitment to academic excellence. The grant provided an opportunity to see other possibilities, to recognize the communal dimension of teaching. Continuing to promote those practices that foster a teaching community in the Religious Studies Department is the legacy of this grant.
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Theology Faculty Development: Focus on Pedagogy and “Catholic Identity”

Awarded Grant
Connors, Russell
St. Catherine University
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project focused on specific issues related to pedagogy and “Catholic Identity.” Two goals are regarded as primary for the grant: 1) enhancing the quality of classroom teaching, particularly in the introductory undergraduate classroom, and 2) providing a variety of opportunities - “venues” - for substantive conversation among all department members concerning theological and pedagogical issues, particularly involved with introductory undergraduate courses. We hope to accomplish the goals through a ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project focused on specific issues related to pedagogy and “Catholic Identity.” Two goals are regarded as primary for the grant: 1) enhancing the quality of classroom teaching, particularly in the introductory undergraduate classroom, and 2) providing a variety of opportunities - “venues” - for substantive conversation among all department members concerning theological and pedagogical issues, particularly involved with introductory undergraduate courses. We hope to accomplish the goals through a book discussion, workshop, and meetings.

Learning Abstract :
Two events for full time faculty and adjunct faculty in the Theology department were funded by the grant. In the fall, the full time faculty met to discuss Terrence Tilley's Inventing Catholic Tradition. In February, both full time and adjunct faculty, as well as college administrators, met with Tilley over dinner to discuss his book. As an additional outcome of his being on campus panel discussions were held on the relationship between Catholicism and "an academic community," as well as a discussion of Catholicism and feminism. It is hoped that future activities will promote excellence in teaching (including specific theological and pedagogical strategies) in the context of exploring these relationships.
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Deeper into Ancient Cyberspace

Awarded Grant
Royalty, Robert
Wabash College
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to review, index, and revise existing web-based teaching materials produced at Wabash College from 1999 - 2003; to supplement these sites with additional digital resources; to make these materials more accessible to students and scholars of ancient Judaism and early Christianity; and to evaluate the pedagogical implications of digital rather than traditional research assignments in teaching the social history of religion at the college level.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to review, index, and revise existing web-based teaching materials produced at Wabash College from 1999 - 2003; to supplement these sites with additional digital resources; to make these materials more accessible to students and scholars of ancient Judaism and early Christianity; and to evaluate the pedagogical implications of digital rather than traditional research assignments in teaching the social history of religion at the college level.

Learning Abstract :
The work on this grant changed over the course of three years. The original proposal focused more on improving the project director's own sites, particularly the "Asia Minor" course developed with students after travel to Turkey in March 2003 and the websites of other courses taught prior to that time. As the project evolved, it became more important for the project director to add the various components, resources, and documents he used and to have narrative descriptions of the "whys" and "why nots" regarding his decisions about including various pieces so that other teachers could see how the course worked pedagogically. This "narrative syllabus" is a model for a transparent approach to putting courses on the web. The insights gleaned from this project go far beyond the teaching of ancient religion or biblical studies and extends to folks teaching in a liberal arts college as well.
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Youth Ministry Education and a Multicultural Society

Awarded Grant
Linhart, Terence
Bethel College
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study to examine how teachers at Christian colleges and seminaries educate men and women about multicultural issues within youth ministry programs.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study to examine how teachers at Christian colleges and seminaries educate men and women about multicultural issues within youth ministry programs.

Learning Abstract :
The teachers in this study intended for these courses to be moments of awakening for students, satisfied that students may depart the course without "answers," but with new awareness and critical principles for how to minister in diverse situations. Conscious that the course curriculum intentionally created dissonance and confronted ingrained perspectives, the instructors functioned as spiritual directors or pastors, assisting students in their understanding of self, racism and related subjects, and the implications for their futures as ministry leaders and citizens. The manner in which they led students through discussions was an integral part of the curriculum, a conscious modeling of how Christians should be addressing these subjects, and in a manner that reflected God's forgiveness and desire for reconciliation. This study has begun an ongoing conversation regarding the need for multicultural subjects to be integral parts of ministry degree programs in Christian colleges and seminaries.
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Biblical Studies in Classroom and Church: Scripture as Sanctuary, Commentary as Hypertext

Awarded Grant
Martin, Dale
Yale University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave project that seeks to clarify how current ways of teaching biblical studies, mainly through the use of historical criticism, encourage certain teaching practices that may or may not adequately equip pastors with the variety of tools they later need for teaching about the Bible. The study will examine and critique current practices involved with teaching historical criticism in theological education, focusing both on theoretical critiques ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave project that seeks to clarify how current ways of teaching biblical studies, mainly through the use of historical criticism, encourage certain teaching practices that may or may not adequately equip pastors with the variety of tools they later need for teaching about the Bible. The study will examine and critique current practices involved with teaching historical criticism in theological education, focusing both on theoretical critiques inspired by poststructuralist and postmodernist theories and on theological critiques inspired by the long history of Christian interpretation and theologies of interpretation. The study also proposes to develop specific suggestions for thinking anew about the nature of scripture and practices of teaching biblical interpretation -- suggestions that could radically change the way biblical studies are taught in seminaries, divinity schools, and churches. In addition, this study endeavors to expand the interpretative frame for reading the Bible, and even more centrally, promote a corresponding shift in teaching practices.

Learning Abstract :
I set out with concerns that ministerial students were being taught biblical interpretation mostly through the modern historical critical method and with little emphasis on other methods of interpretation, or the relationship of scripture to other media, such as art, music, and literature. I also wanted to find out if students were being taught particularly theological methods of interpretation, and if so how. I learned that in some cases faculty and curricula were doing a good job of broadening the curriculum related to the Bible and teaching theological interpretation. But this seems not to be the case in many, if not most, Protestant seminaries and divinity schools. I offer general and specific suggestions for changing the teaching of biblical studies to emphasize explicit training in theological hermeneutics. I also advocate placing historical critical methods within a much more varied and interdisciplinary curriculum.
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The Teaching of World Religions in the Community Colleges of Kansas: Colleagues’ Colloquium

Awarded Grant
Turner, Regina |Costin, June
Butler Community College
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a two-day collegial conference with invited faculty of world religions from across the state of Kansas. Participants in the conference will share information about courses taught, learn adult teaching methodologies, develop a collegial network, and discover resources for teaching world religions.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a two-day collegial conference with invited faculty of world religions from across the state of Kansas. Participants in the conference will share information about courses taught, learn adult teaching methodologies, develop a collegial network, and discover resources for teaching world religions.

Learning Abstract :
Two colloquia were held last year to discuss the teaching of world religions in the community colleges of Kansas. A total of twenty different individuals from nine different community colleges attended. The other colleges, though invited, were unable to send a representative. Of the 14 participants (along with the project co-directors) who attended the second meeting, 11 were repeat attendees, thus affirming the value of our gathering. We were in agreement that teaching courses in the field of world religions presents a number of challenges in today's socio-cultural context. Some of these challenges are inherent in teaching within any area that touches on personal beliefs and traditions. Others can be attributed to ever-changing current events and rhetoric. Our colloquia demonstrated that we can provide each other not only with printed resources (such as syllabi, text suggestions, and methodological techniques), but also with colleagues with whom we can discuss these resources in our specific socio-cultural context.
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Teaching the Introductory Course in Theology: Orientation and Best Practices Workshop

Awarded Grant
Hinze, Christine|Dempsey, Deirdre
Marquette University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty workshop that seeks: 1) to provide new teachers with a clear picture of the background, purposes, and core learning objectives of the foundational course; 2) to communicate with newer teachers concerning the range of options available for structuring this course and for employing the required set of scripture and classical theological readings; 3) to provide a forum wherein veteran teachers can share tips and “best practices” with newer teachers; 4) ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty workshop that seeks: 1) to provide new teachers with a clear picture of the background, purposes, and core learning objectives of the foundational course; 2) to communicate with newer teachers concerning the range of options available for structuring this course and for employing the required set of scripture and classical theological readings; 3) to provide a forum wherein veteran teachers can share tips and “best practices” with newer teachers; 4) to establish lines of communication (initiated during the workshop and continued by means including the course website) for newer and veteran teachers of this course to continue such sharing and communication.

Learning Abstract :
The grant provided support for a workshop for new teachers in the theology core at Marquette. The workshop involved discussions about best practices for core course teaching, syllabus/class management, use of technology in the theology classroom, aiding students in the close reading of texts, and issues pertaining to lectures: purposes, potentials, and limitations.
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Advancing Ongoing Program Review as Proactive Pedagogy by Creating Learning Communities that Foster Assessment

Awarded Grant
Hammond, Jay
Saint Louis University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To form learning communities that will train our own faculty leaders so there is faculty ownership of the assessment processes as we inaugurate the third phase of the department's strategic plan: formalize a standardized model for ongoing program review that is learning-centered, pedagogically driven, and practically actionable. Project Goals/Outcomes. The projects desired outcomes are to: (1) embed clear assessment rubrics in the department's program review that make the ...
Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To form learning communities that will train our own faculty leaders so there is faculty ownership of the assessment processes as we inaugurate the third phase of the department's strategic plan: formalize a standardized model for ongoing program review that is learning-centered, pedagogically driven, and practically actionable. Project Goals/Outcomes. The projects desired outcomes are to: (1) embed clear assessment rubrics in the department's program review that make the reflexivity between learning outcomes and teaching methods more visible and practical, (2) design a protocol for ongoing revised program review that more explicitly provides constructive feedback for advancing a departmental culture of assessment through critical, creative, careful and collaborative reflection about the practices of teaching and learning, (3) integrate the new electronic delivery/collection of the department's undergraduate and graduate assessment and evaluation tools, (4) foster proactive assessment in the department by conducting three weekend retreats for the faculty where they can reflect on the scholarship of teaching and share their insights and critiques as they devise and implement a standardized assessment model for ongoing program review, (5) offer all interested faculty one-course release time so they can increase their familiarity with, facility toward and participation in the assessment process, (6) compose a departmental handbook on assessment (student learning) and evaluation (faculty teaching) that outlines the model for cultivating ongoing departmental reflection on pedagogical excellence and its implementation, and (7) manifest the department's commitment to ongoing assessment of student learning by creating a departmental assessment committee to help ensure that the DTS faculty own all assessment processes and that those processes are both practical and pedagogically relevant.

Learning Abstract :
The grant's title attempted to triangulate three elements that enabled our faculty to see assessment as a tool rather than an inconvenience. We engaged each element with a question. First, why do we teach? The collective answer – so students learn – enabled us to view assessment as proactive pedagogy underwriting the teaching/learning/grading process. Second, what do we teach? Here the importance was on functioning as learning community that created the department's learning goals. Third, how can we measure/improve student learning? In response, the faculty created numerous rubrics that help measure learning, and with these rubrics, we recommitted ourselves to ongoing review so student learning improves. Time and communication were the invaluable assets in answering these questions. In and through the conversations, the faculty answered another question: who are we as a department? We learned that mission and identity lie at the heart of assessment. Although we had heard this before, we had little corporate understanding of what it meant because the department had never explicitly discussed together why, what and how we teach.
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Mentoring Graduate Students Into the Teaching Role

Awarded Grant
Medine, Carolyn
University of Georgia
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to mentor two MA students who will teach their own courses - the introductory course in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The students will learn how to craft lectures, construct the syllabus, develop tests and do all the work of a teacher of record.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to mentor two MA students who will teach their own courses - the introductory course in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The students will learn how to craft lectures, construct the syllabus, develop tests and do all the work of a teacher of record.

Learning Abstract :
Mentoring graduate students into the role of teachers of record is as difficult a task as mentoring them in their role as scholars. There are a number of tasks that seasoned faculty do automatically - whether we do them well or not: construct a syllabus, plan daily work, develop examinations, and keep assessment going in the classroom, either formally or informally. These are the things on which I worked with two students. What I found is that the syllabus is often thought of, initially, as a list of books to read and activities to perform for grades. Teaching a new teacher that a syllabus is a design of intellectual experience and that each day contributes to that design is the most important thing I think I communicated. This is somewhat necessarily difficult to grasp for young teachers who are trying to figure out what material should be covered and how, but once the idea is communicated that "coverage" is not the real task, but learning, these young teachers begin to find their own teaching styles. I learned that mentoring new teachers is very labor intensive. Our, and I doubt few, departments do enough in this regard. One disappointment I had was learning that the demands of a research one institution, such as mine, leaves little time for students and professors to gather informally. Those informal settings often are the places that another form of education and mentoring takes place. I want to make more room in my day for such encounters.
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Intercultural Pedagogies for Formation

Awarded Grant
Lassalle-Klein , Robert
Holy Names University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Support for a three-year faculty seminar on intercultural pedagogies for all members of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Holy Names University. The seminary will reformulate the pedagogical dimensions of the entire program in terms of intercultural pedagogies. All members of the seminar will: a) read provided essays in this field; enter into dialogue with leading experts; develop, utilize and evaluate at least one course on intercultural pedagogical ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a three-year faculty seminar on intercultural pedagogies for all members of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Holy Names University. The seminary will reformulate the pedagogical dimensions of the entire program in terms of intercultural pedagogies. All members of the seminar will: a) read provided essays in this field; enter into dialogue with leading experts; develop, utilize and evaluate at least one course on intercultural pedagogical strategy for teaching and learning in this program, b) critically evaluate and revise these strategies as part of a two year process of self-examination and dialogue with other North American universities regarding intercultural approaches to teaching religion and philosophy, c) meet each year for one day with students representing all three levels of the program in order to solicit feedback and to carry on a dialogue about the effectiveness of the specific intercultural approaches to teaching and learning students have encountered, and d) make three faculty retreats to address how the faculty's new commitment to intercultural teaching and learning can work to pass on and embody the Holy Names Sisters' historic commitment to multicultural education.

Learning Abstract :
The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning provided support for a three-year faculty seminar on intercultural pedagogies, and a series of retreats, speakers, and faculty-student interactions designed to shape and enhance the pedagogical dimensions of larger groundbreaking collaboration between the Pastoral Ministries Program of Holy Names University and Catholic dioceses in Northern California working to prepare lay ecclesial ministers for service in a diverse church. This collaboration was designed to support lay ministers who, after completing diocesan sponsored certificate programs of pastoral formation, wish to study for undergraduate degrees in a ministry-related field, and/or for an M.A. in Pastoral Ministries. We learned that there is an important role for Catholic universities who are willing to collaborate with Catholic dioceses in training the next generation of lay ecclesial ministers, and that current church leadership places great value on the formation of culturally competent ministers. We also learned that it is critically important for leaders in both institutions to understand the institutional constraints of the other. Going forward, we believe there is much room for expanded cooperation between Catholic universities and dioceses in leveraging existing resources to support and expand programs of study and formation preparing lay ecclesial ministers for service in a diverse church.
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Theological Education of Transfer Students at Seattle Pacific University

Awarded Grant
Wall, Robert
Seattle Pacific University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for two faculty conversations about experience with the theological education of transfer students and pedagogical issues and strategies specifically related to teaching transfer students.
Proposal abstract :
Support for two faculty conversations about experience with the theological education of transfer students and pedagogical issues and strategies specifically related to teaching transfer students.

Learning Abstract :
Our early findings confirm that transfer students represent a special and often neglected population on college campuses. This is true not only of their social lives and academic pursuits but also of their integration into the religious ethos and theological curriculum of church-related colleges such as Seattle Pacific University. If a church-related college requires its transfer students to complete courses in religion/theology/Scripture, then its faculty has the moral obligation to adopt a pedagogy and course content for these required classes that fund a species of theological education to address the particular needs and outlooks of transfer students. We further find that this species of theological education will likely differ from that used in theological education of native students. We conclude that our faculty must create a separate curriculum of theological education for transfer students, with a discrete taxonomy, content and pedagogy that is geared to the learning curve of this student population.
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Expanding the School of the Prophets: Toward Multicultural Inclusion, Education, and Ministry

Awarded Grant
Segovia, Fernando
Vanderbilt University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant will facilitate a planning conversation within the Divinity School at Vanderbilt toward the incorporation of the problematic of race and ethnicity across the theological curriculum. The conversation will be conducted during the 2005-2006 academic year.
Proposal abstract :
This grant will facilitate a planning conversation within the Divinity School at Vanderbilt toward the incorporation of the problematic of race and ethnicity across the theological curriculum. The conversation will be conducted during the 2005-2006 academic year.

Learning Abstract :
This was a planning grant toward a major grant proposal involving the inclusion of the racial-ethnic problematic at all levels of institutional life and practice of the Divinity School, so that it truly becomes able to welcome all, to educate all, and to minister to all-as it has formally committed itself to do. Most useful for our discussions was the model for institutional analysis, Multicultural Organization Development, formulated by Professor Bailey Jackson. This proved crucial in establishing where we stood and what needed to be done to move toward an ideal vision. Quite useful as well was to involve a variety of individuals representing major units and programs of the institution – all were involved in reading key material in racial-ethnic discourse and critical pedagogy. Also quite useful was the task of moving in common toward the conceptualization and formulation of the major grant proposal. In conclusion, this was a project with no disappointments and multiple successes.
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Strengthening Religious Studies Learning in Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Liberal Art Courses

Awarded Grant
Nash, Kathleen
LeMoyne College
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the department of Religious Studies at Le Moyne, a college in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition, to develop and share strategies and resources for strengthening Religious Studies learning in interdisciplinary courses. While the risks of interdisciplinary teaching include a dilution of student learning in Religious Studies, the potential benefits include enrichment of student learning, particularly with respect to the interconnections of religion with other human projects and phenomena. Interdisciplinary ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for the department of Religious Studies at Le Moyne, a college in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition, to develop and share strategies and resources for strengthening Religious Studies learning in interdisciplinary courses. While the risks of interdisciplinary teaching include a dilution of student learning in Religious Studies, the potential benefits include enrichment of student learning, particularly with respect to the interconnections of religion with other human projects and phenomena. Interdisciplinary courses help students see that many basic aspects of human culture cannot be understood apart from religion. Revision of Le Moyne’s core curriculum affords the occasion to reconsider the impact of interdisciplinarity on their teaching of religion. This initiative proposes to enhance teaching and learning in religion by attending to the full potential of interdisciplinarity.

Learning Abstract :
We have learned that clarity about our goals for student learning in Religious Studies and in Theology is essential as we enter into interdisciplinary collaborations or as we plan courses intended to be interdisciplinary. As a corollary, we have also learned the importance - and the challenges - of distinguishing our learning objectives for our majors from our learning objectives for students who enroll in our courses to fulfill general education requirements. This is especially important for us because our majors satisfy most of their major requirements in the context of courses tailored primarily for our institution's core curriculum. We believe that this lesson is equally important for colleagues at the many other institutions where Religious Studies and Theology majors enroll in significant numbers of courses filled with students seeking to complete general education requirements. Finally, we continue to learn anew the creative power of a strong departmental culture of systematic reflection on teaching and learning.
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Religion Inside/Out: Pedagogical Issues Past, Present and Future

Awarded Grant
Fry, Jeffrey|Agnew, Elizabeth|Brackett, Jeffrey
Ball State University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day conference dedicated to several goals: 1) to heighten sensitivity about pedagogical issues among faculty while also brining to light strategies for addressing these issues in an effective manner; 2) to assist participating faculty in the on-going process of assessing curricular offerings; 3) to advance students’ understanding of the field of Religious Studies; 4) to contribute to preparing for the department’s five-year self-assessment beginning in 2006-07, and 5) to foster ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day conference dedicated to several goals: 1) to heighten sensitivity about pedagogical issues among faculty while also brining to light strategies for addressing these issues in an effective manner; 2) to assist participating faculty in the on-going process of assessing curricular offerings; 3) to advance students’ understanding of the field of Religious Studies; 4) to contribute to preparing for the department’s five-year self-assessment beginning in 2006-07, and 5) to foster collegial ties among faculty in religion across the state of Indiana.

Learning Abstract :
In hosting their conference, they were reminded of the importance and joy of receiving active mentoring, in regards to teaching religious studies, from senior scholars in the field. The conference not only provided an impetus to thinking about classroom teaching, but it also fostered fruitful reflection on the various ways faculty mentor students and other faculty, and on the links between pedagogy and curriculum. They also learned that students' participation in planning, attending and evaluating events such as this conference can be enlivening and empowering experiences.
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White Privilege: Implications for the Catholic University, the Church, and Theology

Awarded Grant
Pfeil, Margaret
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions

Proposal abstract :
The grant will support the development and hosting of a three-day symposium of an interdisciplinary group of scholars and ecclesial leaders who will address the dynamics of white privilege from their respective academic departure points. The symposium will achieve three goals: 1) stimulate theological research on white privilege; 2) use the University of Notre Dame’s interdisciplinary resources toward the service of the academy, particularly the discipline of theology, and of the ...
Proposal abstract :
The grant will support the development and hosting of a three-day symposium of an interdisciplinary group of scholars and ecclesial leaders who will address the dynamics of white privilege from their respective academic departure points. The symposium will achieve three goals: 1) stimulate theological research on white privilege; 2) use the University of Notre Dame’s interdisciplinary resources toward the service of the academy, particularly the discipline of theology, and of the church in the effort to advance scholarly analysis of white privilege; and 3) make a methodological contribution by correlating form with content.

Learning Abstract :
The symposium was well attended by students from Notre Dame and St. Mary's as well as other area institutions, including a class of twenty students from Goshen College. The symposium events became an explicit focus of discussion in at least three graduate theology courses offered at Notre Dame and were also a point of reference in undergraduate courses in psychology and anthropology. All participants were provided with a Select Bibliography for further reading that corresponded with the presenters' particular areas of focus, and this served to generate conversations between participants and presenters about their work as well as other recommended resources corresponding to particular research topics. Many of these conversations took place over meals as students and other participants were invited in small groups to dine with the symposium speakers.
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Best Practices in Teaching Theology and the Arts in the Undergraduate Classroom: A Two-Year Consultation

Awarded Grant
Deffenbaugh, Daniel|Vrudny, Kimberly
Hastings College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to focus on the following goals: 1) Provide faculty opportunities to think critically and creatively about the theoretical foundations and practical applications for use of two-dimensional art as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate religion classroom; 2) Identify "best practices" for teaching theology with two-dimensional art through the use of various methods, including: formal presentations, large and small group discussions, immersion in and reflection on arts events, and ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to focus on the following goals: 1) Provide faculty opportunities to think critically and creatively about the theoretical foundations and practical applications for use of two-dimensional art as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate religion classroom; 2) Identify "best practices" for teaching theology with two-dimensional art through the use of various methods, including: formal presentations, large and small group discussions, immersion in and reflection on arts events, and teaching demonstrations; and 3) Evaluate "best practices" in context by observing theology and the arts lessons developed by consultation participants in the intervening year and presented to members of the consultation in the second year.

Learning Abstract :
This study was designed to bring together twelve scholars from around the country who utilize two-dimensional visual art as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate classroom. The objectives of the consultation included deepening our understanding of the theoretical frameworks in theology and the arts, exploring how to read images in the context of theology, sharing challenges and successes in the classroom, and considering legal issues in the use of art as a teaching resource. Regarding the latter, the group discovered that copyright restrictions are at once strict yet very ambiguous. Chief among learning outcomes was the need for greater cross-disciplinary conversation between art historians and theologians, for the latter too often overlook insights that seem commonplace to the former. While theologians are prepared to use art as more than an illustrative tool, dialogue with art historians will assist them in learning to read a painting as a theological text. Assessment of student learning in the theology and arts classroom defies quantitative analysis and remains elusive even when qualitative methods are employed. The group found that distribution of annotated course syllabi would be extremely helpful for instructors hoping to venture into this interdisciplinary study. It hopes to publish several articles and "notes from the classroom" in a forthcoming issue of Teaching Theology and Religion.
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The U.S. Borderlands as Transformative Pedagogical Resource: Re-envisioning the Teaching of Social Ethics in U.S. Higher Education

Awarded Grant
Hill, Jack
Texas Christian University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a Study Leave Grant project to provide professors of ethics with practical insights for re-envisioning their courses in ways that engage encounters with difference in the borderlands. Utilizing in-depth, qualitative interviews with fifteen professors and forty students, observations of classroom practices and analyses of course syllabi, as well as background writings by the professors themselves, this project aims to do four things: identify borderlands teaching strategies, write narratives ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a Study Leave Grant project to provide professors of ethics with practical insights for re-envisioning their courses in ways that engage encounters with difference in the borderlands. Utilizing in-depth, qualitative interviews with fifteen professors and forty students, observations of classroom practices and analyses of course syllabi, as well as background writings by the professors themselves, this project aims to do four things: identify borderlands teaching strategies, write narratives of these strategies, re-envision a course in the light of these narratives, and assist professors in re-imagining their own ethics courses.

Learning Abstract :
This research has enabled me to identify "generative themes" in the pedagogical arsenals of faculty who teach for diversity and justice. Professors, especially colleagues of color, articulate complex sets of intercultural identities. In dialoguing about these, I not only gained a deeper understanding of my own identity, but came to realize the value of challenging students in our predominately white colleges and universities to examine the "intercultural" nature of their own identities as well.

Another generative theme that surfaced was the explication of critical approaches to oppression. I learned that racism is alive and well in academia. Further, teaching for diversity can not be separated from teaching for social justice, and recognizing this interrelationship necessitates some painful acknowledgments for many of us. Clearly, transforming teaching dynamics in the classroom must go hand in hand with changing structural dynamics in the institution, and we all have constructive, subversive roles to play.
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Teaching Sustainably: Exploring Teaching and Learning Strategies for Long-Term/Sustainable Interdisciplinary Courses and Research at the Intersections of Religion, Nature, and Culture

Awarded Grant
Patterson, Barbara
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support for a workshop on teaching sustainability. The grant includes support for a panel presentation and discussion about various pedagogical settings and approaches for interdisciplinary teaching of courses at the interstices of religion, nature and culture.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a workshop on teaching sustainability. The grant includes support for a panel presentation and discussion about various pedagogical settings and approaches for interdisciplinary teaching of courses at the interstices of religion, nature and culture.

Learning Abstract :
In the Wabash grant-funded workshop, "Teaching Learning Sustainably," it was discovered that current research on theories and applications of environmental sustainability stirs strong interest for course development among faculty at a variety of institutions. Requiring an interdisciplinary approach, this workshop explored how religion and theology specifically contribute to and challenge emerging ethics and content about sustainability on campuses and in communities. Who defines this term? How can religion and theology become stronger conversation partners with science? What kinds of pedagogies could best reflect issues and ethics relating sustainability and religion? What kinds of inquiry-driven and experiential approaches? The need for a growing conversation through additional workshops and in teaching journals addressing emerging best practices will contribute to this growing field of courses, curriculi, and teachings strategies addressing the intersection of sustainability, religion and theology, and ethics.
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Teaching Faith and Diversity: How a Jesuit University Approaches Conflicting Religious Traditions in Islam and Christianity

Awarded Grant
Ryscavage, Richard
Fairfield University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to focus on the following goals: 1) Develop an enhanced model of teaching religion that includes rhetorical training, providing Fairfield undergraduates with the experience and the tools to engage in religious dialogue focused on different social issues; 2) Research and evaluate the teaching methodology used for the designated classes and adapt the system for other courses that deal with difficult issues; and 3) Guide and engage students in discovering ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to focus on the following goals: 1) Develop an enhanced model of teaching religion that includes rhetorical training, providing Fairfield undergraduates with the experience and the tools to engage in religious dialogue focused on different social issues; 2) Research and evaluate the teaching methodology used for the designated classes and adapt the system for other courses that deal with difficult issues; and 3) Guide and engage students in discovering relationships between academic disciplines that have different methods of inquiry and different bodies of knowledge essential to the holistic Jesuit approach to humanistic-based higher education.

Learning Abstract :
Fairfield University set out to understand how a Jesuit university, rooted in a specific Christian tradition, could teach students how to enter into difficult conversations with Islamic believers, while maintaining their own core beliefs. Fairfield's Center for Faith and Public Life took the lead on facilitating this work engaging broadly with students, faculty, Campus Ministry, and Student Services.

Their efforts to engage participants in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue took shape through various formats and in different settings. Cluster courses, guest speakers, the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, and the Interfaith Youth Core student/faculty workshops all provided an array of learning experiences for members of the campus community. Additionally, a student learning outcomes rubric was developed for the cluster course and the workshop which provided important data on these learning experiences.

An unanticipated outcome of this project was the formation of two student led programs including a Fairfield University Chapter of the Muslim Student Association and the Student Living and Learning Community on Interfaith Religious Literacy. They were especially enthusiastic about this development because it provides tangible evidence that students have taken ownership of the topic and are working in creative ways to continue to realize an enhanced interfaith dialogue on campus.
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Classroom as Sabbath: Providing Space for Reflective Learning in Reading, Writing, and Classroom Discussion

Awarded Grant
Schroeder, Joy
Capital University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for focused discussion in a seminar/retreat setting. Faculty will explore the idea of classroom as Sabbath, time and space apart, from multiple and simultaneous demands on students’ time. Faculty will reflect on the use of course readings, writing assignments, and classroom discussion that encourages “space and time” and pedagogical methods that will provide space for students to slow down and reflect thoughtfully on meaningful issues.
Proposal abstract :
Support for focused discussion in a seminar/retreat setting. Faculty will explore the idea of classroom as Sabbath, time and space apart, from multiple and simultaneous demands on students’ time. Faculty will reflect on the use of course readings, writing assignments, and classroom discussion that encourages “space and time” and pedagogical methods that will provide space for students to slow down and reflect thoughtfully on meaningful issues.

Learning Abstract :
For students bombarded with information and distractions from many sources (cell phones, email and text messages), fragmentation of attention becomes a hindrance to undergraduate learning. Students rarely have an opportunity to "slow down" for reflection and processing questions and ideas. Faculty members' lives and work are similarly fragmented. In a beautiful park conservatory setting, we held a one-day retreat modeling the concept of "Sabbath." We reflected on practices that allow classroom time to be a "time apart" for students to slow down for deep reflective learning. By reading and discussing several articles from Jones and Paulsell's The Scope of Our Art, we explored pedagogical strategies including instructor-led reading/fellowship groups outside the class session; methods of focused reading, writing, and discussion within the classroom; and the importance of appropriate ritual beginnings and endings to signal the classroom session as time and space apart from the frenetic pace of students lives.
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Summer 2006 Workshop: Teaching Theological Core to Upper Class Students

Awarded Grant
Windley-Daoust, Susan|Daily, Eileen
St. Mary's University of Minnesota
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Support for a workshop to explore how a theology department at a Catholic University structures an upper-division general education course (or collection of courses) to teach the Roman Catholic Tradition.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a workshop to explore how a theology department at a Catholic University structures an upper-division general education course (or collection of courses) to teach the Roman Catholic Tradition.

Learning Abstract :
Five members of our department met over fourteen hours to discuss how they might more effectively teach upper-division general education courses in basic Catholic Christian theology. One of the best outcomes of these workshops was that we came to a greater self-understanding about the possibilities and limits within "Faith Traditions 2" courses, as we teach them in theology. We assessed the reality of the Gen Ed student's exposure to Church tradition. We are going to adjust some language to accommodate a better sense of student preparedness and liberal arts content. We discovered ways to encourage critical thinking/analysis in our courses, and decided to continue focusing and brainstorming on how to do this effectively. We decided to adjust some course offerings to better address the reality of our mix of students. And overall, the big picture is clearer to all of us. We as a teaching community have a stronger basis on which to understand and present what has felt in the past like an amorphous set of classes. Brian McDermott's essay on theological literacy was helpful: when he defines theological literacy as having to do with "learning new ways to learn, with developing a new, more complex form of consciousness; and with taking responsibility for, and trusting what one has come to know. It is helpful to be reminded that what we are about is inviting students to an informed conscience, where they take responsibility for their own beliefs. If we can teach students this kind of theological literacy - through presenting the tradition, analyzing it, and encouraging dispositions of appreciation - we will have succeeded in our work.
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One day consultation for faculty in New York City region who teach courses on urban religions

Awarded Grant
Bender, Courtney
Columbia University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project that brings together faculty in the New York City area to discuss best practices in the teaching of urban religions, build and solidify connections among regional scholars, and to assess and generate strategies for teaching about religious life in New York City.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project that brings together faculty in the New York City area to discuss best practices in the teaching of urban religions, build and solidify connections among regional scholars, and to assess and generate strategies for teaching about religious life in New York City.

Learning Abstract :
Our consultation successfully identified and brought together a large proportion of the New York metro areas' scholars whose research and teaching centers on the city and its religions. The breadth of expertise and scholarly and pedagogical issues and ideas mirror the diversity of the city. Nonetheless, all scholars shared interests in teaching religions as dynamic, living communities, and pursuing new strategies of teaching (through encounter, oral history, ethnographic and historical research, and interactive web-based learning). Likewise, the group identified several areas and arenas that demand scholarly attention and scholarly collaboration, including community based studies focused on multiple religious organizations from multiple traditions, and the formalization of data collection methods and theoretical frameworks.
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Teaching Religious Studies Courses at a State University in Pennsylvania

Awarded Grant
Holm, Tawny
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to address the specific questions involved in teaching religious studies courses from an academic perspective in a secular state university in Pennsylvania. We propose a series of symposia with invited speakers, both from world religions in Pennsylvania and pedagogical experts, together with Religious Studies faculty from across the state to be hosted by our Department of Religious Studies at IUP. Our goals are to reflect on what ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to address the specific questions involved in teaching religious studies courses from an academic perspective in a secular state university in Pennsylvania. We propose a series of symposia with invited speakers, both from world religions in Pennsylvania and pedagogical experts, together with Religious Studies faculty from across the state to be hosted by our Department of Religious Studies at IUP. Our goals are to reflect on what is working in our current pedagogical strategies, interact and share problems and successes with faculty of other Pennsylvania universities (especially those in the state system to which we belong), and incorporate new pedagogical methods as learned through this reflection and interaction with all participants. Our culminating activity will be to compose a resource handbook on teaching Religious Studies in Pennsylvania.

Learning Abstract :
Our three annual symposia in 2007-2009 were organized under three separate sub-themes meant to stoke creative thinking about how to teach students about religion and religions at PA state universities (many of which do not have a religiously diverse student population): Critical Thinking on Women and Religion; Religion and Media; and Religion and Violence, and the Response of the Public Intellectual. We were able to invite faculty across Pennsylvania, as well as three guest speakers in different religions each year, in addition to two pedagogical experts in years one and two. In addition to learning new teaching strategies and topics for our constituency via our interactions with each other, our concrete results included influencing two of our sister state universities to offer new courses in Religious Studies as well as to begin new minor programs. We are also still working on a resource handbook to be published online.
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Envisioning the Teaching and Learning Culture of Campbell University Divinity School for a New Decade: A Faculty Retreat

Awarded Grant
Jones, Barry|Wakefield, Andrew
Campbell University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support to provide focused time for the divinity school faculty to attend to issues that directly impact the culture of teaching and learning at Campbell University Divinity School.
Proposal abstract :
Support to provide focused time for the divinity school faculty to attend to issues that directly impact the culture of teaching and learning at Campbell University Divinity School.

Learning Abstract :
Over the course of our school's development, students have affirmed the positive impact of a number of co-curricular and extracurricular practices that have inspired them and formed them on their journey toward ministry. The concept of pedagogical culture discussed in the Educating Clergy project has helped our faculty to name and assess a number of educational activities that, while not reflected on any student transcripts, nevertheless make our school a unique learning community. As a result of our Wabash grant, we examined the contribution and costs of these communal practices and clarified our priorities for the way we embody our educational goals in an intentional teaching and learning culture. The results of this project will inform how we see our work as faculty and also our future decisions about how we use our time and energy to foster student learning and vocational formation.
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Interpreting Reflective Practice: How Professors Teach It and What Students Do with it in Practice

Awarded Grant
Wong, Arch
Ambrose University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to devise a reflective approach to theological education that could be implemented and practiced for both students and professors. Five faculty will hope to: provide a working definition of "reflective practice" that will begin to help the faculty have a common starting point in understanding and developing reflective practice; devise an integrative pedagogical/teaching strategy so that professors can effectively teach reflective practice in the classroom; ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to devise a reflective approach to theological education that could be implemented and practiced for both students and professors. Five faculty will hope to: provide a working definition of "reflective practice" that will begin to help the faculty have a common starting point in understanding and developing reflective practice; devise an integrative pedagogical/teaching strategy so that professors can effectively teach reflective practice in the classroom; and formulate a pathway where a theoretical understanding of reflection that is taught in the classroom can be translated into what reflection would mean in practice for students.

Learning Abstract :
The goal of this project was to devise a reflective approach to theological education that could be implemented and practiced for both students and professors. This project lives within the tension between prescribing and implementing a model of theological education and working at the level of applied understanding. Living within this tension are five professors in the ministry faculty who teach Field Education courses. These professors find themselves very much in the middle, in-between theory and practice. Our conversation and learning focused on three areas: 1) The nature of reflection as it relates to teaching and identity; 2) How we represent reflection in the class in terms of evaluation; and 3) On the nature of collaboration - creating community as a group of professors.
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Mentoring New Faculty: Conversations to Enhance the Integration of Scholarship and Teaching

Awarded Grant
Odell, Margaret
St. Olaf College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
A project designed to bring together a faculty work group from the religion department of St. Olaf College to explore strategies for using scholarly research to enhance teaching and to develop mentoring skills and relationships among the faculty. It is hoped that reflection on the articulation about the interaction between scholarship and teaching will shift how the department thinks about and plans for student learning, particularly in the intermediate general ...
Proposal abstract :
A project designed to bring together a faculty work group from the religion department of St. Olaf College to explore strategies for using scholarly research to enhance teaching and to develop mentoring skills and relationships among the faculty. It is hoped that reflection on the articulation about the interaction between scholarship and teaching will shift how the department thinks about and plans for student learning, particularly in the intermediate general education and major courses taught in the St. Olaf religion department. Goals: 1) To enhance departmental culture by bringing established and beginning faculty together for conversation about constructive and meaningful ways for fostering integration of scholarship and teaching in a liberal arts context; 2) To use these faculty conversations to mentor pre-tenure colleagues in the development of their vocational identities as scholars and teachers by providing occasions for them to reflect on how their pedagogical strategies interact with their scholarship, and vice versa; and 3) To examine whether and how a more explicitly articulated interaction between scholarship and teaching results in shifts in how we think about and plan for student learning.

Learning Abstract :
Initiating new colleagues into a department is a complex process for which the term "mentoring" may be inadequate. While new colleagues do benefit from mentoring in such areas as teaching, where experience is lacking, they are experts in other ways; moreover, they bring fresh perspectives from their graduate work that can help departments reframe old problems and move toward new solutions. Programs that foster sustained conversations on scholarly interests acknowledge this expertise and encourage peer-to-peer interaction with senior colleagues. While such programs do not replace the myriad other ways that pre-tenure faculty learn about teaching, scholarship, and campus citizenship, they do provide a context for self-conscious reflection about these different elements of an academic vocation.
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Enhancing Pedagogies of Formation in Text and Language Classes at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Awarded Grant
Kamionkowski, S. Tamar
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Educating Clergy   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The RRC is planning a three-year initiative to enhance pedagogies of formation in text and language courses. We appreciate the significance of pedagogies of formation in fostering rabbinic identity and integrity. Since RRC already has strong co-curricular support for spiritual formation and an exemplary program in practical rabbinics, and since we have a curricular focus on texts and languages, we will concentrate on integrating pedagogies of formation in these areas. ...
Proposal abstract :
The RRC is planning a three-year initiative to enhance pedagogies of formation in text and language courses. We appreciate the significance of pedagogies of formation in fostering rabbinic identity and integrity. Since RRC already has strong co-curricular support for spiritual formation and an exemplary program in practical rabbinics, and since we have a curricular focus on texts and languages, we will concentrate on integrating pedagogies of formation in these areas. We will convene an advisory committee of RRC alumni to consult on rabbinic formation and assist in designing and monitoring our intervention; gather data regarding implementation of pedagogies of formation among RRC text and language teachers; provide individual coaching and peer support groups for text and language teachers; monitor the effectiveness of the project and design modifications; and disseminate results through publications and presentations.

Learning Abstract :
Our most powerful learning involved the importance of cultivating the faculty's own formation as clergy educators. It was through becoming more self-aware, connecting with their passions for course material, learning to deliver feedback with honesty and warmth, ad supporting each other through satisfactions and frustrations that faculty members could expend their capacities to mentor students in rabbinic formation. To most effectively cultivate the faculty's formation, we structured reflections, discussion, and text study into small cluster meetings, regular faculty meetings and in-services, as well as bringing RRC alumni (working rabbis) into conversation with faculty members. We also came to view text and language acquisition not as an adjunct to rabbinic formation, but as an integral component, "a whole attitude and approach in which the text becomes the students' frame of reference, their window on the world."
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Developing Learning Outcomes for Effective Teaching

Awarded Grant
Stairs, Jean
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day faculty workshop to examine how the concept of learning outcomes can improve course delivery and student engagement with the course material. As a result of this retreat, faculty will have an increased understanding of the pedagogical implications of “learning outcomes” and their use in student assessment, be able to clearly articulate how they are assessing students in foundational courses and how these assessment pieces relate ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day faculty workshop to examine how the concept of learning outcomes can improve course delivery and student engagement with the course material. As a result of this retreat, faculty will have an increased understanding of the pedagogical implications of “learning outcomes” and their use in student assessment, be able to clearly articulate how they are assessing students in foundational courses and how these assessment pieces relate to “learning outcomes” principles, and identify places on their syllabi where learning outcomes principles could be more effectively employed to increase student learning.

Learning Abstract :
Queen's Theological College received a grant in order to hold a day-long workshop for theological faculty to develop learning outcomes for effective teaching. The aims of the workshop were to: 1) gain an increased understanding of the pedagogical implications of learning outcomes, 2) articulate how to assess students and how assessment pieces relate to the learning outcomes, 3) identify places where learning outcomes principles could be more effectively employed. In the development of learning outcomes for the M.Div program faculty discovered that the attributes they had self-identified matched and achieved a balance within all four of the outcome areas identified in the standards of the Association of Theological Education, namely 1) religious heritage, 2) cultural context, 3) personal and spiritual formation, 4) capacity for ministerial and public leadership. It was noted that learning outcomes for foundational courses were most often set in in relation to Bloom's Taxonomy of learning in the "cognitive domain" - knowledge, comprehension and application. In foundational courses within the area of ministerial and public leadership, it was more likely that learning outcomes included Schulman's level of learning described as "Commitment and Identity."
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Mentoring Undergraduate Research: A Consultation for Developing Learning Goals and Standards in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
McNary-Zak, Bernadette|Peters, Rebecca Todd
Elon University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This consultation will gather Religious Studies faculty who are currently engaged in mentoring undergraduate research or are leaders in the field of teaching and learning in Religious Studies to discuss critical questions related to defining undergraduate research in the discipline and plans for developing resources that might be helpful for faculty who are engaged in mentoring undergraduate research.
Proposal abstract :
This consultation will gather Religious Studies faculty who are currently engaged in mentoring undergraduate research or are leaders in the field of teaching and learning in Religious Studies to discuss critical questions related to defining undergraduate research in the discipline and plans for developing resources that might be helpful for faculty who are engaged in mentoring undergraduate research.

Learning Abstract :
The success achieved by meeting the proposed goals for this Consultation affirms the strong desire and need for sustained reflection on the nature and role of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Unlike many other disciplines, ours is in the early stages of conversation about Undergraduate Research. Religious Studies faculty are doing Undergraduate Research in response to the pressures and supports of their institutions and in the paucity of discipline specific discussion and resources. As a result, Consultation participants were necessarily engaging the general issues, key questions and specific details pertaining to Undergraduate Research, simultaneously identifying theoretical and practical concerns and goals. The Consultation cultivated both an excitement and an appreciation for the depth and breadth of the subsequent work to be done. The discussions, debates and work generated by this Consultation demonstrate that there are significant issues and theoretical differences that require further consideration in attention to the planning and implementation of the Consultation, the co-directors learned that the work entailed was significant and that we should have budgeted for a stipend.
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Fostering a Culture of Conversations on Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
deGroot, Christiana
Calvin College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To conduct a series of workshops focusing on a variety of topics relating to pedagogical issues pertaining to teaching religion at Calvin College in the twenty-first century.
Proposal abstract :
To conduct a series of workshops focusing on a variety of topics relating to pedagogical issues pertaining to teaching religion at Calvin College in the twenty-first century.

Learning Abstract :
The project of strengthening our ongoing conversation on pedagogy in the Religion Department at Calvin College succeeded in making us aware of the different challenges that face us as we teach either an introductory Bible course, theology course or world religions course, as well as the commonalities we share. For example, each course contains its own distinctive flash points. However, we also noted much similarity in how we respond to those hot topics: we each work to carefully listen to the student's concern; we each strove to enhance critical thinking on the issue at the same time that we affirm the faith commitment of the student. These positive, reflective conversations were conducted by creating a safe space for each participant, providing good food and a comfortable place off-campus for our workshop, encouraging participants to choose the topics and inviting a respected leader to convene each workshop.
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Explorations - Theology and Literature

Awarded Grant
Connors, Russell
St. Catherine University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the grant is to explore connections - especially pedagogical connections - between theology and literature. In dialogue with colleagues from our own English Department, we will investigate a more rigorous use of literature in theology courses as an effective means of theological exploration. The members of the English department hope to find ways to help their students delve into some of the spiritual and religious questions in ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the grant is to explore connections - especially pedagogical connections - between theology and literature. In dialogue with colleagues from our own English Department, we will investigate a more rigorous use of literature in theology courses as an effective means of theological exploration. The members of the English department hope to find ways to help their students delve into some of the spiritual and religious questions in literature.

Learning Abstract :
This project sought to explore the pedagogical role that literature can play in theology classes and courses. Guest lecturer and author Marilynne Robinson gave our faculty language for what we are attempting to teach our students, and helped us explore the ways that literature, like religious experience, can disclose the sacred in "ordinary" experience. We studied the analogous way in which theological discourse and works of literature are formative of the imagination.

The effective use of literature in theology will depend significantly on the time, energy, care and instruction that are associated with it. We look forward to continuing the fruitful conversation about the connections between theology and literature, between aesthetic and religious experience.
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Growing a Department: Cultivating Beneficial Processes and Results in the Development of a Team-Taught Capstone Course

Awarded Grant
Stell, Stephen
Austin College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project is designed to cultivate healthy and productive processes for creating a departmental capstone course at Austin College. Through a constructive process, involving all three members of the religion department, the project will engage in critical reflection about issues related to collaborative processes, team teaching, and modeling of collaboration. Goals: 1) To provide a core knowledge of methodology for religion majors; 2) To enable religion majors to see the common core ...
Proposal abstract :
This project is designed to cultivate healthy and productive processes for creating a departmental capstone course at Austin College. Through a constructive process, involving all three members of the religion department, the project will engage in critical reflection about issues related to collaborative processes, team teaching, and modeling of collaboration. Goals: 1) To provide a core knowledge of methodology for religion majors; 2) To enable religion majors to see the common core in the three primary “tracts” of the religion major at Austin College; 3) To encourage religion majors to discern integrative connections and contrasting tensions among the three tracts; 4) To explore pedagogical approaches that contribute to a successful capstone experience; and 5) To build a healthier department, enhancing unity/community in the midst of diversity, through collaborative work and team-teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The grant and consultation allowed our department to weave the diverse threads of this course (multiple aims, objectives, rationales and motivations for teaching) into a more integrated design. We gained skill in the practices/processes of identifying competing and complementary perspectives and negotiating their coherent inclusion in the course. In the process we also discussed the following: the assessment of student learning; the most constructive pedagogical approaches given the diversities of the class; various course design options for the future; the roll of the syllabus in communicating aims and objectives of the course and structuring these into class sessions and assignments. These concerns were developed in relationship to the ongoing goal of providing a venue for departmental colleagues to engage in scholarly exchange with one another, thereby enhancing departmental community and providing our majors with opportunities to integrate diverse perspectives. These processes remain valuable for continual revisions of the course.
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Who Are Our Students? And What Does that Mean for Our Teaching - Joint Project with Connecticut College (Eugene Gallagher)

Awarded Grant
Anderson, Carol
Kalamazoo College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts

Proposal abstract :
This project aims to develop substantial quantitative and qualitative data about the attitudes, expectations, and interests of students involved in the academic study of religion at two liberal arts colleges, Connecticut College and Kalamazoo College.
Proposal abstract :
This project aims to develop substantial quantitative and qualitative data about the attitudes, expectations, and interests of students involved in the academic study of religion at two liberal arts colleges, Connecticut College and Kalamazoo College.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop substantial data about the attitudes, expectations, and interests of students involved in the academic study of religion at two liberal arts colleges, Connecticut College and Kalamazoo College. Reduced to an in-depth study at Kalamazoo College, we surveyed four different courses over three years. We used a very useful methodology: a two page open-ended survey, analysis of the survey results, and follow-up focus groups with volunteers from each course. Our findings were largely unanticipated: students have a relatively sophisticated sense of what they want to learn in their courses in Religion, including the intersections between religion and culture, the role of religion in people's lives (and in their own), how religions develop, and the variation in religious beliefs around the world, both what kind of diversity and why that diversity exists. However, students were less articulate when it came to explaining why it was important to them to know this - not an unexpected result. We are interested in expanding the survey tool to other institutions.
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Who Are Our Students? And What Does that Mean for Our Teaching - Joint Project with Kalamazoo College (Carol Anderson)

Awarded Grant
Gallagher, Eugene
Connecticut College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts

Proposal abstract :
This project aims to develop substantial quantitative and qualitative data about the attitudes, expectations, and interests of students involved in the academic study of religion at two liberal arts colleges, Connecticut College and Kalamazoo College.
Proposal abstract :
This project aims to develop substantial quantitative and qualitative data about the attitudes, expectations, and interests of students involved in the academic study of religion at two liberal arts colleges, Connecticut College and Kalamazoo College.
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Teaching & Studying Religion at Hofstra University

Awarded Grant
Frisina, Warren|Cobb, Stephanie
Hofstra University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the project is to take steps toward establishing a departmental culture that is committed to the scholarship of teaching and learning, with the expectation that doing so will positively affect the learning outcomes for our students. The goals for this project include: 1) developing a fuller understanding of who our students are; 2) engaging in critical reflection about the advantages and disadvantages of the pedagogical strategies we employ; and 3) ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the project is to take steps toward establishing a departmental culture that is committed to the scholarship of teaching and learning, with the expectation that doing so will positively affect the learning outcomes for our students. The goals for this project include: 1) developing a fuller understanding of who our students are; 2) engaging in critical reflection about the advantages and disadvantages of the pedagogical strategies we employ; and 3) including long-term part-time faculty as well as those who are tenured or tenure-track in collective reflection on pedagogical issues.

Learning Abstract :
The activities envisioned in the proposal were all undertaken successfully and the department is already enjoying all of the hoped for benefits. Most importantly, one of the outcomes was that by bringing together both full and part-time faculty for reflective discussions about pedagogical issues, this project has helped the department to set a high standard regarding the kind of community they hope to become.
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Assessing Religion Assessment Tools in Kansas Community Colleges: Colloquium III

Awarded Grant
Turner, Regina |Costin, June
Butler Community College
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project will support a colloquium with selected religion teachers from Kansas community colleges to discuss the following questions: 1) How do the teachers of religion in the community colleges of Kansas assess student learning in their classrooms? 2) Is there incorporation of belief structures in course content and/or assessment? 3) What quantitative and qualitative testing methods are employed? 4) Are there additional assessment tools that teachers should utilize? 5) What is the role ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will support a colloquium with selected religion teachers from Kansas community colleges to discuss the following questions: 1) How do the teachers of religion in the community colleges of Kansas assess student learning in their classrooms? 2) Is there incorporation of belief structures in course content and/or assessment? 3) What quantitative and qualitative testing methods are employed? 4) Are there additional assessment tools that teachers should utilize? 5) What is the role of the institution’s assessment requirements? The primary goal is to increase awareness of the importance of assessment and to offer increased skills in the development of classroom assessment tools.

Learning Abstract :
We assess student learning in religion classes in a variety of ways allowing room for student creativity and personal engagement. Although personal beliefs are part of the conversation, the conclusion was that testing should require the student to present the facts/teachings of course texts. The process design of the meeting generated a list of quantitative and qualitative assessment methods. If there is one area that represents the greatest area of learning in this colloquium, it is to be flexible and open to variety.

The two exciting outcomes of this colloquium are discussed above. One is the formalization of Association for Kansas Community College Teachers of Religious Studies and the other is the possibility of an additional state colloquium and organization for the future. The only disappointing aspect of the meeting was that a number of possible participants had last minute conflicts and were unable to attend.
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Introducing Whom to What? Purposes and Practices of Teaching Introductory Bible Courses as a Non-Major Requirement at Select CCCU Schools

Awarded Grant
Kirkpatrick, Shane
Anderson University
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
A lot of the colleges that are members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) require that all students, regardless of their major, take courses in Bible. Though this practice is common, it is not without its pedagogical challenges. To focus reflection upon the teaching of such courses, this project pursues three interrelated questions. The first is a question of purpose: Why are introductory Bible courses required for ...
Proposal abstract :
A lot of the colleges that are members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) require that all students, regardless of their major, take courses in Bible. Though this practice is common, it is not without its pedagogical challenges. To focus reflection upon the teaching of such courses, this project pursues three interrelated questions. The first is a question of purpose: Why are introductory Bible courses required for non-majors? The second is a question of practice: Depending upon the stated purpose, how are such courses taught? The third is a question of assessment: How are such courses assessed? Gathering the instructors of introductory Bible courses at select midwestern CCCU schools can result not only in opportunities for pedagogical reflection and coordination among the faculty at each school but also in the gathering of comparative data to further enrich the reflection on these questions.

Learning Abstract :
Part of the success of this project was realized already in the gathering of faculty members who teach these challenging introductory Bible courses; the opportunity-rarely experienced-to share with and find support from others who face similar pedagogical challenges was empowering and encouraging. The question of why such courses are required was generally answered with reference to the institutional history, identity, and context of the particular school and its constituency. The question of how they are taught involved the identity of the instructors, who draw upon their own strengths and preparation in relation to that institutional context. The third question found that formal or large-scale assessment measures are generally not well developed but are the focus of increasing interest and attention. Instructors of these courses work to design an experience that can be educationally, developmentally, and vocationally valuable for their particular students.
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Re-Invigorating Rabbinical School Teaching with Integration at the Center

Awarded Grant
Springer, Mychal
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary trains modern rabbis who are scholars conversant in both traditional Jewish texts and critical methods. JTS faculty members bring rich faith journeys to their teaching, along with exciting, complex approaches to religious scholarship. Still, most instruction is overly cognitive and does not incorporate normative formation and professional development pedagogies into rabbinical students’ learning. In 2006, JTS received consultation support from the Wabash Center ...
Proposal abstract :
The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary trains modern rabbis who are scholars conversant in both traditional Jewish texts and critical methods. JTS faculty members bring rich faith journeys to their teaching, along with exciting, complex approaches to religious scholarship. Still, most instruction is overly cognitive and does not incorporate normative formation and professional development pedagogies into rabbinical students’ learning. In 2006, JTS received consultation support from the Wabash Center to launch faculty-facilitated Integrating Seminars in which groups of first-year students met regularly to address issues of rabbinic identity arising from their studies. Dr. Kathleen Talvacchia served as consultant to JTS and helped conceptualize how to move forward in JTS integration efforts. As a result, JTS now seeks to extend benefits of lessons learned in the seminars to the faculty as a whole and to the field. Over the next two years, JTS will 1) introduce integration as an objective in rabbinic education to the JTS faculty as a whole; 2) provide incentives and assistance to instructors teaching required courses in core subjects; and 3) disseminate results to the field by bringing JTS faculty together with their counterparts from other seminaries undertaking similar projects to share work in progress.

Learning Abstract :
The Wabash Center grant was critical in spearheading a cultural shift at JTS with regard to teaching, and how teaching is done at JTS. Faculty members, for example, are now more willing to think through the teaching of their material as an aspect of their craft. There is also a greater willingness on the part of the faculty to talk about their teaching and to see the teaching itself as a key part of our mission of forming clergy.

Also, feedback from students on this effort and the self-reporting from faculty were very positive. Finally, Carol Ingall created a forum for faculty members to discuss their teaching/issues related to pedagogy, and there was great interest in this forum and a large turn out for this event.
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Slave Narratives & the Bible in the Classroom

Awarded Grant
Powery, Emerson
Lee University
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Funding will provide a 2-3 day meeting for four faculty members from different institutions to meet and plan a week-long seminar on the use of slave narratives as pedagogical tools in theology and religion classes. These discussions will have a direct effect on the classroom experience by exposing students to 19th century marginalized persons who found creative strategies for their spiritual and political well-being through their own engagement with biblical ...
Proposal abstract :
Funding will provide a 2-3 day meeting for four faculty members from different institutions to meet and plan a week-long seminar on the use of slave narratives as pedagogical tools in theology and religion classes. These discussions will have a direct effect on the classroom experience by exposing students to 19th century marginalized persons who found creative strategies for their spiritual and political well-being through their own engagement with biblical stories.

Learning Abstract :
We do not think, after our preliminary conversations, that a one-week seminar would be sufficient, so we are in the process of developing a proposal for a 3-year endeavor with yearly symposia involving a small, select group of conversation partners and culminating in a final formal conference on the pedagogical use of the slave narrative across the theological curricula. We would like to assist the UNC research staff in updating their excellent resources, especially in the areas of "religious themes" (within the slave narrative tradition) and pedagogy. Their website resource can be a revolutionary pedagogical tool in any classroom at any level of the educational journey.
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Introduction to the Study of Religion and E-folios

Awarded Grant
Kim, Nami|Karim, Jamillah
Spelman College
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Technology and Teaching    |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The project will enable the project directors to offer two half-day workshops on E-folios Management. This workshop will teach faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies the basic concepts and skills of e-folios management, as well as ways to use e-folios to meet learning expectations effectively. The grant will help faculty members to create an opportunity to become better equipped in assigning e-folios in the proposed course, ...
Proposal abstract :
The project will enable the project directors to offer two half-day workshops on E-folios Management. This workshop will teach faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies the basic concepts and skills of e-folios management, as well as ways to use e-folios to meet learning expectations effectively. The grant will help faculty members to create an opportunity to become better equipped in assigning e-folios in the proposed course, which will enhance the learning outcomes of course material.

Learning Abstract :
From this highly useful project, we have learned the importance of collaborating with colleagues who also aspire towards more effective teaching and learning. We also learned the value of securing the expertise of consultants who share innovative best practices and teaching methods. We have learned that trying out new methods in the classroom creates new levels of excitement and enthusiasm that further enhances the teaching processes and learning outcomes. From the logistical dimensions of this project, i.e., setting up accounts for our budget and arranging various programming aspects, we have learned patience and key administrative skills. Key items that will contribute to the expanding conversation on teaching and learning are how to most effectively use e-folios and other tools in a context in which the Internet plays a significant role in students' learning outside the classroom and how to create a standard syllabus that represents the interests and passions of all of the professors who teach the course.
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Teaching Rabbinic Literature: A Conference on Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Levisohn, Jon
Brandeis University
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
In January 2008, a conference will be held at Brandeis University on the teaching of rabbinic literature, as part of an ongoing research project at the Mandel Center entitled the Initiative on Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy in Jewish Studies. This conference will bring together teachers and scholars of rabbinic literature from colleges and universities, rabbinical seminaries, institutes for advanced Jewish studies, synagogues, and k-12 schools. In addition to learning with and ...
Proposal abstract :
In January 2008, a conference will be held at Brandeis University on the teaching of rabbinic literature, as part of an ongoing research project at the Mandel Center entitled the Initiative on Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy in Jewish Studies. This conference will bring together teachers and scholars of rabbinic literature from colleges and universities, rabbinical seminaries, institutes for advanced Jewish studies, synagogues, and k-12 schools. In addition to learning with and from one another, the conference will promote the power and the potential of teaching among the participants. And most importantly, the conference will contribute to the development of the scholarship of teaching rabbinic literature - a sub-field of the scholarship of teaching that is in its infancy - through the publication of papers and presentations.

Learning Abstract :
This project was based on a hypothesis that teachers and scholars of rabbinic literature from a variety of settings would be intrigued by the prospect of coming together to explore the teaching of their subject. That hypothesis proved to be correct. For two days, over 200 people attended presentations on everything from teaching midrash to children, to teaching the history of ancient Israel to college students, to teaching halakhic literature to adults. The energy and enthusiasm of the participants was corroborated by robust evaluation data. And videos of the presentations have already been downloaded thousands of times. Alongside the sense of accomplishment, however, is a renewed appreciation of the difficulty of developing the scholarship of teaching. Countless hours were invested to encourage presenters to move beyond exploration of fascinating aspects of the subject to fascinating (or better, troublesome) aspects of teaching the subject, and from advocacy to disciplined inquiry. Naturally, some investments paid off more than others.
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Working Group on Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
McNary-Zak, Bernadette|Peters, Rebecca Todd
Elon University
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Over an eighteen-month period, this Working Group will engage in the development of the theoretical and practical issues pertaining to the distinctive processes and aims of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Sustained attention to the place of Undergraduate Research in higher education nationally, its origin in the methodological framework of the natural sciences, and the current state of this pedagogy in our discipline and on our campuses, makes this work ...
Proposal abstract :
Over an eighteen-month period, this Working Group will engage in the development of the theoretical and practical issues pertaining to the distinctive processes and aims of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Sustained attention to the place of Undergraduate Research in higher education nationally, its origin in the methodological framework of the natural sciences, and the current state of this pedagogy in our discipline and on our campuses, makes this work timely and necessary. Sustained conversation regarding the theoretical issues related to Undergraduate Research in the field of Religious Studies will provide support for faculty development and will make a significant contribution to teaching and learning in Theology and Religious Studies.

Learning Abstract :
The Working Group on Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies successfully accomplished the stated goals of this grant in the allotted time period. Sustained thought and discussion was given to the primary theoretical issues related to Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies, and to relevant pedagogical methods and processes for promoting excellence in Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Through the completion of a variety of dissemination tasks in our classrooms, the academy, and organizations focused on UR, the members of this Working Group promoted institutional and disciplinary support for Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies and have become emerging leaders in this pedagogy. The desire and commitment to locate ongoing efforts to continue this work past the grant period on the part of Working Group members attests to an appreciation for the subsequent work that can still be done.
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Teaching into the Difficult: Racial Ethnic Woman Professor--White University

Awarded Grant
Harris, Melanie
Texas Christian University
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
A consultation in May 2008 will bring together racial ethnic women professors teaching religion and theology in predominantly white university and college settings in order to share pedagogical models and strategies for teaching. Racial ethnic minority women face particular challenges when they enter the classroom, and the religion classroom, itself, poses special challenges that complicate these women’s professional and personal lives. We want to explore, in the grant period, what ...
Proposal abstract :
A consultation in May 2008 will bring together racial ethnic women professors teaching religion and theology in predominantly white university and college settings in order to share pedagogical models and strategies for teaching. Racial ethnic minority women face particular challenges when they enter the classroom, and the religion classroom, itself, poses special challenges that complicate these women’s professional and personal lives. We want to explore, in the grant period, what happens when racial ethnic minority women enter the space of the religion classroom, both to them and with students, how this affects teaching, and what strategies may be employed to ease this interaction. In a time when pedagogy is embodied and strives for transformation of professor and student, a “colored” body, particularly in a predominantly white institution, brings forth a variety of response that is both overt and hidden. This is an opportunity for racial ethnic minority women professors to be reflective about their teaching and teaching context, share teaching strategies, and shape models of support within departments and institutions that will encourage recruiting and retaining women minority academic faculty in the disciplines of Religion and Theology.

Learning Abstract :
Racial ethnic minority women teaching in the Religious Studies or seminary classroom experience unique tensions. As, often, the only person of color and/or the only woman, these teacher-scholars find themselves analyzed by the gaze of both students and colleagues. From students, this gaze can exoticize the professor, bringing about unsettling moments in the classroom for which generating teaching strategies that both uncover racism and sexism and teach students to "read as the other" is necessary. From colleagues, this gaze can make the racial ethnic woman wonder continually if her colleagues believe she "measures up" to their standards, making the racial-ethnic woman either paralyzed or defensively over-productive in her teaching and scholarship. While such activity may lead to excellence in the career, the perfectionism, stress, and fatigue, ultimately, may undermine the teacher-scholar's longevity. Collegial support, teaching strategies, self-care, rest, and open conversations among racial ethnic women scholars, such as the conversation in this consultation, generate support, opportunities for publication, and teaching strategies that open true paths to excellence and sustained, transformative careers in the academy.
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Facing Faith in the Upstate: Religious Diversity in South Carolina

Awarded Grant
Damrel, David
University of South Carolina Upstate
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
The University of South Carolina Upstate will host a one-day regional conference centered on the improvement and future of teaching Comparative Religion in the Upstate region of South Carolina. The grant-sponsored component of the conference will gather 5-6 full-time tenure-track faculty from regional colleges and universities to explore two core questions. The first specific focus is on how to improve the teaching of comparative religion in the region, with the ...
Proposal abstract :
The University of South Carolina Upstate will host a one-day regional conference centered on the improvement and future of teaching Comparative Religion in the Upstate region of South Carolina. The grant-sponsored component of the conference will gather 5-6 full-time tenure-track faculty from regional colleges and universities to explore two core questions. The first specific focus is on how to improve the teaching of comparative religion in the region, with the intent that the conference will foster the practical exchange of classroom-ready techniques, strategies and pedagogical ideas and the identification of appropriate teaching materials. The second theme emphasizes the contemporary importance of the study of Comparative Religion and examines how religious studies can best be integrated into larger university curricula.

Learning Abstract :
The conference taught us that there is a strong and sustained interest in public conversations about a wide range of issues connected with religion and the roles of religion in public life. The challenge remains to formulate a clear topic that allows both a broad number of participants and yet still permits effective discussion. The strengths of our event were in the engaged, well-prepared and excellent keynote speaker and the flexible, interactive nature of the panel presentations. Areas for improvement include developing a more formal means of networking and establishing a more routine and structured format for elaborating and following up on some of the specific themes of interest that emerged from the event. We were pleased and encouraged by the results of what we hope is the first in a long-term joint exploration of religious life in the region.
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Pedagogical Uses of Religious Games: A Methodology Workshop

Awarded Grant
Sachs Norris, Rebecca
Merrimack College
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project brings together professors of diverse backgrounds to explore the use of religious board games in the classroom. The aim of this project is to establish essential issues in board game pedagogy in order to further the use of this methodology and also in preparation for a larger pre-conference workshop being planned for the American Academy of Religion annual meetings in 2008. Our focus will be on identifying issues that ...
Proposal abstract :
This project brings together professors of diverse backgrounds to explore the use of religious board games in the classroom. The aim of this project is to establish essential issues in board game pedagogy in order to further the use of this methodology and also in preparation for a larger pre-conference workshop being planned for the American Academy of Religion annual meetings in 2008. Our focus will be on identifying issues that need to be addressed - issues such as methodology, implementation and assessment. This will be a two-day workshop that will include presentations by participants on practices, results and difficulties; discussion of related experiential learning research and methodologies; and a meeting with students for feedback on their experiences with board games in the religious studies classroom.

Learning Abstract :
Assessment is the foremost issue for board game pedagogy. Finding clearer assessment tools to implement at the beginning and end of the semester should help. We will also be utilizing social scientific methods over the next year, running 2 sections of the same class, one with and one without board games, but with the same professor and student body. One interesting question that arose was regarding the need for a theoretical framework when the students first work with the games. Since one major aim is to break down the rigid categories that students bring to the study of religion, are we simply substituting other categories if we give them a specific framework? Would it be useful to find an even more open approach? Another significant issue that was raised is how to bring the tools and student learning from this methodology to students' lives outside the classroom.
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Conversations on Teaching about Religion in an Interdisciplinary, Interdepartmental Context

Awarded Grant
Kilde, Jeanne|Waltner, Ann
University of Minnesota
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
In Fall 2008 we will implement a new interdepartmental religious studies major that requires students to take courses from a variety of departments. Given the potential for students to come away from this program with a fragmented understanding of the study of religion—as they are exposed to a variety of approaches to religion and methods for studying it—we aim to develop coherence in the major by developing deeper intellectual ...
Proposal abstract :
In Fall 2008 we will implement a new interdepartmental religious studies major that requires students to take courses from a variety of departments. Given the potential for students to come away from this program with a fragmented understanding of the study of religion—as they are exposed to a variety of approaches to religion and methods for studying it—we aim to develop coherence in the major by developing deeper intellectual and collegial relationships among those who will be teaching in it. We seek to learn about one another’s approaches to religion, to discuss and reflect upon strategies for interdisciplinary teaching, and to develop ways to foster students’ experience of a coherent, unified degree program. Toward these ends, we will hold a four-day workshop in June 2008, preceded by a planning meeting in March; create a formal collaborative group; make information available on the web; and confer with invited scholars.

Learning Abstract :
This project, developed in anticipation of the launching of a new interdepartmental major in Religious Studies, was intended to foster new relationships and connections among the faculty, coming from several different departments, who would be teaching our courses, in an effort to ensure that students' learning in the new program would be coherent. The centerpiece of the project was a three- and one-half day summer workshop, whose content was developed by the participants in spring planning meetings. The workshop was highly successful in fostering intellectual community among the participants and instilling a commitment to self-reflection and innovation in teaching about religion in the context of the interdepartmental program. A second one day conference was held the following summer which involved religion faculty from other schools in the area. The community that developed from the project has been apparent in and beneficial to both the functioning of the steering committee which guides the new Religious Studies Program and in the monthly workshops, attended by both faculty and students.
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The Most Difficult Religious Conversation? Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching the Complexities of Abortion

Awarded Grant
Hornsby, Teresa
Drury University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This project will provide pedagogical strategies for having difficult conversations in a classroom by using abortion, perhaps the most contentious conversation, as a model. We propose to hold a series of six workshops to 1) identify and evaluate existing models of teaching about abortion; 2) consider the range of pedagogical decisions teachers must make in order to encourage learning among students (and educators) who have already made decisions about the topic in ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will provide pedagogical strategies for having difficult conversations in a classroom by using abortion, perhaps the most contentious conversation, as a model. We propose to hold a series of six workshops to 1) identify and evaluate existing models of teaching about abortion; 2) consider the range of pedagogical decisions teachers must make in order to encourage learning among students (and educators) who have already made decisions about the topic in advance of encountering it; 3) create an emic model that explores ‘insider’ information side-by-side with academic religious pedagogy and lived experiences; 4) provide guidelines and strategies that give confidence to the instructor and provide an atmosphere where respectful conversation and learning, rather than conflict, happens. Ultimately, these workshops seek to create guidelines that can be used to teach either a course or a unit within a course on a difficult topic in general (or abortion specifically).

Learning Abstract :
These are some of the learnings that I take from the project. Use sensitivity and understanding; recognize that the student's approach is more personal than academic; student responses will be as complex as the topic. "Virtue Language" is most effective - avoid "right, wrong" or "good,bad;" instead ask, "Was she courageous (strong) in making her choice?" This creates potential for agreement rather than divisiveness. For credibility, use stories of actual (not hypothetical) situations. Students are more comfortable talking about abortion when it concerns ‘others,' e.g., women in non-industrialized countries or historical women. Start there and bring the conversation closer to their own demographic in increments. Bring in guest speakers at the onset who will represent and articulate the various views of the students. If not, students fear that they will have to do it themselves and they do not feel confident in their own ability to articulate their positions effectively. They become defensive.
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A Collegium on Leadership Outcomes Pedagogy for Theological Programs in the United Church of Canada Context

Awarded Grant
Stairs, Jean|Wyatt, Peter
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The ATS and The United Church of Canada (UCC) are encouraging theological schools to develop and implement a greater degree of integration in theological education programs, based on the ATS Guidelines for Assessing Learning and the UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework. Successful implementation will include the capacity to assess the achievement of more intentionally sought outcomes for church leadership. The recently approved UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework reflects an invitation to UCC ...
Proposal abstract :
The ATS and The United Church of Canada (UCC) are encouraging theological schools to develop and implement a greater degree of integration in theological education programs, based on the ATS Guidelines for Assessing Learning and the UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework. Successful implementation will include the capacity to assess the achievement of more intentionally sought outcomes for church leadership. The recently approved UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework reflects an invitation to UCC theological schools to work in a denominational partnership. The goal of this proposed grant project is to gather approximately 60 regularly appointed faculty in Testamur granting schools and denominational guests from UCC schools that are ATS accredited along with faculty with whom we relate from UCC diaconal and Native ministry centres. The gathering will hear about the learning outcomes work already underway by faculty/faculties and will explore how faculty are integrating (or can integrate) this work into their teaching practice. Faculty in UCC schools have some awareness of the ATS/UCC Learning Outcomes Project but this gathering will provide an opportunity for faculty to deepen their understanding and participate in building a partnership in leadership outcomes pedagogy in the UCC context. It will aim to build trust among theological faculty and build toward significant change. A focus group of faculty from across Canada has met to refine and vet the final design for the collegium.

Learning Abstract :
The major learning that emerged from this project is that the partnership between the church and its schools in context of The United Church of Canada and in relation to academic preparation for ordained ministry needed to undergo a cultural shift. The church needed to own its role in determining learning outcomes for ministry leadership and assume responsibility for strategies that will assess candidates' readiness for ministry. At the same time, theological schools needed to understand how their learning outcomes for M.Div programs and assessment strategies can draw into closer alignment with the church's defined expectations. The dance between theological schools' autonomy and the church's expressed learning outcomes for ministry leadership remains complex but strengthened. A greater awareness of learning outcomes pedagogy has been achieved with individual faculty members and within theological schools. All schools now report that they are working on defining learning outcomes applicable to ministry programs and with full awareness of the UCC's Learning Outcomes Framework for Ministry Leadership.
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The Challenge of Religious History: Improving Undergraduate and Graduate Education in a Public University

Awarded Grant
Sterk, Andrea|Caputo, Nina
University of Florida
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
This project aims to promote more effective teaching of religious history, with a focus on the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. A 16-month multi-layered series will foster sustained conversation among those who teach in this area. Over the course of three semesters prominent scholar-teachers with specializations from antiquity to modern America will engage faculty and students on three levels: 1) a broader public lecture; 2) a smaller seminar on pedagogy ...
Proposal abstract :
This project aims to promote more effective teaching of religious history, with a focus on the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. A 16-month multi-layered series will foster sustained conversation among those who teach in this area. Over the course of three semesters prominent scholar-teachers with specializations from antiquity to modern America will engage faculty and students on three levels: 1) a broader public lecture; 2) a smaller seminar on pedagogy for faculty and graduate students; and 3) informal discussion over meals. They will address new methodologies in teaching and research, the benefits as well as the limitations of the secular setting, and the overlapping identities of both historical religious communities and contemporary religious historians in the postmodern university. While the primary target audience is faculty and graduate students at the University of Florida, a volume of essays is intended for those who teach religious history at other institutions.

Learning Abstract :
Despite both the practical and conceptual challenges involved, we learned that an extended, multi-layered series is an effective means of generating and sustaining dialogue on a circumscribed theme. Though a large public university, the University of Florida is somewhat off the beaten track of many very prominent academics. In organizing this series, we were careful to invite scholars who not only lectured, but engaged in individual and group meetings with faculty and graduate students. This truly fostered the development of an intellectual community and ongoing conversation. We were very pleased that a core group of approximately 20 graduate students attended lectures and seminars presented by twelve different scholars over the course of three semesters. This project, then, was ultimately successful in promoting teaching and learning about religion in history and in shaping those who engage in this endeavor at the University of Florida and at other institutions.
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Pedagogies for Civic Engagement

Awarded Grant
Runions, Erin|Locklin, Reid|Clingerman, Forrest|Chilson, Clark
Ohio Northern University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Contemporary conversations around higher education and civic engagement have highlighted the importance of fostering students’ critical thinking as future citizens, providing public spaces for open discussion and exchange of ideas, and promoting civic engagement by involving students in activist pedagogies and/or service-learning. Two consultations in November 2008 and November 2009 will bring together a group of scholars in theology and religious studies to explore a range of pedagogical strategies for civic ...
Proposal abstract :
Contemporary conversations around higher education and civic engagement have highlighted the importance of fostering students’ critical thinking as future citizens, providing public spaces for open discussion and exchange of ideas, and promoting civic engagement by involving students in activist pedagogies and/or service-learning. Two consultations in November 2008 and November 2009 will bring together a group of scholars in theology and religious studies to explore a range of pedagogical strategies for civic engagement, including subject-centered critical reflection, the interpretation of media, activist pedagogy and/or service learning. During the first consultation we will discuss key publications on the topic and formulate pedagogical strategies to test in our own classrooms in spring 2009. During the second meeting we will develop, refine, and theorize these strategies and set the different methods in a broad framework so they can be effectively adopted by other teachers.

Learning Abstract :
Through two one-day workshops (in 2008 and 2009), as well as work done in classrooms at the participants' home institutions, this project resulted in practical and theoretical insights into how civic engagement relates to teaching religious studies. Practically, each participant contributed a pedagogical strategy related to civic engagement; each strategy was tested and revised during the project. Reports of these strategies were discussed, with project participants seeking commonalities and challenges in the midst of diversity. The group thus created several possible models of practical pedagogies of civic engagement. Theoretical insights on these practices also emerged. Participants came to the conclusion that teaching civic engagement includes (1) providing ways of reflecting on the complexity of understanding religions and civic life; (2) engaging in self-reflection about social positionality or location; (3) fostering empathetic accountability among students and faculty; and (4) motivated action in conversation with critical reflection.
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Resourcing the Teaching of American Church Music History

Awarded Grant
Blumhofer, Edith|Eskridge, Larry
Wheaton College - Illinois
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project will support a consultation on teaching American church music history. Specifically, the grant will fund an exploration of how courses are currently structured, a consultation, and the circulating of the observations and suggestions that arise from the consultation. We expect that the principles suggested by the consultation to guide the teaching of American church music history will initiate a cross-disciplinary conversation, generate on-line information about current teaching practices ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will support a consultation on teaching American church music history. Specifically, the grant will fund an exploration of how courses are currently structured, a consultation, and the circulating of the observations and suggestions that arise from the consultation. We expect that the principles suggested by the consultation to guide the teaching of American church music history will initiate a cross-disciplinary conversation, generate on-line information about current teaching practices and resources, expand and refine the suggested core principles that inform both teaching and learning.

Learning Abstract :
The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals completed a survey of materials used to teach church music history at ATS seminaries, Bible colleges, and liberal arts colleges. We hosted a conference that crossed the disciplines to explore how church music history is being taught. We discussed needs and strengths and recommendations for improvement. We regret that we were unable to commission an historiographical essay. American church music history has never been a robust discipline, and yet many consider it an essential context for evaluating change over time. Scholars in several disciplines have recently shown how rich the study of American church music is for their own fields, and their interest provides an opportunity to enhance teaching and learning in a subject with wide import for American lived religion.
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Introducing the Bible to Seminarians: A Faculty and Graduate Student Workshop to Develop Practices and Enhance Skills for Teaching Biblical Introduction and Exegesis

Awarded Grant
Fewell, Danna
Drew University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
We envision a 1.5 day workshop that will 'jump-start' a more sustained effort to incorporate into our graduate program in biblical studies increased attention to pedagogical issues and practices. This initial gathering of faculty and PhD students is designed to provide an opportunity for current and future teachers to reflect critically upon the challenges of introducing critical biblical study to first year seminarians. This structured time together will: 1) give new and ...
Proposal abstract :
We envision a 1.5 day workshop that will 'jump-start' a more sustained effort to incorporate into our graduate program in biblical studies increased attention to pedagogical issues and practices. This initial gathering of faculty and PhD students is designed to provide an opportunity for current and future teachers to reflect critically upon the challenges of introducing critical biblical study to first year seminarians. This structured time together will: 1) give new and continuing faculty an opportunity to review and refine our current goals and practices in our biblical introduction courses at Drew; 2) give graduate students the opportunity to engage faculty on the topic of teaching the Bible to students new to the critical study of religious texts; 3) begin to ready doctoral students for teaching assistantships for the coming academic year. In addition to analytical discussion among faculty and students about the learning needs to seminarians and ways these might be met in the classroom, the workshop will also provide "hands-on" session in which the students will work on their practical skills as teachers of exegesis.

Learning Abstract :
The workshop was a productive occasion for critical reflection and conversation about teaching and learning both in broad terms and with focus on particular issues. It provided a rare opportunity for Drew graduate students to engage committed faculty about the ideologies and practicalities of teaching. Among the insights that emerged were the students' expressed desire and need 1) for more "practice" teaching experiences that involve faculty and peer feedback; 2) for occasions to collaborate with peers in preparing courses, classroom activities, and means of assessment; and 3) for further opportunities to hone teaching skills related to discussion group leadership, interactive lecturing, negotiating conflict in the classroom, and developing teaching strategies that appeal to different types of learners. The central challenge facing Drew, as with many academic institutions in the current economic crisis, remains how to improve teacher training in the GDR in an environment of reduced personnel and financial resources.
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Developing Learning Objectives and Core Competencies

Awarded Grant
Stivers, Laura
Pfeiffer University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to facilitate reflection among the faculty members of the Pfeiffer University School of Religion about learning objectives and core competencies for our vocational and academic programs in religion, as well as implementation and assessment of our learning objectives and core competencies.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to facilitate reflection among the faculty members of the Pfeiffer University School of Religion about learning objectives and core competencies for our vocational and academic programs in religion, as well as implementation and assessment of our learning objectives and core competencies.

Learning Abstract :
At the start of our project we did not know if we were on the same page in how we envisioned our programs, but found that through discussion that we had unanimous agreement on all of our learning goals and competencies. We learned that having learning goals and competencies in writing gives us a foundation for developing our programs and our syllabi, and gives us a standard by which to assess our teaching practices and other activities that we promote in our department. Articulating these goals and competencies also gives our students a better picture of what is expected of them in their learning. We hope to meet again to pursue how we can better connect our learning goals and competencies to our teaching philosophies and strategies, and to have discussion about innovative ways we can design our learning environment.
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Challenges and Resources for Teaching Catholic Theology in the Teens: A Consultation of Graduate and Undergraduate Educators

Awarded Grant
Ashley, J. Matthew
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Theological Pedagogy must respond to the audiences of church, society, and academy. As the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close, all three of these audiences are in flux for Catholic theological education. The general question that this consultation will take up is how graduate theological education in Catholic theology can better prepare its graduates to respond to the changing scene when they take up positions that ...
Proposal abstract :
Theological Pedagogy must respond to the audiences of church, society, and academy. As the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close, all three of these audiences are in flux for Catholic theological education. The general question that this consultation will take up is how graduate theological education in Catholic theology can better prepare its graduates to respond to the changing scene when they take up positions that involve undergraduate teaching. It will do so by brining together directors of Catholic graduate programs in theology, a select group of chairs of undergraduate programs in Catholic theology, teachers of theology, current doctoral students and recent graduates, to discuss the changing scene in Catholic theological education from their different institutional contexts. The goal is to give directors of graduate programs valuable information for assessing the effectiveness of their curricula and programs in professional development and pedagogy, and to give chairs and directors of undergraduate programs a better knowledge of the educational contexts from which they are drawing new faculty.

Learning Abstract :
The consultation clearly demonstrated the fruitfulness of conversations between teachers of theology from diverse institutional settings. The impact of context on challenges and resources for teaching clearly emerged as well as common concerns and a common love of teaching and theology that united the participants despite their differences. Surveying members in advance and allowing their feedback to set the agenda paid dividends. The mixture of plenary addresses, small-group sessions and concluding plenary discussions (with "informal conversation time" too) worked well. The diversity of viewpoints was very useful for the reasons just stated. A further useful element (if time had allowed) would have been to have participants meet who had the same institutional setting, so that they could further the conversation and suggest some best practices to take back with them. Having underestimated the amount of work for follow-up, I would budget and plan for additional assistance after the consultation.
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Graduate Program in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Wood, Charles
Southern Methodist University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University proposes a short research project looking into the design, operation, and support of programs that prepare graduate students to be effective teachers in religious and theological studies. The aim of the project is to gather information and then to craft a project design and a related proposal for support for a pilot project of their own that will build on ...
Proposal abstract :
The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University proposes a short research project looking into the design, operation, and support of programs that prepare graduate students to be effective teachers in religious and theological studies. The aim of the project is to gather information and then to craft a project design and a related proposal for support for a pilot project of their own that will build on best practices at other institutions while taking advantage of the particular conditions and opportunities at SMU.

Learning Abstract :
The project confirmed our initial basic judgment as to the sort of program that is likely to succeed in our context, expanded our repertoire of promising issues to be explored in preparing graduate students to teach in these fields, and presented some good possibilities for program format. It also alerted us to some hidden problems to be avoided, and underscored the importance of tailoring a program initiative to the distinctive ethos and resources of the institution.
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Global Feminist Theologies in Postcolonial Space: An Immersion Based Pedagogy Model for Theology Doctoral Students

Awarded Grant
Ross, Susan
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Within graduate Theology programs there are few opportunities for doctoral students to immerse themselves in another culture. Yet this boundary-crossing process could provide a significant pedagogical lens for new teachers in diverse classrooms. This project addresses this concern by advancing a model of immersion pedagogy specifically for advanced doctoral students. The goal of the program is for participants to experience intercultural pedagogy while their learning curve is high and they ...
Proposal abstract :
Within graduate Theology programs there are few opportunities for doctoral students to immerse themselves in another culture. Yet this boundary-crossing process could provide a significant pedagogical lens for new teachers in diverse classrooms. This project addresses this concern by advancing a model of immersion pedagogy specifically for advanced doctoral students. The goal of the program is for participants to experience intercultural pedagogy while their learning curve is high and they have not yet become settled in teaching methods and curricula. This will be accomplished through three phases: 1) intercultural coursework and fieldwork in Nairobi, Kenya, 2) a listening symposium providing pedagogical reflection on the experience, and 3) a resulting academic volume of inter-regionally co-authored essays. This proposal seeks funding for the listening symposium, which will form participants’ pedagogical working skills in light of feminist/womanist and postcolonial concerns while testing a new model for graduate immersion pedagogy.

Learning Abstract :
The goal of the Kenya immersion project was to experience cross-cultural education and pedagogy by having students and faculty work together in courses, fieldwork and service and to apply these experiences in the classroom. We learned that cross-cultural communication should begin at the earliest stages of planning, that students in different cultures respond to challenges differently, and that both listening in respectful silence and speaking out at appropriate moments are necessary for real communication to take place. The success of the project can be seen in how both US. and Kenyan participants continue to be in touch and how this learning is being applied in increasingly diverse classrooms. The disappointments were in the missed opportunities early on that would have addressed these issues. The real contributions are that there is no substitute for face-to-face experience, and that women scholars face common issues in their educational experiences.
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First-Time Teachers

Awarded Grant
Sweeney, Meghan
Boston College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Doctoral students in theology will be mindful throughout their careers of their vocations as theological teachers, and not only as scholars, when they learn at an early career stage the benefit and necessity of critically reflective teaching. Consequently, the Theology Department of Boston College seeks to work with a Wabash facilitator. This facilitator will lead advanced theology doctoral students (all ABD) who are Teaching Fellows in discussion about the vocation ...
Proposal abstract :
Doctoral students in theology will be mindful throughout their careers of their vocations as theological teachers, and not only as scholars, when they learn at an early career stage the benefit and necessity of critically reflective teaching. Consequently, the Theology Department of Boston College seeks to work with a Wabash facilitator. This facilitator will lead advanced theology doctoral students (all ABD) who are Teaching Fellows in discussion about the vocation of teaching theology. Additionally, the facilitator would help Teaching Fellows to explore their own individual teaching philosophy and teaching persona, especially as these relate to theology courses. Finally, the facilitator would help Teaching Fellows to explore ways to structure courses that enact pedagogical beliefs and hopes.

Learning Abstract :
Three workshops for teaching fellows and teaching assistants were held over 13 months. Participants came prepared with written work. Dr. Joseph Favazza, the workshop facilitator, adeptly set a tone, facilitated exercises, and presented ideas, as well as actively listened to and engaged with workshop participants and their comments and concerns. Although some participants questioned the workshop processes and goals, suspect of the need for focused attention to teaching, the time and effort required to do so, and the various exercises to enable this, generally participants deepened their awareness of the dynamics and complexities of teaching theology, and came to better understand their identity and vocation as theology teachers and scholars. Many participants expressed genuine gratitude for the opportunity to engage in critical reflection on something so important to both theology and to themselves. Many participants commented that revising their philosophy of teaching statement became more difficult after the workshops because they became more aware of issues of metaphor, teaching identity, religious and academic location, and coherence between pedagogical goal and method. The Theology Department at Boston College aims to build from and upon these workshops to create future in-service programs in order to critically reflect upon the vocation of teaching theology.
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Space, Place, and Religious Meaning in the Classroom: A Workshop on Teaching Strategies

Awarded Grant
Primiano, Leonard
Cabrini College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Professors of religious studies and theology successfully integrate textual study, social history, ethnography, and other approaches into their classrooms, but a sensitivity to and sensibility of religious constructions of space and place - central components to religious experience - are often neglected. This workshop challenges us to add the study of space and place to our courses.
Proposal abstract :
Professors of religious studies and theology successfully integrate textual study, social history, ethnography, and other approaches into their classrooms, but a sensitivity to and sensibility of religious constructions of space and place - central components to religious experience - are often neglected. This workshop challenges us to add the study of space and place to our courses.

Learning Abstract :
The Wabash grant funded this American Academy of Religion pre-meeting workshop on space, place, and religious meaning. The workshop re-affirmed that there is an interest among religious studies faculty and graduate students in not only developing a sensitivity to religious space and place, but in addressing the question of how to employ such ideas in the classroom to make the religions being taught come alive, whether in historical or contemporary perspective. This workshop worked on the pedagogical development of the study of religious space and place by including an introduction to theoretical leaders in the field and a panel discussion by teacher/scholars who already employ such techniques in their classrooms. Workshop facilitators learned that there is an even greater need in such a context for hands-on examples and development of teaching strategies relevant to those teaching about religious traditions, and that we should consider offering such a workshop in the future, as well as continue to work on the development of a suitable Handbook on Religious Space and Place which would be an asset for all teachers of religion.
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Teaching and Enabling Spiritual Formation for Catholic Undergraduate Students Interested in Serving Others Through the Church

Awarded Grant
Windley-Daoust, Susan
St. Mary's University of Minnesota
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution

Proposal abstract :
It has become increasingly clear that lay ecclesial ministry in the Catholic Church is becoming both accepted as a vocation unto itself (particularly through the 2005 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' 66 page statement Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord), as well as ecclesiastically standardized (through the certification and, in some cases, accreditation standards within the USCCB text The National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministry). We ask the Wabash ...
Proposal abstract :
It has become increasingly clear that lay ecclesial ministry in the Catholic Church is becoming both accepted as a vocation unto itself (particularly through the 2005 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' 66 page statement Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord), as well as ecclesiastically standardized (through the certification and, in some cases, accreditation standards within the USCCB text The National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministry). We ask the Wabash Center to fund a day-long workshop comprised of theology department faculty (plus two associated university parties) to discuss what we are currently providing in terms of spiritual formation, and what needs to be added through coursework or extra-curricular opportunities, in order to help students meet the national standards requirements for spiritual formation.

Learning Abstract :
Increasingly the Roman Catholic parishes have required evidence of formation and professionalism in the booming field of lay ministry, best exemplified by the recent documents Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord (USCCB) and the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministry. While we can track how effectively we are teaching to those standards based in knowledge and ethical practices, as professors we have difficulty providing and assessing a systematic program in a student's spiritual development. Since the standards require this evidence, we created a faculty and staff workshop to discuss how to best provide spiritual formation for majors: an opportunity to study the richness of spirituality for lay people, and the tools to self-monitor their own spiritual development. The workshop resulted in a plan of action to provide this program for majors and minors, parallel to the academic program, with collaboration between the faculty, campus ministry, and local churches.
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Designing Courses with Learning Outcomes in Mind

Awarded Grant
Ascough, Richard
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The objectives of this grant are threefold: to learn more about learning outcomes, to learn more about designing for teaching with cases and to learn more about best practices in course design. To pursue these goals, the activities of the grant will include research and writing, interviewing faculty, and creating and applying a rubric.
Proposal abstract :
The objectives of this grant are threefold: to learn more about learning outcomes, to learn more about designing for teaching with cases and to learn more about best practices in course design. To pursue these goals, the activities of the grant will include research and writing, interviewing faculty, and creating and applying a rubric.

Learning Abstract :
As a result of this fellowship I recognized that there is much confusion about learning outcomes among faculty, of whom many demands for outcomes are being made, but no clear guidance is given. Through reading and research I developed a strong sense of how to design appropriate learning outcomes for courses. At the same time, I can articulate problems with poorly developed outcomes and help instructors understand where there is a disjuncture with their course design. The development of a rubric for designing course outcomes, outputs, and objectives has proven particularly helpful to me and to others, and I hope to develop the rubric further for wider dissemination. Overall, I am more confident that I can explain to instructors how learning outcomes can be used for improved course design that puts student learning at its center.
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Teaching About Sexuality & Morality in the Liberal Arts Classroom

Awarded Grant
Majeed, Debra
Beloit College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
While much has been written about the sexual activity of college students, less is known about the extent to which religion shapes their sexual decision-making, and the potential of the liberal arts classroom as a site for examining such a process. This project will invite an interdisciplinary group of faculty on a secular campus to consider how they could integrate discussions about the sexual attitudes and practices of college students ...
Proposal abstract :
While much has been written about the sexual activity of college students, less is known about the extent to which religion shapes their sexual decision-making, and the potential of the liberal arts classroom as a site for examining such a process. This project will invite an interdisciplinary group of faculty on a secular campus to consider how they could integrate discussions about the sexual attitudes and practices of college students into their courses. Through focus groups, textual resources, and a four-week colloquy, this project will characterize liberal arts teaching as a “purposeful social construction” through which faculty critically think about sexuality and transform the classroom into a more accessible space for students to think through their sexual decision-making. Thus, this project advocates for the development of pedagogy that views the exploration of sexuality education as an innovative means of addressing critical thinking goals and equips students to think about healthy spiritual and mental growth.

Learning Abstract :
This project was designed to engage a secular liberal arts undergraduate institution around the sexual attitudes and practices of college students. Our findings indicate that personal safety, awareness, background, and context influence the interest of students and commitment of faculty to explore issues of sexual morality in the classroom. While students advocate for using intellectual space for such discussions – particularily in environments void of faculty promotion of their personal values – pedagogical concerns and personal comfort determine whether and the extent to which faculty members resist their efforts. Interdisciplinary collaborations that promote critical thinking about moral issues are more likely to create safe space for both faculty and students to reflect on and dialogue about the formation of sexual values and actions among college students.
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Towards a Pedagogy of Global Citizenship

Awarded Grant
Desjardins, Michel|Benham Rennick, Joanne
St. Jerome's University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Student learning through international experience is a developing area that combines interdisciplinary methods. Normally the goal is to provide students with greater awareness about global society while also building specific knowledge in their own field (e.g., religious studies or language). Across North America institutions are pursuing this objective in a variety of ways. The disciplines of Religious Studies and Theology, with their predominant concern for social justice and care ...
Proposal abstract :
Student learning through international experience is a developing area that combines interdisciplinary methods. Normally the goal is to provide students with greater awareness about global society while also building specific knowledge in their own field (e.g., religious studies or language). Across North America institutions are pursuing this objective in a variety of ways. The disciplines of Religious Studies and Theology, with their predominant concern for social justice and care for others, have much to contribute to the discussion of how to prepare students for such experiences. Moreover, given the long standing presence of service learning and travel associated with education about religion, there is a precedent in place for scholars of religion to offer insights into past successes and failures in such ventures. As such, this project seeks to establish a community of scholars who incorporate service learning in their programs to define and elaborate the parameters of the discipline in its various forms, as well as identify and compile a variety of “best practices” relating to student learning outside their home country.

Learning Abstract :
Wabash funding allowed us to pursue questions about pedagogical models promoting global citizenship. The Good Global Citizenship Think Tank I (January 2010) and II (January 2011), provided a forum for students, scholars and program facilitators to listen, think together and learn about the implications of international experience programs on student learning and on the international communities to which our students travel. We were able to focus on the ethical and moral implications of such education and asked questions surrounding the kinds of values implicit in and absent from such programs. Together we identified some "core concerns" and worked to examine these through student reflection papers, scholarly articles on internationalization of education, and case studies that examine the kinds of programming happening in Canada today. We have been excited and inspired by the inclusion of students throughout this project: their public presentations during the think tank and in academic forums, and their written contributions that will be included in our collaborative volume on this topic. Furthermore, Wabash funds have allowed us to pursue and share a breadth of new research on this topic through public workshops, scholarly presentations, research articles, and a forthcoming edited book.
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Teaching through the Senses: Updating REL 220 Religion in the United States to Include Sound, Sight, and Movement

Awarded Grant
DeRogatis, Amy
Michigan State University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project to include sensory learning in my survey course was inspired by conversations with members of the Mid-Career Colloquy. Over five weeks I plan to read theory about the pedagogical use of sight, sound, and movement in teaching and to refashion 25 PowerPoint lectures to include music and film clips. I also intend to craft 12 short movement exercises to link physical movement with learning once per week in this class. ...
Proposal abstract :
This project to include sensory learning in my survey course was inspired by conversations with members of the Mid-Career Colloquy. Over five weeks I plan to read theory about the pedagogical use of sight, sound, and movement in teaching and to refashion 25 PowerPoint lectures to include music and film clips. I also intend to craft 12 short movement exercises to link physical movement with learning once per week in this class. To do this I will learn how to “rip” film and embed them in PowerPoint slides. My goal is to reinvigorate this course to engage students through multiple sensory experiences and reach students on multiple levels of intelligence. I will evaluate the success of sensory inclusion through student surveys and conversations with other faculty who teach a similar course. I will disseminate my findings through discussions with colleagues and in a teaching note submitted to Teaching Theology & Religion (spring 2010).

Learning Abstract :
I devoted five weeks during the summer of 2009 to reading theory about the pedagogical use of sight, sound, and movement in teaching. After I completed the reading I restructured 25 PowerPoint lectures to include music and film clips and I also crafted 12 short movement exercises to link physical movement with learning. My goal was to engage students through multiple sensory experiences and levels of intelligence. The students evaluated the success of sensory inclusion through informal surveys and self-reflective writing assignments. I evaluated the success of the project by comparing the students' ability to recall and synthesize information on exam questions related to sensory exercises with questions unrelated to sensory exercises. After teaching the course this past semester, I found that at 2/3rds of the students performed better on exam questions that corresponded to sensory exercises and over 75% acknowledged in their final self-evaluation that the sensory components were critical to their learning in the course. The only drawback to the inclusion of sensory exercises was that I did not always allow for enough class time for the students to reflect on the meaning and purpose of each activity.
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Helping Faculty to Build Community in the Classroom

Awarded Grant
Wong, Arch
Ambrose University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This project will bring a number of professors together from the Faculty of Theology at Ambrose University College to reflect, discuss, and implement ways to better build community in the classroom. The focus will be the pedagogical issues that professors face in their own classrooms as it relates to community building, and the teaching and learning activities that they have and will use to build and improve community in order ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will bring a number of professors together from the Faculty of Theology at Ambrose University College to reflect, discuss, and implement ways to better build community in the classroom. The focus will be the pedagogical issues that professors face in their own classrooms as it relates to community building, and the teaching and learning activities that they have and will use to build and improve community in order to help students learn.

Learning Abstract :
What does it mean to live in pedagogical community? Six professors met together to have conversations about creating community in the classroom. We discovered that in order to build classroom community we have to live in community ourselves as a "community of scholars." As we live as a "community of scholars," we can have deeper conversations around teaching and learning strategies that will facilitate learning in the classroom and discuss the challenges we face in the classroom. We also discovered together that there are tensions between institutional goals and the art of teaching that need to be resolved so that pedagogical community can genuinely happen.
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Religious Studies Capstone Course: Research and Workshop

Awarded Grant
Miller, Charles
University of North Dakota
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The fellowship will offer the necessary support, both in terms of time and resources, so that the research and planning needed to facilitate a three-day workshop/retreat for the other religion faculty can be accomplished. During the workshop, the religion faculty will work on the planning and development of the new, required, and recently approved course for Religion majors: RELS 480: Religion Capstone, which will be taught in the fall semester ...
Proposal abstract :
The fellowship will offer the necessary support, both in terms of time and resources, so that the research and planning needed to facilitate a three-day workshop/retreat for the other religion faculty can be accomplished. During the workshop, the religion faculty will work on the planning and development of the new, required, and recently approved course for Religion majors: RELS 480: Religion Capstone, which will be taught in the fall semester of 2010.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to bring together the religion faculty to share their diverse ideas about the newly approved and soon to be taught religion capstone course. The hope was that, at the end of our time together, we would have developed a shared vision of this course, as well as articulated solutions to the many practical matters inherent in such a project – including everything from which classroom would be best, to articulating objectives and assessments. During the faculty's time together, we were able to explore in depth our own ideas about what a capstone course should be, as well as to enter into dialogue about how we might meld our disparate ideas into a coordinated effort. We were not able to accomplish as much as we had hoped, but did make decisions regarding several fundamental issues (for example, the three primary foci of the course that will become basic to our course objectives). We also agreed to continue meeting during the upcoming semester so that progress toward realizing our goal might continue.
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Conversations on Pedagogy and the Teaching Vocation

Awarded Grant
Marshall, Bruce
Southern Methodist University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The pilot program funded by this grant will involve all first- and second-year Ph.D. students in an ongoing series of monthly presentations and discussions on pedagogy and related matters, along with an independent student forum for further reflection on the issues raised. These experiences would offer more structured and comprehensive preparation for practice teaching (normally undertaken in the third or fourth year) than students presently receive, and would better ...
Proposal abstract :
The pilot program funded by this grant will involve all first- and second-year Ph.D. students in an ongoing series of monthly presentations and discussions on pedagogy and related matters, along with an independent student forum for further reflection on the issues raised. These experiences would offer more structured and comprehensive preparation for practice teaching (normally undertaken in the third or fourth year) than students presently receive, and would better equip students for their subsequent teaching careers. The program would draw upon resources from the university’s Center for Teaching Excellence and the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility as well as from the Graduate Program in Religious Studies (GPRS) itself, enabling students to relate issues in the teaching of theology and religion to broader concerns within higher education generally.

Learning Abstract :
The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU has been able, with the support of its grant from the Wabash Center, to establish an ongoing two year program of monthly conversations among faculty and students on the practice and theory of teaching in theology and religious studies. Our "Conversations on Teaching and Learning" have become a fully integrated part of the student experience in our doctoral program. The very enthusiastic response of Ph.D. students to this program shows that it meets a deeply felt need among future faculty members for substantial training in pedagogy as part of their graduate education. The success of the program has made it a high priority for us, and we have found the resources needed to continue it.
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Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool Within an Introductory Classroom

Awarded Grant
Martínez-Vázquez, Hjamil
Texas Christian University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
One of the major problems with education today is the lack of connection between the subject matter and the student-learners. Because students come into the classroom with the perception that knowledge is something to be grasped and attained, they concentrate in acquiring information not in actually thinking critically about it or actually learning it. While there may be multiple group activities and other pedagogical strategies to address this issue, I ...
Proposal abstract :
One of the major problems with education today is the lack of connection between the subject matter and the student-learners. Because students come into the classroom with the perception that knowledge is something to be grasped and attained, they concentrate in acquiring information not in actually thinking critically about it or actually learning it. While there may be multiple group activities and other pedagogical strategies to address this issue, I argue that storytelling as an active participatory activity would get students involved within the process of learning. Through storytelling, students are able to put themselves inside of the action and not stay as passive “recipients.”
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Teaching Womanist Theory in a Religious Studies Course

Awarded Grant
Chireau, Yvonne
Swarthmore College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project examines approaches to teaching womanist theory in the Religious studies classroom. Specifically, the project explores the identification and definition of womanist pedagogy from the point of view of womanist practitioners. The goals of this project include: 1) Identify and define womanist pedagogy using the point of view of womanist teachers; 2) Deepen and enrich my ability to implement womanist pedagogical strategies in my teaching; 3) Develop a practical study that articulates ...
Proposal abstract :
This project examines approaches to teaching womanist theory in the Religious studies classroom. Specifically, the project explores the identification and definition of womanist pedagogy from the point of view of womanist practitioners. The goals of this project include: 1) Identify and define womanist pedagogy using the point of view of womanist teachers; 2) Deepen and enrich my ability to implement womanist pedagogical strategies in my teaching; 3) Develop a practical study that articulates womanist pedagogical strategies; 4) Generate a data collection of transcribed interviews and research on womanist instructors’ reflections on their scholarship and pedagogy; and 5) Utilize womanist approaches to improve teaching and learning in the Religious Studies classroom by developing a course.

Learning Abstract :
With this project, I deepened my understanding and ability to implement womanist pedagogical strategies, particularly in the Religious Studies classroom, which differs significantly from that of the Theological studies classroom in its methodological, theoretical, and institutional formulations. In speaking with founding womanist instructors and contemporary womanist scholars, I was able to create an intellectual history. Not only was it useful to teach and learn about the development of womanist methodology, but, through reflection upon the emergence of womanist thought, we have a direct impact on how such approaches are utilized. In sharing my insights with students, I also discovered how valuable it is for us to understand the historical contexts in which our learning models originate, as well as their relationship to theory - which exists not in a vacuum, but within particular discourses that are replicated in the public study of Religion. How gratifying it can be for both students and teachers to explore and to recognize the sources of current academic practices!
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Developing Departmental Conversations about a New Major

Awarded Grant
Japinga, Lynn
Hope College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The primary purpose of this project is to develop a new structure for the religion major in a church-related liberal arts college. It should involve a radical re-thinking of the way the department teaches religion rather than simply tinkering with the details. In order to prepare for this difficult but essential conversation, faculty in the department will meet three times to share syllabi and discuss Stephen Prothero’s Religious Literacy. ...
Proposal abstract :
The primary purpose of this project is to develop a new structure for the religion major in a church-related liberal arts college. It should involve a radical re-thinking of the way the department teaches religion rather than simply tinkering with the details. In order to prepare for this difficult but essential conversation, faculty in the department will meet three times to share syllabi and discuss Stephen Prothero’s Religious Literacy. A Wabash Consultant will then lead the department in a two-day retreat to begin discussion of learning objectives and possible shapes for a new major. The department will then meet 3-6 times over the next year to flesh out the new major.

Learning Abstract :
This grant enabled the faculty of the religion department to work toward developing a new structure for the religion major. After several conversations about the field of religious studies, and after a two day retreat with a consultant, the department decided not to create a new major from the ground up, but instead to adjust our current curriculum to allow students to specialize in Bible, history/theology, or ethics/culture, or to continue with the old major which emphasized breadth of exposure. We found that starting from scratch was a very labor-intensive process that we were not prepared to do. The project was expanded to include a series of dinner meetings with faculty colleagues from other disciplines to discuss faith and vocation. My colleagues and I appreciated the space to discuss important issues and questions in a safe and supportive environment. Such conversations have the potential to build strong bonds among faculty and a deeper sense of vocation.
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Latino Pedagogy: Seeking a Liberative Design for an Urban Faith-Based Two Year College

Awarded Grant
Conde-Frazier, Elizabeth
Esperanza College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Freire’s pedagogy has been used as a theoretical basis for education among minority communities. However, on the practical level a practical design of an institution has not been seen at an institution in the United States. Creating a course that seeks to exemplify a few aspects of a liberative pedagogy does not truly represent a liberative pedagogy because it demands an entire institutional design. This project seeks to explore ...
Proposal abstract :
Freire’s pedagogy has been used as a theoretical basis for education among minority communities. However, on the practical level a practical design of an institution has not been seen at an institution in the United States. Creating a course that seeks to exemplify a few aspects of a liberative pedagogy does not truly represent a liberative pedagogy because it demands an entire institutional design. This project seeks to explore and begin the implementation of a liberative institutional design. The student population at the school is over 90% Latin@ and 60% of the professors are Latin@. The staff is 80% Latin@. A liberative pedagogy in this setting will begin with a definition of a Latin@ pedagogy specific for this educational setting. This project will facilitate a way for faculty, students and staff to discuss the development of a libertive institutional design and to create a plan for implementation over the next 5 years. The information will then be discussed with the provost and with the collegium of deans with the purpose of stimulating a discussion that will inform the curriculum on the main campus.

Learning Abstract :
The project helped us to identify our educational philosophy and to determine the type of context that is necessary for establishing a Freirian teaching learning environment. We were also able to identify our Latinidad in the teaching learning process. Mostly, the project gave us an opportunity to begin to document and determine the reasons for our success with non-traditional, first generation to college minority students. This is important as we continue to evaluate it. One example of this is our graduation rate is 64% while the other major community colleges in the city have graduation rates that range from 6% to 23%. The project helped us begin to determine the reasons for the success and to discuss ways that we might improve this.
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Creating a Culture of Pedagogical Reflection in the Hastings College Department of Philosophy and Religion

Awarded Grant
Deffenbaugh, Daniel
Hastings College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
As in most departments across the country, the religion faculty at Hastings College has had few formal opportunities to reflect critically on our pedagogy, especially from a theoretical perspective. To this end, our proposed project will seek to establish 1) a working reference library that can be utilized for informing teaching practices and 2) opportunities for bi-annual departmental workshops where issues of teaching, learning outcomes, and assessment can be discussed. We will ...
Proposal abstract :
As in most departments across the country, the religion faculty at Hastings College has had few formal opportunities to reflect critically on our pedagogy, especially from a theoretical perspective. To this end, our proposed project will seek to establish 1) a working reference library that can be utilized for informing teaching practices and 2) opportunities for bi-annual departmental workshops where issues of teaching, learning outcomes, and assessment can be discussed. We will also develop a department-specific assessment instrument for evaluating classroom effectiveness.
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Making Menudo in a Stone Soup World: An “other” Reading of Christian Scripture

Awarded Grant
Sánchez, David
Loyola Marymount University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The goals of this project are as follows: 1) A review of the literature produced by contemporary Latino/a biblical scholars to assess the commonalities and differences within them; 2) An analysis of the shared hermeneutic textures and points of differentiation among those scholars; 3) An ethnographic assessment of how these shared and opposing textures play out in the institutions in which we teach; 4) The project will also ask the question if Latino/...
Proposal abstract :
The goals of this project are as follows: 1) A review of the literature produced by contemporary Latino/a biblical scholars to assess the commonalities and differences within them; 2) An analysis of the shared hermeneutic textures and points of differentiation among those scholars; 3) An ethnographic assessment of how these shared and opposing textures play out in the institutions in which we teach; 4) The project will also ask the question if Latino/a storytelling differs in the academy as pertains to tenure status; 5) The composition of a chapter for an edited book.

Learning Abstract :
"Making Menudo in a Stone Soup World: A Latino/a Reading of Christian Scripture" explored the history of biblical hermeneutics, progressive hermeneutical models, and histories of North American cultural experience. The project surfaced shared and non-shared perspectives about hermeneutics in biblical scholarship among Latino/a scholars. The project paid close attention to the role of Latino/a story telling in the classroom and examined how privilege works in the story telling process.
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Reading en conjunto: Strategies for Teaching Biblical Studies Intercontextually

Awarded Grant
Ruiz, Jean-Pierre
St. John's University (Queens)
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach biblical studies latinamente and what difference might it make in teaching undergraduate students who themselves represent a broad range of ethnic and religious diversity? This project will foreground four characteristics of latino/a pedagogies, namely: (1) explicit contextuality; (2) communal construction of knowledge (trabajo en conjunto); (3) inclusivity of other voices and perspectives; and (4) interdisciplinarity. Implemented in the undergraduate Introduction to the Bible course, this will provide ...
Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach biblical studies latinamente and what difference might it make in teaching undergraduate students who themselves represent a broad range of ethnic and religious diversity? This project will foreground four characteristics of latino/a pedagogies, namely: (1) explicit contextuality; (2) communal construction of knowledge (trabajo en conjunto); (3) inclusivity of other voices and perspectives; and (4) interdisciplinarity. Implemented in the undergraduate Introduction to the Bible course, this will provide a framework for introducing students to a field of study that has itself become increasingly complex, interdisciplinary, and intentionally contextual.
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Teaching Latinamente and Liberation Education: A Comparative Study of Service-Learning in University Theological Studies

Awarded Grant
Rosario-Rodriguez, Rubén
Saint Louis University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to provide a comparative analysis of how different faculty members in the Department of Theological Studies (DTS) at Saint Louis University (SLU) incorporate service-learning into their Theology courses. As a Latino faculty member, and participant in the 2008-2009 Colloquy on Teaching for Latino/a Faculty, I am particularly interested in exploring whether or not I can identify a distinctly latinamente approach to employing service-learning as a teaching ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to provide a comparative analysis of how different faculty members in the Department of Theological Studies (DTS) at Saint Louis University (SLU) incorporate service-learning into their Theology courses. As a Latino faculty member, and participant in the 2008-2009 Colloquy on Teaching for Latino/a Faculty, I am particularly interested in exploring whether or not I can identify a distinctly latinamente approach to employing service-learning as a teaching strategy.
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Strategic Pedagogical Intervention in the Latino/a Religious History Doctoral Pipeline

Awarded Grant
Ramirez, Daniel
University of Michigan
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This proposed strategic intervention project seeks to develop pedagogical and curricular resources to attract a new generation of scholars into the field of Latina/o Religious History, and to lay the groundwork for growing a new cohort in the field among current undergraduates, including, especially, Latina/o-identified students. The creation and dissemination of learning and research modules for insertion into syllabi, courses and research programs across the humanistic and social ...
Proposal abstract :
This proposed strategic intervention project seeks to develop pedagogical and curricular resources to attract a new generation of scholars into the field of Latina/o Religious History, and to lay the groundwork for growing a new cohort in the field among current undergraduates, including, especially, Latina/o-identified students. The creation and dissemination of learning and research modules for insertion into syllabi, courses and research programs across the humanistic and social scientific disciplines will expand the pedagogical repertoire of faculty at institutions across the country, and prime them to serve as collaborative recruiters and mentors of potential future historians and scholars of the U.S. Latina/o religious experience.

Learning Abstract :
The project developed pedagogical and curricular resources to attract a new generation of scholars into the field of Latina/o Religious History, and to lay the groundwork for growing a new cohort in the field among current undergraduates, including, especially, Latina/o identified students. The project surveyed the state of Latina/o religious experience in U.S. religious history courses and illustrated a general lack of materials and modules related to the topic. Given the lack of materials in higher education classrooms, the project also included the development of learning and research modules that could be inserted into existing syllabi, courses and research programs across the humanistic and social scientific disciplines in North America.
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Teaching Enhancement Through Learning Projects Proposal

Awarded Grant
Wilhoit, James
Wheaton College - Illinois
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The project is centered around creating a faculty discussion and working group focused on Vella's teaching strategy of learning tasks. Participants will read her book (Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults) and discuss possible ways of including her strategy in their classes. Each member will use this strategy once in a class and will make plans to include at least one learning task in the next semester. ...
Proposal abstract :
The project is centered around creating a faculty discussion and working group focused on Vella's teaching strategy of learning tasks. Participants will read her book (Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults) and discuss possible ways of including her strategy in their classes. Each member will use this strategy once in a class and will make plans to include at least one learning task in the next semester. We will meet for five off-campus lunch meeting of two-hours each.

Learning Abstract :
I learned the immense value that a safe and structured conversation on teaching and learning can be for department colleagues. In our department we tend to each teach separate courses so we do not have ongoing conversations about texts and outcomes.

I think it was very valuable to have a thoughtful book as a conversation partner at our table. Our teaching is something that is very personal and it is easy to become defensive about it, but a third party in the form of good text allowed us to discuss our teaching practices using this outsider as the reference point.

A good meal set such a nice tone for these conversations. Being off-campus also seemed to allow for greater openness and more freedom in exploring very personal issues about how we structure our classes.
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Improving Program Assessment

Awarded Grant
Robinson, Joanne
University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This grant will support the development of a clear statement of learning objectives for religious studies majors and a system of assessment that will help us guide curriculum decisions in the future.
Proposal abstract :
This grant will support the development of a clear statement of learning objectives for religious studies majors and a system of assessment that will help us guide curriculum decisions in the future.

Learning Abstract :
This grant gave our department many tangible results, but the best and most lasting outcomes are intangible: time spent in productive and provocative discussions, in negotiating our identity as a department and within the discipline, and in working toward a common goal. We cannot thank the Wabash Center enough for its support in helping us revise our curriculum to better serve our students. This grant afforded us the luxury of time to focus on defining the learning outcomes that served as the foundation for both revising our curriculum and for building a new system of assessment. I hope that an article about our experience will inspire others to review (or create) learning outcomes that reflect their department's faculty strengths and their expectations of students. Moreover, I hope it will open up discussions about how best to assess what religious studies majors learn during their years in our classrooms.
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Introduction to the Bible: Learning and Teaching in Critical Perspective

Awarded Grant
Penner, Todd
Austin College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
In this proposed project, some of the basic pedagogical and educational premises of an Introduction to the Bible course in a liberal arts context will be examined. In particular, to what degree do such introductory courses mesh with the larger missions of liberal arts colleges, especially with respect to the fostering of critical-thinking and the nurturing of civic engagement. In addition, some of the learning objectives reflected in the content ...
Proposal abstract :
In this proposed project, some of the basic pedagogical and educational premises of an Introduction to the Bible course in a liberal arts context will be examined. In particular, to what degree do such introductory courses mesh with the larger missions of liberal arts colleges, especially with respect to the fostering of critical-thinking and the nurturing of civic engagement. In addition, some of the learning objectives reflected in the content of some of the current textbooks used in introductory courses will be studied alongside the learning objectives in the classes that use these texts in the liberal art schools to clarify some of the basic issues at stake related to learning and teaching in introductory Bible courses.

Learning Abstract :
This project enabled me to learn a tremendous amount about my field in terms of its teaching of the Bible to undergraduates. I have learned that the textbook industry is in many respects driving our curriculum. I have learned that our teaching aims and goals, despite our best efforts, are often co-opted, without our knowing, by our slavish reliance on textbooks in the classroom. Pedagogies of the Bible are still relatively based on a seminary-model, since that is the model that has formed graduate training of the Bible. There is little reflection being given on teaching to undergraduates within a liberal arts context beyond rather general observations, often by people who are not even in the field of religion. In particular, it has become clear that a critical appraisal of the textbooks themselves has to be made before the question of their utility can be engaged. As far as I have discerned so far, critical pedagogy has paid relatively little attention to the textbook. It has focused by in large on the contextual nature of teaching itself (in the relationship of teacher, student, and outside world). These are elements I am currently invested in exploring further.
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Faculty/Student Collaboration: New Perspectives, New Challenges

Awarded Grant
Lanci, John
Stonehill College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project explores a novel form of teaching religion through active learning. Developed from our college’s undergraduate research program, it encourages undergraduates to become junior colleagues and co-learners with the faculty with whom they work. This kind of collaboration utilizes many of the best practices recommended by mainstream scholars in teaching and learning for attaining the most desirable learning outcomes; however, little has been written about this kind of ...
Proposal abstract :
This project explores a novel form of teaching religion through active learning. Developed from our college’s undergraduate research program, it encourages undergraduates to become junior colleagues and co-learners with the faculty with whom they work. This kind of collaboration utilizes many of the best practices recommended by mainstream scholars in teaching and learning for attaining the most desirable learning outcomes; however, little has been written about this kind of collaboration. This project, which will result in a journal article, will further our collective conversation about teaching, raising important questions about the role of the teacher in relation to student learning. Moreover, the co-learner model of collaboration offers a way for students both to address their spiritual concerns and, at the same time, to explore in detail the academic content of our fields.

Learning Abstract :
After reading widely over the past year, it became apparent that there is much more research and theory supporting the idea of faculty/student co-learning and collaboration than I had thought, though few in religious studies are writing about it. I spent five weeks drafting a 10,000 word article on one aspect of my thesis - about bridging the gap between faculty and student expectations in introductory religion classes through the use of active pedagogy. There is a great deal more to be done, and I have begun to outline a number of other articles or essays. I will continue the writing process in the fall semester with another article in which I will argue that mid/late career faculty who utilize engaged pedagogical approaches are well positioned to be particularly effective with the current crop of students, the "millennials."
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Faculty Colloquium: On-Line Teaching and Learning

Awarded Grant
O’Gorman, Robert
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
In the fall 2006 the Institute of Pastoral Studies made the decision not only to begin online teaching in ministerial education but to develop two of our M.A. degrees -- Pastoral Studies and Religious Education as degrees which could be taken totally online. This was a bold initiative. Over the next 12 months several of the faculty undertook intensive preparation for online teaching -- including participation in the Wabash sponsored DEPD 0135: ...
Proposal abstract :
In the fall 2006 the Institute of Pastoral Studies made the decision not only to begin online teaching in ministerial education but to develop two of our M.A. degrees -- Pastoral Studies and Religious Education as degrees which could be taken totally online. This was a bold initiative. Over the next 12 months several of the faculty undertook intensive preparation for online teaching -- including participation in the Wabash sponsored DEPD 0135: TEACHING ONLINE June 4 - July 28, 2007. To date we have offered a full complement of core and elective courses to over 170 students. At this point it is our desire to take two full days in January before the spring 2010 term begins to share our corporate wisdom with this experience. We have set aside January 14 & 15, 2010 to share our best practices in online teaching.

Learning Abstract :
After two and one half years of experience with online teaching to over 170 students, Loyola University's Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) full time and adjunct faculty gathered January 14 and 15th 2010 for an intensive reflection on their experiences. The content/process began with initial sharing from each of the faculty focusing major themes of the on-line experience. A presentation of survey results of the students (especially designed for this colloquium) was followed by discussion correlating faculty and student experiences.

Input on synchronous online teaching was presented and the faculty began a listing of best practices of online teaching. The second day began with an invited presentation by IPS adjunct faculty member Richard Ascough of Queens College, Kingston Ontario on the theory beneath on-line teaching. The faculty then moved to examining how online learning can communicate the distinctive Loyola IPS teaching/learning culture with a focus on community and spiritual formation. The afternoon was devoted to a presentation by the University's Instructional Technology Department dealing with assessment. The last session named the consensus as this faculty moved into the next steps in its corporate approach to online teaching.
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Spirituality on Campus: Faculty and Staff as Models and Mentors for Wellness, Faith, and Values

Awarded Grant
Stratton, Beverly
Augsburg College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This two-year project focuses on ways that the spirituality of faculty and staff, as models and mentors for students, affects how students learn about wellness and about living out their faith commitments, values, and sense of vocation. It will produce a draft journal article and an annotated bibliography of resources related to spirituality, teaching, and learning. The project will also gather faculty and staff at local and regional levels for ...
Proposal abstract :
This two-year project focuses on ways that the spirituality of faculty and staff, as models and mentors for students, affects how students learn about wellness and about living out their faith commitments, values, and sense of vocation. It will produce a draft journal article and an annotated bibliography of resources related to spirituality, teaching, and learning. The project will also gather faculty and staff at local and regional levels for conversations about these matters.

Learning Abstract :
Through the grant, I organized a retreat for faculty and staff colleagues at Augsburg as well as co-facilitating a conversation and then an interactive workshop on "The Spiritual Landscape of Teaching and Learning" at two Upper Midwest regional AAR/SBL meetings. These three venues provided sacred space and time for colleagues within and beyond my college to engage in authentic, deep conversations that facilitate essential reflection and renewal. I was reminded that faculty and staff are hungry for "conversations that matter" that help us to get re-grounded, to see one another as people, and to ponder some of life's important questions. I also made time to learn about and experiment with a variety of strategies for my own personal renewal and healing at mid-career; these included a holistic spirituality course, resilience training, and reading about forgiveness, managing stress, anger, and communication.
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Assessing Teaching and Learning in Terminal M.A. Programs in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Berkwitz, Stephen
Missouri State University
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Terminal M.A. programs in Religious Studies offer advanced coursework to a diverse range of students in the field. Balancing the interests of students seeking specialized knowledge to pursue doctoral degrees and other students seeking general knowledge for other careers and for personal development, these programs must often develop courses of graduate study for diverse student constituencies with more limited resources than in institutions that grant Ph.D.s in ...
Proposal abstract :
Terminal M.A. programs in Religious Studies offer advanced coursework to a diverse range of students in the field. Balancing the interests of students seeking specialized knowledge to pursue doctoral degrees and other students seeking general knowledge for other careers and for personal development, these programs must often develop courses of graduate study for diverse student constituencies with more limited resources than in institutions that grant Ph.D.s in Religious Studies. This grant proposal seeks to facilitate the intentional assessment of teaching and learning in terminal M.A. programs at a two and a half day workshop for graduate program directors or appropriate substitutes to engage in focused and collaborative discussions on the pedagogical goals and methods in terminal M.A. programs in Religious Studies. The anticipated outcomes of this workshop include the formation and assessment of effective learning goals and teaching strategies to enhance graduate education at the Masters level in the field.

Learning Abstract :
The workshop titled "Assessing Teaching and Learning in Terminal M.A. Programs in Religious Studies" and sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion enabled faculty from twelve different M.A. programs to meet and discuss our shared interests and challenges in enhancing the educational experience for terminal M.A. students. The goal of helping faculty to assess the curricula and pedagogy in their own M.A. programs alongside other programs like theirs was clearly met. The sharing of ideas and perspectives on how to teach diverse student constituencies and how to meet the educational goals of such students was stimulating and helpful. The discussions regarding teaching gateway courses, independent study courses, and split-level courses produced practical ideas for all participants to try out and share with their respective colleagues. And the conversation we had about exit rituals encouraged each of us to assess how our own departments link degree requirements with the larger goal of effective teaching and learning throughout a student's Master's program. Despite the many differences to be found across our programs, we found many more commonalities that gave us a basis for sharing advice, encouragement, and even sympathy with each other.
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Provoking Justice: Community Engagement and Teaching Religion

Awarded Grant
Pippin, Tina
Agnes Scott College
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
During my twenty years of teaching at a small liberal arts college for women I have built various community partnerships through short-term field trips and long-term programs. These partnerships range from campus (departmental process; living wage campaign; teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to Atlanta (local human rights organizations; a homeless shelter for women and children; a teen parenting program with a local high school; a seminary teaching intern ...
Proposal abstract :
During my twenty years of teaching at a small liberal arts college for women I have built various community partnerships through short-term field trips and long-term programs. These partnerships range from campus (departmental process; living wage campaign; teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to Atlanta (local human rights organizations; a homeless shelter for women and children; a teen parenting program with a local high school; a seminary teaching intern program) I believe that the long-term relationships with community partners provide the sites for transformative learning. In this sabbatical project I want to investigate more deeply the scholarship of teaching social justice and religion, analyze the connections between the partners and transformative learning by students (and teacher), and identify ways to expand the academic experiences both theoretically and practically. I am planning a book project tentatively entitled, “Provoking Justice: Community Engagement and Teaching Religion,” based on these experiences as they are in conversation with pedagogical theories.

Learning Abstract :
From my reading in pedagogies and theatre of the oppressed and other critical, feminist, and popular education theories and practices, I learned the importance of dreaming big, of pushing the impossible. What this means more concretely is developing questions about faculty power in relation to democratic ideals. Our departmental model is about offering an alternative in higher education - one that is committed to living out more radical pedagogical practices in my classroom and my department. One outcome is the current movement in our department's student leadership group out of our department and into the larger institutional system. The witness of grassroots teachers in various social movements and alternative models for social transformation offer important hints about movement building in unjust systems. There are failures and successes in the journey that are always centered in ethical relationship - in the classroom, with community partners, in a web of relationships.
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Students Finding Success: Learning to Use Theological Archives at Whitworth

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project will promote student success in using theological archival resources in the Whitworth University Archives. Through a series of workshops and meetings, the archivist will collaborate with five theology faculty members to design successful research assignments. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the archivist will work with students in these faculty’s courses as they successfully carry out their research. A final de-briefing session will provide for discussion of ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will promote student success in using theological archival resources in the Whitworth University Archives. Through a series of workshops and meetings, the archivist will collaborate with five theology faculty members to design successful research assignments. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the archivist will work with students in these faculty’s courses as they successfully carry out their research. A final de-briefing session will provide for discussion of assignments and evaluation of project success. The goals for this project are taken from Initiative #2 in Whitworth University’s Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, which is: “Strengthen Whitworth’s intellectual vitality through innovative pedagogy, experiential learning, academic rigor, faculty research, and personal attention toward students.”

Learning Abstract :
The Whitworth University Archivist conducted a year long project entitled "Students Finding Success: Learning to Use Theological Archives at Whitworth." This project was designed to promote student success in using theological archival resources, through the development of collaborative relationships between the archivist and Theology Department faculty members. This collaboration took place during the development stage of a given faculty member's research assignment, when the faculty member's goals for that assignment were matched with carefully selected resources in the University Archives. In this way, student success was made attainable from the start, since both faculty member and archivist knew that students would find appropriate material to complete their research. Favorable comments were received throughout the project from both students and faculty, and final assessment was carried out through analysis of students' successfully completed research assignments. As a result, a collaborative model for development of research assignments has been established at Whitworth University.
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Teaching Contemplative Traditions: A Workshop

Awarded Grant
Fort, Andrew
Texas Christian University
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
We propose to offer a workshop in spring 2011 on critical pedagogy related to teaching contemplative traditions in liberal arts university settings, primarily for those in the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion. The purpose will be to converse about philosophical, methodological and pedagogical issues raised in teaching such courses and offering relevant and appropriate exercises, to share practices and methods that will enhance student learning, and to create ...
Proposal abstract :
We propose to offer a workshop in spring 2011 on critical pedagogy related to teaching contemplative traditions in liberal arts university settings, primarily for those in the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion. The purpose will be to converse about philosophical, methodological and pedagogical issues raised in teaching such courses and offering relevant and appropriate exercises, to share practices and methods that will enhance student learning, and to create a supportive network of teachers in the region for an ongoing discussion about teaching contemplative traditions. We plan to gather 12-15 people at various stages of their careers and with different levels of experience in dealing with contemplative teaching.

Learning Abstract :
Aside from the value of the readings and information exchange in conversation, nearly all the most significant learnings in this workshop were re-learnings. First was the importance of "group ecology:" the ability to start fast and go deep due to 1) small group size, 2) respect and trust from collegial humility and support, 3) desire to learn without expending energy on scholarly positioning, and (critically) 4) the right space. Also crucial was to prepare extensively and build carefully, consulting at each step. Other key aspects to success were attending to definitional/category issues from the start and a group sense of excitement at breaking ground regionally and nationally. We look to continue the open conversation and community formation in the near future.
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Teaching Writing as a Theological Practice: A Meeting to Plan a Colloquium on Teaching Writing in the Theological Disciplines

Awarded Grant
Odell, Margaret
St. Olaf College
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the planning meeting on November 19, 2010, is to design a week-long colloquium on teaching writing as a theological practice. In reflecting on our own theological writing during a workshop in summer 2010, a group of ten theologians from theological seminaries, undergraduate, and graduate programs in religion, have identified practical and substantive problems with the teaching of writing in their disciplines. On a practical level, current strategies of teaching students ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the planning meeting on November 19, 2010, is to design a week-long colloquium on teaching writing as a theological practice. In reflecting on our own theological writing during a workshop in summer 2010, a group of ten theologians from theological seminaries, undergraduate, and graduate programs in religion, have identified practical and substantive problems with the teaching of writing in their disciplines. On a practical level, current strategies of teaching students to write for academic audiences often do not help students prepare either to face drastic changes in the field of academic publishing or to connect to wider audiences. Moreover, academic writing may actually hinder students’ personal development as theologians by discouraging the cultivation of their own authentic theological voice. In a week-long colloquium on teaching writing in June 2011 at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, we will address these concerns by developing teaching strategies to encourage greater flexibility and depth in student writing. During the November 19 meeting, we five members of the group will articulate specific objectives for the colloquium, design its sessions, and plan for future follow-up, evaluation, and dissemination.

Learning Abstract :
In our planning for a week-long colloquium on teaching writing as a theological practice, we have raised four questions about preparing theological students to write engagingly and intelligently for audiences beyond the academic disciplines. We ask to what extent writing theology is a process of spiritual formation; what attitudes are conducive to effective theological writing; how to cultivate the integration of substantive, critical learning with personal, honest writing; and finally, how to prepare students for rapid changes in the field of academic and trade publishing. We plan to address these questions by reflecting on our own experience as teaching-writers as well as by critically examining the multiple and overlapping contexts of the writing assignments we create for our students. In addressing these questions, we seek to integrate personal, spiritual and disciplinary modes of knowing and communicating, all within rapidly changing publishing and ecclesial contexts.
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The Millennial Generation in Religious and Theological Studies Classrooms

Awarded Grant
Marchal, Joseph
Ball State University
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
While scholarship about the “millennial generation” and its impact on higher education abounds, a significant gap in the literature exists when it comes to examining the implications of the new millennial conditions for teaching and learning in the disciplines of religious and theological studies. This project aims to: 1) map out the available literature to illuminate the distinct characteristics of the millennial generation and the institutional challenges of teaching in the ...
Proposal abstract :
While scholarship about the “millennial generation” and its impact on higher education abounds, a significant gap in the literature exists when it comes to examining the implications of the new millennial conditions for teaching and learning in the disciplines of religious and theological studies. This project aims to: 1) map out the available literature to illuminate the distinct characteristics of the millennial generation and the institutional challenges of teaching in the new millennial conditions; 2) begin developing teaching resources to address the challenges and opportunities entailed in teaching this generation in religious/theological studies; and 3) continue collaborative work for a larger grant proposal on a related topic. This grant will build upon previous work on the topic of teaching millennials, begun during the 2009-10 Pre-Tenure Workshop for College/University Faculty by bringing together five workshop participants at the AAR in November 2010 for a one-day workshop (Monday afternoon-midday Tuesday).

Learning Abstract :
According to a range of sources, the students entering North American universities today - often dubbed the "millennial generation" - come from a world in which they have always been connected. The impact of these conditions for teaching and learning remains largely unknown, and the emerging literature to this effect is at least passionate if not consistent. Understanding the conditions and characteristics of millennial students, such as their degree of media literacies, concepts of multiple integrated identities, and altered experience of embodiment, should be a priority for professors of theology and religious studies. Not only do these students increasingly define the context of our teaching, but more importantly many of the learning objectives of theology and religious studies also uniquely position teachers in these disciplines to engage students in developing a critical perspective on this millennial context.
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Addressing Students’ Religious Perspectives in Ohio Northern University’s Undergraduate Classrooms

Awarded Grant
Morrison, Suzanne
Ohio Northern University
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Following up on the first session of the 2010-2011 Wabash Center Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom, my study purports to discern (1) the extent to which faculty members at Ohio Northern University are cognizant of their students’ religious backgrounds and understandings and (2) how that awareness affects their teaching and assessment of students. By introducing the topic on the Ohio Northern campus for the first time, this study should ...
Proposal abstract :
Following up on the first session of the 2010-2011 Wabash Center Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom, my study purports to discern (1) the extent to which faculty members at Ohio Northern University are cognizant of their students’ religious backgrounds and understandings and (2) how that awareness affects their teaching and assessment of students. By introducing the topic on the Ohio Northern campus for the first time, this study should inspire more of the faculty to take seriously their students’ religious commitments and to design and present their courses accordingly. The study also might remind faculty members to consider their own religious perspectives and reflect on the impact that those may have on their instruction and evaluation of students.

Learning Abstract :
My survey of undergraduate faculty members at Ohio Northern University inquired whether they perceived that students' religious perspectives impacted their classroom learning. I expected many affirmative responses from colleagues teaching in disciplines that overtly address philosophical/religious issues or introducing subjects such as evolution and homosexuality that provoke controversy with some religious individuals. This prediction was accurate. Given our conservative setting, I anticipated that the majority of faculty contending that religious commitment influenced learning would allege that students' theological perspectives often impeded their learning. Findings here were less clear, as some respondents maintained that religious perspectives enhanced students' understanding and strengthened their work ethic. This project raised Ohio Northern's awareness of the effect of religious worldviews on students' learning and provoked interest in additional surveys on faculty religious commitments and on students' self-perceptions. It also gave rise to a discussion group addressing broader matters of pedagogy, faculty mission, and institutional identity.
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Pedagogical Issues in the Teaching of Eastern Christianity

Awarded Grant
Penn, Michael
Mount Holyoke College
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The five college consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts is in the planning process of establishing the United States’ first multi-institutional certificate program in Eastern Christianity. Prior to focusing on this program’s curriculum, we are hoping to have a series of three dinner meetings to discuss the larger pedagogical issues of teaching Eastern Christianity in a Western context. These would be dedicated to ...
Proposal abstract :
The five college consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts is in the planning process of establishing the United States’ first multi-institutional certificate program in Eastern Christianity. Prior to focusing on this program’s curriculum, we are hoping to have a series of three dinner meetings to discuss the larger pedagogical issues of teaching Eastern Christianity in a Western context. These would be dedicated to addressing the classroom challenges and learning goals shared by those of us who teach undergraduate courses in Eastern Orthodoxy. These three meetings would thus allow area faculty to first discuss the pedagogical underpinnings of this new program before later meetings that will focus more on program logistics.

Learning Abstract :
A series of three dinner conversations allowed faculty from the five college consortium to discuss the pedagogical challenges and benefits of teaching Eastern Christianity in a primarily Western Context. They also provided the impetus for further collaborations as we explore ways to better coordinate our teaching and consider the possibility of implementing the U.S.'s first, multi-institutional program on Eastern Christianity. Two topics were of particular note: 1) concerns with how to balance claims concerning the importance of Eastern traditions for the history of Christianity without resorting to an orientalist discourse of Eastern "otherness"; and 2) discussions of how greater focus on the orthodox churches could lead to a concept of "global Christianity" broader than its current configuration that often concentrates primarily upon Western missionary efforts. Instead, greater attention to the long history of the orthodox churches could lead to a fuller representation of Christian diversity from its origins to the present.
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Virginia Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, and Culture

Awarded Grant
Mathewes, Charles
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary classrooms provides distinct challenges to young faculty. Faculty face questions of how to present primary theological and religious texts, including how best to promote deep learning among students who often hold normative claims about the course matter. This colloquium will bring together graduate students and faculty for reflection on teaching religion in today’s pluralistic classroom. Students will present research on confessional commitments in pluralistic societies ...
Proposal abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary classrooms provides distinct challenges to young faculty. Faculty face questions of how to present primary theological and religious texts, including how best to promote deep learning among students who often hold normative claims about the course matter. This colloquium will bring together graduate students and faculty for reflection on teaching religion in today’s pluralistic classroom. Students will present research on confessional commitments in pluralistic societies and will engage in roundtable discussions on teaching persona and course design. UVA faculty who have wide experience teaching a religiously, and otherwise, diverse group of students will moderate discussions with graduate students who will soon teach in a variety of pluralistic settings. A grant from the Wabash Center will enable funding of travel stipends for participants from a variety of programs and meals at which participants will be encouraged to continue discussions between faculty and graduate students.

Learning Abstract :
Thirty graduate students and seven faculty members from seven colleges and universities participated in the Virginia Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, and Culture. Participants presented current research on the topic "Confessional Commitments in Pluralistic Publics" and discussed practical approaches to teaching religious texts in a pluralistic classroom. An associate of the University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center facilitated round-table discussions on Perry's stages of intellectual questioning and commitments addressing how undergraduate students engage texts in theology and religious studies courses and how students integrate authors' perspectives with the beliefs, questions, and skepticisms they bring into the classroom. Considering sample syllabi and classroom situations, discussants shared best practices for facilitating deep learning of religious subject matter, handling diverse reactions to course material, and designing courses and syllabi to encourage student learning. Participants gave particular attention to the way students in religious studies courses interact with texts, instructors, and fellow students.
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Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Jensen, Molly
Southwestern University
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The “Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place” project enables Southwestern University religion faculty to collaboratively develop, implement, and evaluate place-based ecological learning. As part of the project, religion faculty will research and review other ecological learning and ethnobotany models before adapting or creating campus experiential learning sites and activities for Southwestern religion courses. The goal of the pedagogical innovation is to effectively engage students in the interconnections between religious systems and ...
Proposal abstract :
The “Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place” project enables Southwestern University religion faculty to collaboratively develop, implement, and evaluate place-based ecological learning. As part of the project, religion faculty will research and review other ecological learning and ethnobotany models before adapting or creating campus experiential learning sites and activities for Southwestern religion courses. The goal of the pedagogical innovation is to effectively engage students in the interconnections between religious systems and the natural world in order to prepare students to thoughtfully encounter religious diversity and to nurture the ecological diversity in which human culture is rooted.

Learning Abstract :
Working collaboratively with one another, a conservation biologist, and plant specialists, the religion faculty developed campus nature walks and ecological learning sites. These place-based learning elements were incorporated into religion courses to heighten student awareness of their ecological context and to encourage critical reflection on the role of place in diverse religious expressions. In response to project activities, most students indicated an interest in becoming more deeply engaged in local ecology and community efforts. Student research and writing assignments demonstrated an increased critical awareness of the influence of place and the impact of ecological change or migration on religious rituals, narratives, and identity. The project results suggest that grounded and engaged learning promotes student interest in continued community engagement and enhances skills for examining dynamic and diverse religious forms.
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Blended Learning Initiative

Awarded Grant
Grosz, Tanya
Northwestern College
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Northwestern College is creating a format in which faculty members can explore their pedagogical approaches. In recent months, NWC has been investigating the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning. Blended learning is a pedagogical approach that integrates online technology with face-to-face techniques to create an optimal learning experience. Through training, NWC will focus on faculty’s exploration and inquiry of blended learning and how it may or may not be ...
Proposal abstract :
Northwestern College is creating a format in which faculty members can explore their pedagogical approaches. In recent months, NWC has been investigating the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning. Blended learning is a pedagogical approach that integrates online technology with face-to-face techniques to create an optimal learning experience. Through training, NWC will focus on faculty’s exploration and inquiry of blended learning and how it may or may not be incorporated in their teaching. The adoption of blended learning is an open question rather than a resolved question. Six to eight professors in the Biblical and Theological Studies and Christian Ministries Departments will participate in a two-week intensive period of inquiry followed by ongoing support as they incorporate their newly-acquired knowledge in existing religious courses. This project will contribute to the larger scholarly community’s understanding of best practices in technology and pedagogy, instructor training, and technology’s impact on student engagement.

Learning Abstract :
Northwestern College created a two-week blended learning workshop as a professional development opportunity during which faculty members could explore their pedagogical approaches and consider the use of a blended learning format. Blended learning is a pedagogical approach that integrates online technology with face-to-face techniques to create an optimal learning experience. Through training, NWC focused on faculty members' exploration and inquiry of blended learning and how it may or may not be incorporated in their teaching. Six professors in the Biblical and Theological Studies and Christian Ministries Departments participated in a two-week intensive period of training and inquiry followed by ongoing support as they incorporated their newly-acquired knowledge about blended learning into courses that they redesigned. This project contributed to the larger scholarly community's understanding of best practices in technology and pedagogy, instructor training, and technology's impact on student engagement.
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Faculty Conversations and Strategic Planning for a New Major in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Lee
East Carolina University
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This grant will primarily fund a four-day workshop for the four core faculty of the Religious Studies Program at East Carolina University, the focus of which will be the evolution of the Religious Studies Program from its current existence under the Multidisciplinary Program to a stand-alone major in the fall of 2011. The workshop will provide a venue for discussions on the direction of the program as well as facilitate faculty ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will primarily fund a four-day workshop for the four core faculty of the Religious Studies Program at East Carolina University, the focus of which will be the evolution of the Religious Studies Program from its current existence under the Multidisciplinary Program to a stand-alone major in the fall of 2011. The workshop will provide a venue for discussions on the direction of the program as well as facilitate faculty collegiality. In addition, the remaining grant money will serve as seed funding to bring to the ECU campus in the fall of 2011 Dr. Tim Renick, Professor and Associate Provost for Academic Programs at Georgia State University, who successfully developed a department of Religious Studies at that institution. He has agreed in preliminary conversations to consult with religious studies faculty, contributing faculty from other departments, and key administrators about the advancement of the Religious Studies degree at ECU.

Learning Abstract :
The RS Program at ECU, like many of our peer institutions, struggles to find ways to thrive in difficult financial circumstances. Thus, the theme of the conversations from our grant proposal shifted from planning for a new major to strategic conversations on how to thrive under our current structure until the economic situation improves. The summer faculty retreat enabled us to chronicle the history of RS at ECU, to brainstorm ways to raise the profile of the programs, to address misconceptions about RS at ECU and to negotiate for greater autonomy for RS as a sub-unit of the Philosophy Department. The brainstorming ideas of the summer developed into systematic planning in the fall with the consultative visit from Dr. Timothy Renick, whose expertise provided us with prioritized goals for the future success of RS: expansion of the major, cultivation of external funding, and collaboration efforts with local and regional colleagues.
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Theatre as Pedagogy in Religious Studies: Workshop at the 2011 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting

Awarded Grant
Pippin, Tina|Falcone, John
Agnes Scott College
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Kinesthetic ways of knowing and teaching have been largely neglected in teaching religion and theology. This workshop provides the space for learning and encountering theatre techniques of improvisation, characterization, and acting as ways of embodying religious and theological knowledges and energizing the classroom. According to our proposed facilitator Victoria Rue, “Theatre in the classroom signals the body as a way of knowing.” Body, voice, story, knowledge, action, relationship, conflict, oppression, ...
Proposal abstract :
Kinesthetic ways of knowing and teaching have been largely neglected in teaching religion and theology. This workshop provides the space for learning and encountering theatre techniques of improvisation, characterization, and acting as ways of embodying religious and theological knowledges and energizing the classroom. According to our proposed facilitator Victoria Rue, “Theatre in the classroom signals the body as a way of knowing.” Body, voice, story, knowledge, action, relationship, conflict, oppression, diversity, community are all part of the religious and theological world. They are also part of the religion and theology classroom, yet traditional pedagogical models often overlook these aspects. We propose an afternoon pre-conference session at the 2011 AAR/SBL Annual Meetings on theatre as pedagogy to engage the possibilities for transformative learning.
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Pedagogies for Engaged and Actively-Learning Students in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Zeller, Benjamin
Brevard College
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Our project fosters the implementation in the religious studies classroom of our college’s new commitment to institutionalize active learning and engagement strategies. Through workshops and personal reflection, we will identify and disseminate “best practices” related to enhancing student presence, preparation, and professionalism; foster our commitment to achieving distinction in the use of active-learning pedagogies; incorporate those active learning pedagogies in our classrooms; and ultimately increase the measures of student ...
Proposal abstract :
Our project fosters the implementation in the religious studies classroom of our college’s new commitment to institutionalize active learning and engagement strategies. Through workshops and personal reflection, we will identify and disseminate “best practices” related to enhancing student presence, preparation, and professionalism; foster our commitment to achieving distinction in the use of active-learning pedagogies; incorporate those active learning pedagogies in our classrooms; and ultimately increase the measures of student presence, participation, and professionalism.

Learning Abstract :
Through workshops and personal reflection, we identified and disseminated "best practices" related to enhancing student presence, preparation, and professionalism; fostered our commitment to achieving distinction in the use of active-learning pedagogies; and incorporated those active learning pedagogies in our classrooms. While each member of the project adopted different techniques and tried different approaches, all of us agreed that engaged students are those who are actively learning, grappling with the materials involved in the course, and critically assessing what they encounter. Our approaches to student engagement encouraged such active learning, asking students to take charge of their own learning.
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Students Finding More Success: Theological Information Literacy at Whitworth

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “Does collaboration between librarian/archivist and theology faculty lead to success for students as they research and write papers for their theology classes?” It will expand upon Whitworth’s 2010 project, for which archivist and professor collaboration led to student success when working with archival theological resources. This project will address the entire spectrum of information literacy by also instructing students in the use of secondary ...
Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “Does collaboration between librarian/archivist and theology faculty lead to success for students as they research and write papers for their theology classes?” It will expand upon Whitworth’s 2010 project, for which archivist and professor collaboration led to student success when working with archival theological resources. This project will address the entire spectrum of information literacy by also instructing students in the use of secondary theological resources. There are two main goals, derived from both the Whitworth Theology Department: “Students will receive an introduction to the use of primary and secondary source texts,” and the Library: “The Library provides personnel, services, facilities, and instructional programs that promote effective use of information resources.” Through a series of meetings, the librarian/archivist will collaborate with theology faculty to design successful assignments. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the librarian/archivist will work with students as they successfully conduct their research.

Learning Abstract :
The Whitworth University Archivist conducted a year long project entitled "Students Finding More Success: Theological Information Literacy at Whitworth." This project was designed to promote student success in using theological primary and secondary resources, through the development of collaborative relationships between the Librarian/Archivist and Theology Department faculty members. This collaboration took place during the development stage of a given faculty member's research assignment, when the faculty member's goals for that assignment were matched with carefully selected resources in the Whitworth University Library and Archives. In this way, student success was made attainable from the start, since both faculty member and Librarian/Archivist knew that students would find appropriate material to complete their research. Favorable comments were received throughout the project from both students and faculty, and final assessment was carried out through analysis of students' successfully completed research assignments. As a result, a collaborative model for development of research assignments has been established at Whitworth University.
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The Pedagogy of Comparative Scripture

Awarded Grant
Royalty, Robert
Wabash College
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to study the pedagogical issues in teaching comparative scripture in an independent liberal arts setting. As a professor of biblical studies, I have developed extensive experience in teaching the scriptures my mostly Christian students consider sacred. In my classes to this point, the main challenge has been introducing the historical-critical method to new students. This method often raises intense existential anxiety in some Christian ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to study the pedagogical issues in teaching comparative scripture in an independent liberal arts setting. As a professor of biblical studies, I have developed extensive experience in teaching the scriptures my mostly Christian students consider sacred. In my classes to this point, the main challenge has been introducing the historical-critical method to new students. This method often raises intense existential anxiety in some Christian students. A comparative approach will introduce a range of new issues for me and my students in addition to the challenge of critical study of one’s own scriptures: facile reactions to what is “true” and “false”; students’ tendency to assimilate comparative problems rather than critically examine differences; the problem of introducing new and “exotic” religious traditions; and the controversial politics of Islam in our society. I propose here to study these pedagogical problems by researching the literature on teaching and learning and conversations with Gene Gallagher and other scholars.

Learning Abstract :
My goals for the project were to become more familiar with the Quran and the teaching of the Quran. The activities included (1) funded time for reading in the literature of pedagogies of comparative scripture and teaching the Quran; Quranic studies; and the history of late antiquity, including the origins of Islam; (2) travel to Yale, NYU, and Connecticut College to meet with a variety of scholars to discuss critical problems in teaching Bible and Quran. This grant oriented me to subfields around the study of the Quran, comparative scriptures, Bible and Quran, and history of Islam. Placing my academic interests within these subfields has been important for understanding how to teach comparative scripture. I have also learned how recent critical developments in the study of the Quran and early Islam have reconfigured the standard, traditional accounts of Muḥammad's life and work and the origins of the Quran and Islam itself. 2/15/20132/15/2013
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California Local Religion Projects: When the Community Is the Classroom

Awarded Grant
McCarthy, Kate|Lennon, Patricia
California State University - Chico
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
We seek to improve religious studies pedagogy by engaging students in research in local religious communities that is relevant and accessible to the public. Student ethnographic research will be showcased in a media-rich digital map of Northern California containing oral histories, video documentaries and other records of local religious life. We also aim to connect with other California religion faculty who are similarly involved in local religions research and civically ...
Proposal abstract :
We seek to improve religious studies pedagogy by engaging students in research in local religious communities that is relevant and accessible to the public. Student ethnographic research will be showcased in a media-rich digital map of Northern California containing oral histories, video documentaries and other records of local religious life. We also aim to connect with other California religion faculty who are similarly involved in local religions research and civically engaged pedagogy. We seek funding to (1) host a two-day conference of California scholars working on projects on local religion and civic dialogue to create networks of communication and help develop civically engaged religious studies pedagogy by engaging students in this research; and (2) to build a lab that will allow students to develop skills in the digital presentation of their research; and (3) to build a website on local religion that serves as a resource for regional constituencies.

Learning Abstract :
This project funded a two-day conference which brought together 20 scholars from 6 different California universities who were working on similar questions related to the study of local religion and its connection to student engagement and community-academy partnerships. We discussed the challenges and benefits of student participation in research on local religion; explored specific projects on "mapping" religions using Google maps and similar technologies; and examined broader questions about how to quantify religious engagement in an era of hybrid religious identity. Five conclusions we reached as a result of the conference were (1) that counting religious populations is hard; (2) that mapping them is harder, especially for undergraduates; (3) that religious identity is complex and increasingly hybridized; (4) that public religious literacy is low; and (5) that partnerships among scholars and public constituencies are good for both students and local communities.
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Pathways to Contemplative Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Fort, Andrew
Texas Christian University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
In a four-day workshop at Rice University, up to 15 scholars from the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion will meet to work on pedagogical issues relating to teaching contemplative studies in liberal arts settings. Participants have contributed examples of effective teaching strategies, research findings, and ideas for discussion to the workshop organizer and facilitator over the past year. These are the foundation for the sessions scheduled for each ...
Proposal abstract :
In a four-day workshop at Rice University, up to 15 scholars from the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion will meet to work on pedagogical issues relating to teaching contemplative studies in liberal arts settings. Participants have contributed examples of effective teaching strategies, research findings, and ideas for discussion to the workshop organizer and facilitator over the past year. These are the foundation for the sessions scheduled for each day. The workshop’s purpose is to generate an ongoing inquiry into teaching about traditions of contemplation and develop best practices for “contemplative pedagogy.” The workshop will improve participants’ ability to integrate contemplative practices and traditions into their teaching, argue for the importance of teaching contemplative practices as part of religious studies pedagogy in their home institutions, and present contemplative traditions and practices effectively to students.

Learning Abstract :
This workshop increased participants' knowledge about contemplative practices, ability to define relevant issues and concepts carefully, and capacity to integrate contemplative practices and traditions into their teaching as well as to present them effectively to students. We came to better understand the interplay of how mind and body affect and are affected by contemplative practices, and how visual arts can be better integrated into contemplative pedagogy. We continued to create a supportive network of contemplative teachers in our region and to refine the conversation about effectively making the case of the importance of teaching contemplative theory and practice as part of religious studies pedagogy in our home institutions. The workshop succeeded through extensive and careful preparation, shared readings, attention to definitional/category issues throughout, much information exchange, face-to-face engaged and respectful conversation, collegial humility and support, and a group sense of excitement at breaking ground regionally and nationally.
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Dominican Teaching And Dominican Tradition in The Liberal Arts Studies Core Seminars

Awarded Grant
Raab, Joseph
Siena Heights University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to support a three day workshop and follow up conversations for faculty teaching in the new, innovative Liberal Arts Studies (LAS) core seminar courses. These seminars explicitly aim to engage students and faculty in the conversation, or the dialogue, that characterizes Dominican pedagogy and to develop understanding of Dominican tradition and its values of community, truth, contemplation and justice. This workshop will allow faculty to explore and ...
Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to support a three day workshop and follow up conversations for faculty teaching in the new, innovative Liberal Arts Studies (LAS) core seminar courses. These seminars explicitly aim to engage students and faculty in the conversation, or the dialogue, that characterizes Dominican pedagogy and to develop understanding of Dominican tradition and its values of community, truth, contemplation and justice. This workshop will allow faculty to explore and discover the unique ways that major figures and events from the Dominican tradition engage and elucidate these general values. More importantly, it will allow faculty members who will be teaching LAS core seminar courses to explore distinctive dimensions of Dominican pedagogy and to consider ways of integrating those into their own teaching. Participants will be afforded the space and time to discuss syllabi construction for the Liberal Arts Core seminars, and teaching strategies for effectively engaging students in the Dominican tradition and its values.

Learning Abstract :
The faculty participants in the workshops funded by the Wabash Center grant learned a great deal about the history and personalities that comprise the Dominican tradition and developed a deeper appreciation for it. Furthermore, by reflecting on the tradition's values, and the order's governance model and the role of disputatio within the tradition, teachers were able to explore and develop ways that the tradition could inform their teaching strategies and course design. Those same teachers were then able to collaborate on the construction of new seminar courses built around themes drawn from Dominican tradition that comprise the new Liberal Arts core curriculum at Siena Heights University. The project initiated what we expect to be a fruitful and sustainable conversation germane to our institutional mission and identity.
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Preparing Graduate Students to Teach Religion in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

Awarded Grant
Benn, James
McMaster University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary institutions in Canada poses unique challenges in the North American academic environment. Because of the large size of many Canadian institutions and low faculty to student ratios in Humanities and Social Sciences, most undergraduate teaching in Religious Studies takes the form of large lecture courses—possibly as many as 300–400 students in first-year courses, maybe reaching 50–100 at the third year, and small classes only in the fourth ...
Proposal abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary institutions in Canada poses unique challenges in the North American academic environment. Because of the large size of many Canadian institutions and low faculty to student ratios in Humanities and Social Sciences, most undergraduate teaching in Religious Studies takes the form of large lecture courses—possibly as many as 300–400 students in first-year courses, maybe reaching 50–100 at the third year, and small classes only in the fourth year. Graduate students in Religious Studies need to be prepared to teach effectively in these large courses, to deploy with confidence in-class materials, assignments, online elements, etc., and to utilize any support in the form of TAs or markers. We propose a workshop that will explore the challenges facing the new undergraduate teacher of religion and will devise a set of best practices that could be adopted in training teachers as part of their graduate education.

Learning Abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary institutions in Canada poses unique challenges in the North American academic environment. Because of the large size of many Canadian institutions and low faculty to student ratios in Humanities and Social Sciences, most undergraduate teaching in Religious Studies takes the form of large lecture courses - possibly as many as 300-400 students in first-year courses, maybe reaching 50-100 at the third year, and small classes only in the fourth year. Graduate students in Religious Studies need to be prepared to teach effectively in these large courses, to deploy with confidence in-class materials, assignments, online elements, etc., and to utilize any support in the form of TAs or markers. Preparing students to become effective teachers of religion requires developing best practices in three areas: the training and support for new and current TAs; professional development; and the departmental culture of teaching and learning.
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Religious Leadership Formation in an Inter-Religious Context

Awarded Grant
Peace, Jennifer|Rose, Or
Hebrew College
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Over the last several years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC) – immediate neighbors – have developed a variety of innovative inter-religious programs for our school communities and for the public. One key pedagogic practice guiding our efforts at co-formation has been havruta (from the Aramaic word for “tie together”). This traditional form of Jewish peer learning involves partners meeting over a sacred text, and reading and interpreting together. ...
Proposal abstract :
Over the last several years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC) – immediate neighbors – have developed a variety of innovative inter-religious programs for our school communities and for the public. One key pedagogic practice guiding our efforts at co-formation has been havruta (from the Aramaic word for “tie together”). This traditional form of Jewish peer learning involves partners meeting over a sacred text, and reading and interpreting together. This dialogical model encourages holistic engagement in which participants help each other in their intellectual and spiritual growth. This grant project would provide ANTS and HC the opportunity to reflect on the role havruta learning has played and can play in the formation of our students, faculty, and institutions. The grant would support analysis of the use of havruta in our inter-religious work to date, and the refinement and expansion of this educational model – both its theory and practice – through faculty development.

Learning Abstract :
Through our grant, we learned that there is genuine interest among the vast majority of the faculty at our schools in advancing the interreligious educational work we have been developing over the last decade. Our colleagues are committed to helping train future religious leaders to serve effectively in a multi-religious society. In an effort to deepen and refine this sacred work, we will continue to explore productive ways for our faculties to work collaboratively, further developing their interreligious pedagogic craft and serving as models and guides for our students. In invoking the classical Jewish model of havruta (peer) learning in this context, our colleagues and we seek to foster intentional and respectful relationships that allow for open discussion of commonalities and differences across religious and institutional lines. We are excited that a new group of faculty havrutot will be team-teaching courses over the next three years as we continue to hone our collective vision for interreligious education and leadership formation.
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Ministry Formation in Jewishly-Grounded, Seminary-Based Clinical Pastoral Education

Awarded Grant
Springer, Mychal|Steyer, Ute
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) now requires all rabbinical students to complete units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our Center for Pastoral Education is unique in that it operates in a multi-faith context (open to seminarians and clergy of all faiths) and, whereas most CPE programs are situated in hospitals, we place students in social service agencies, hospices, and other innovative settings. The process of ministry formation has neither been ...
Proposal abstract :
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) now requires all rabbinical students to complete units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our Center for Pastoral Education is unique in that it operates in a multi-faith context (open to seminarians and clergy of all faiths) and, whereas most CPE programs are situated in hospitals, we place students in social service agencies, hospices, and other innovative settings. The process of ministry formation has neither been sufficiently studied in the non-classroom context of a CPE program nor in a Jewish context. We will make an important contribution by investigating ministry formation for Jewish students in CPE field units, during which they are challenged to engage with different theological approaches as well as practice in diverse settings in partnership with agency professionals. The study will entail textual research, interviews and a current/former participant survey, and result in a paper for publication and dissemination.

Learning Abstract :
As a result of this grant, we gained valuable insight about the impact of clinical pastoral education (CPE) on ministry formation, and ideas about how these insights can be adapted to advance ministry formation for Jewish students more broadly. The results of this study will help enhance Jewish CPE programs and other elements of clergy training at JTS and begin to fill a void in the field of ministry formation, where research specific to a Jewish context is lacking.
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Training Tomorrow’s Teachers: Pedagogy and Practical Teaching Skills for Graduate Students

Awarded Grant
Schwartz, Shuly|Kohn, Shira
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) prepares doctoral students for teaching positions in a variety of settings upon graduation, including college and university departments of Religious Studies and/or Jewish Studies, seminaries, and public institutions such as museums. While we encourage PhD candidates to serve as teaching assistants or course instructors during their course of study, they could be more effective if they were trained uniformly for these roles. Building on ...
Proposal abstract :
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) prepares doctoral students for teaching positions in a variety of settings upon graduation, including college and university departments of Religious Studies and/or Jewish Studies, seminaries, and public institutions such as museums. While we encourage PhD candidates to serve as teaching assistants or course instructors during their course of study, they could be more effective if they were trained uniformly for these roles. Building on a prior Wabash Center grant, we will create a training series for doctoral students through which they examine various pedagogic models and their practical application in the classroom. The format will entail programs and workshops facilitated by JTS faculty, alumni, and outside specialists in pedagogy and education, mentoring sessions, and peer working groups. Students will gain practical skills and exposure to excellent models and strategies for effective teaching, making them stronger educators in their post-doctoral careers.

Learning Abstract :
Our efforts to develop a first-rate teacher-training program enabled us to more deeply anchor pedagogical training, faculty mentoring and alumni involvement into the fabric of The Jewish Theological Seminary's Kekst Graduate School. As a result, a focus on pedagogy and mentoring is now intrinsic to the identity of the doctoral program, an essential part of messaging in our recruitment strategy, and a growing part of our alumni relations.
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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Writing Group

Awarded Grant
Clingerman, Forrest
Ohio Northern University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project will bring together four scholars working on projects in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) for a peer consultation and a writers’ retreat. The project is the second stage of conversations for the writing group; the group was formed as a cohort at the 2011 Wabash Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion Workshop, where the first discussions occurred. The project allows the participants to form ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will bring together four scholars working on projects in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) for a peer consultation and a writers’ retreat. The project is the second stage of conversations for the writing group; the group was formed as a cohort at the 2011 Wabash Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion Workshop, where the first discussions occurred. The project allows the participants to form a writing cohort around SoTL research. Meeting in Montreat, NC, for three days, the members of the writing cohort will offer formal responses and discussion of each paper, as well as be available for informal guidance and support. Members of the cohort will also use this opportunity to work on the next stages of their individual writing projects.

Learning Abstract :
This project organized a peer consultation and writers' retreat for three religion scholars who are working on the scholarship of teaching and learning. The project advanced the work of a writing cohort formed at a Wabash Center pre-AAR "Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion" Workshop. Project participants met in Montreat, NC, for three days in August 2012 to offer formal responses to and discussion of SoTL works-in-progress. The writers' retreat also served as an opportunity to assess how to engage effectively in SoTL research, to identify the limits and challenges in undertaking SoTL research at mid-career stage, and to provide peer resources for future work in SoTL. Participants were asked to be available for informal guidance and support for the duration of the project. The project resulted in three SoTL articles, to be submitted to appropriate SoTL-related journals.
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Sacred Teaching and Spiritual Learning Project at Hebrew College

Awarded Grant
Shire, Michael
Hebrew College
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Jewish educators at all levels and venues have been wringing their hands for years about the failure to engage students emotionally and spiritually, especially in the context of Jewish ritual practice and prayer. This is a core problem field wide for Jewish educators at all levels who recognize the emotional and spiritual determinants of identity formation. We will address this reality by promoting a new conception of Jewish learning that ...
Proposal abstract :
Jewish educators at all levels and venues have been wringing their hands for years about the failure to engage students emotionally and spiritually, especially in the context of Jewish ritual practice and prayer. This is a core problem field wide for Jewish educators at all levels who recognize the emotional and spiritual determinants of identity formation. We will address this reality by promoting a new conception of Jewish learning that reflects our spiritually-rich Jewish legacy and its distinctive ethos. This project has the potential to drive a new paradigm of religious growth within the field of Jewish early childhood education and beyond. Through this project we imagine that the Shoolman School will contribute significantly to the field of Jewish spiritual and faith education, becoming a leading center for teacher preparation, conceptual development, action research and publishing.

Learning Abstract :
I defined my presenting issue as the introduction of a new paradigm into Jewish Education, namely that of the spiritual growth of children. This grant was intended to furnish me with the opportunity to pursue the research for the implementation of this project.

Through my research I have further refined conceptual questions of a Jewish spiritual education drawing upon research and deliberation in Jewish and Christian religious education. I have been invited to publish thought pieces in various places including online forums and academic publications. I have also been invited to present at various conferences in the USA and Europe.

My hope for this stage of the project was to clearly express the need for a Jewish spiritual education and the means to develop spiritual practices for Jewish educators. I was delighted with the response to the project which attracted over 100 educators to the professional development seminars and the Community of Practice. I was also pleased to be invited to guest edit CCAR: Journal of Reform Judaism which provides innovative and compelling descriptions of teacher education, adult learning, children's programming and evaluation for Jewish Spiritual Education.
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New Directions in Teaching Buddhism: A Workshop on Religious Studies Pedagogy for a Global 21st Century

Awarded Grant
Schaeffer, Kurtis
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Teaching Buddhism today happens in increasingly diverse classrooms, in universities that are more globally connected than ever, and with digital tools for collaborative engagement at our fingertips. Recognizing the changing demands and opportunities of teaching Buddhism in a global twenty-first century, this pedagogical workshop – hosted at the University of Virginia on September 14, 2012 – will bring together 50 graduate students and faculty in Buddhist Studies to consider both theoretical frameworks and practical solutions ...
Proposal abstract :
Teaching Buddhism today happens in increasingly diverse classrooms, in universities that are more globally connected than ever, and with digital tools for collaborative engagement at our fingertips. Recognizing the changing demands and opportunities of teaching Buddhism in a global twenty-first century, this pedagogical workshop – hosted at the University of Virginia on September 14, 2012 – will bring together 50 graduate students and faculty in Buddhist Studies to consider both theoretical frameworks and practical solutions to address the new context in which we find ourselves teaching Buddhism.

Learning Abstract :
The grant funds were used to host a seminar in October of 2012 for graduate students in North American PhD programs in Buddhist Studies. The seminar consisted of a 2-day event in which PhD candidates presented work-in-progress to each other and to distinguished professors in the field The grant covered group meals, keynote speaker and respondent fees, and airfare for visiting distinguished scholars. The event was managed by PhD candidates in the Buddhist Studies program in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, with oversight from professors in the program.
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Fostering Research Programs in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology

Awarded Grant
Clingerman, Forrest|O’Brien, Kevin
Ohio Northern University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The project will build a workgroup of eight recently tenured and tenure-track faculty to investigate the process of developing research programs in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) while discussing the career challenges related to pursuing SoTL research in religion. This project first will seek to nurture work in the scholarship of teaching and learning by providing a forum for early- and mid-career faculty with strong interests in SoTL ...
Proposal abstract :
The project will build a workgroup of eight recently tenured and tenure-track faculty to investigate the process of developing research programs in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) while discussing the career challenges related to pursuing SoTL research in religion. This project first will seek to nurture work in the scholarship of teaching and learning by providing a forum for early- and mid-career faculty with strong interests in SoTL research: a writer’s retreat that provides space to work on existing research as well as to discuss research questions, methods, and challenges. The retreat provides a “next step” for several project participants’ prior experiences with Wabash Center workshops on SoTL. Second, this project will seek to establish a scholarly cohort in which such research can be discussed and exchanged after the initial work of the project is completed.

Learning Abstract :
The project involved building a cohort of mid-career scholars in religion and theology to investigate (1) the challenges and opportunities early and mid-career scholars face in creating an ongoing research agenda in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and (2) the possibility of fostering a research community of SoTL in religion and theology among younger scholars. Work on the project was done through a series of engagements with eight scholars, which included a summer retreat and a meeting at the national AAR to discuss preliminary conclusions. Most importantly, the group identified some of the challenges faced in creating a scholarly agenda in SoTL. The challenges included the lack of graduate training in SoTL, the methodological differences between SoTL and religious studies, the lack of a strong community of scholars engaged in SoTL in religion and theology, and numerous issues related to the prestige and purpose of SoTL.
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Teaching Peacemaking Interculturally: Pedagogical Assessment and Improvement Consultation

Awarded Grant
Smith, Peter
Fresno Pacific University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The teaching of peace at Fresno Pacific University’s Center for Peacemaking & Conflict Studies (CPACS) arises out of theological commitments in the University’s heritage. Training of international scholar-practitioners has been carried out for 15 years through CPACS but begs for formal assessment beyond scattered anecdotal evidence. By inviting international graduates to participate in a consultation, an assessment can be made regarding formative, yet often hidden assumptions, operating in CPACS, the ...
Proposal abstract :
The teaching of peace at Fresno Pacific University’s Center for Peacemaking & Conflict Studies (CPACS) arises out of theological commitments in the University’s heritage. Training of international scholar-practitioners has been carried out for 15 years through CPACS but begs for formal assessment beyond scattered anecdotal evidence. By inviting international graduates to participate in a consultation, an assessment can be made regarding formative, yet often hidden assumptions, operating in CPACS, the health of the CPACS international training program and ways that CPACS faculty can improve their pedagogy with respect to the intercultural teaching of peacemaking.

Learning Abstract :
The project centered on a consultation gathering with international alumni that provided a platform for exchange and reflection. We learned about the varied and creative ways that alumni have implemented peacemaking initiatives in their home contexts, thereby enlarging everyone's imagination with respect to what it means to be agents of peace in different parts of the world. On the whole, alumni were displaying signs of the intended formation envisioned in our master's program. It became clear that the work of adapting teaching from one context (western) into other (often nonwestern) settings is a multi-sided task implemented by both faculty and students. While faculty strive to help international students to understand conflict and peacemaking concepts in ways that are context/student-sensitive, there remains much that students must undertake to critically apply this knowledge.
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Mentoring through Team-Taught Introduction to Theology

Awarded Grant
Masson, Robert
Marquette University
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
A new team-taught section of Theo 1001 will be offered starting in the fall 2013 and spring 2014 to develop graduate students’ teaching capacity by involving them in all phases of designing, teaching, and assessing a first-level course in theology. The proposed team-taught sections will include 4 faculty and 8 graduate students per year. Through creating the opportunity each semester for the faculty to explicitly reflect with graduate students on the design and implementation of ...
Proposal abstract :
A new team-taught section of Theo 1001 will be offered starting in the fall 2013 and spring 2014 to develop graduate students’ teaching capacity by involving them in all phases of designing, teaching, and assessing a first-level course in theology. The proposed team-taught sections will include 4 faculty and 8 graduate students per year. Through creating the opportunity each semester for the faculty to explicitly reflect with graduate students on the design and implementation of the first course, the team-taught sections will make the graduate students’ initiation into the craft of teaching more programmatic, intentional, and graduated. Each year new graduate students will rotate into the course and faculty will rotate on and off the course. These rotations will provide ongoing opportunities each semester for reflection, cooperation, and revision. After the initial year, these team-taught sections will be sustainable without external grants or additional costs to the University.

Learning Abstract :
The initiation of a team-taught section of the introduction to theology in 2013-2014 demonstrated the viability of collaborative teaching as a model for a more programmatic, intentional, and graduated introduction to the craft of teaching. The collaboration between five full-time faculty and eight graduate students on all phases of design, teaching, and assessment provided an invaluable occasion for reflecting and sharing best practices among the faculty and graduate student participants. It was a significant improvement in the preparation of our graduate students for teaching. The inherent pedagogical challenges of team-teaching proved to be an asset in so far as these focused the team's attention on helping undergraduates discern the coherence of the course's narrative, line of argumentation, readings, and exercises. This initiative has prompted a broader consideration in the department about the possibility of establishing analogous collaborative models as part of our program for all Ph.D. students.
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A Framework for Developing Training Modules for Seminary Faculty that Roots the Classical Disciplines of Seminary Curricula in their Multi-Religious Contexts

Awarded Grant
Premawardhana, Shanta
SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education)
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project is the first step towards a larger project for developing training modules for seminary faculty. It will bring expert seminary faculty to a dinner meeting at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) meetings to be held in Chicago in November 2012, with the invitation to critically examine the project, undertake collaborative research and writing and within six months produce a framework that outlines ...
Proposal abstract :
This project is the first step towards a larger project for developing training modules for seminary faculty. It will bring expert seminary faculty to a dinner meeting at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) meetings to be held in Chicago in November 2012, with the invitation to critically examine the project, undertake collaborative research and writing and within six months produce a framework that outlines the methodology and content for developing training modules for seminary faculty that roots the classical disciplines of seminary curricula in their multi-religious contexts.

Learning Abstract :
This project was the first step towards a larger project for developing training modules for seminary faculty in order to root the classical disciplines of seminary curricula in their multi-religious contexts. Notable seminary faculty and scholars in the field of religious diversity and inter-religious relations collaborated with SCUPE in researching and writing a framework that outlines the methodology and content for developing training modules for seminary faculty. These experts have been willing not only to be engaged in the development of this framework, but have also agreed to participate in its implementation.
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Religion, Place, and Pedagogy: Establishing a Bio-Regional Network of Teacher-Scholars in Religion and Ecology

Awarded Grant
Patterson, Barbara|Ayres, Jennifer|Labrecque, Cory
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
How can religious and theological learning be deepened by sustained attention to and engagement with the particular place in which education is happening—and with an ecological context more broadly? And what challenges and opportunities greet teachers of religion and theology who seek this kind of deepened engagement through place-based pedagogies and other models of teaching and learning? This project will establish a network of inquiry-driven scholars and teachers who ...
Proposal abstract :
How can religious and theological learning be deepened by sustained attention to and engagement with the particular place in which education is happening—and with an ecological context more broadly? And what challenges and opportunities greet teachers of religion and theology who seek this kind of deepened engagement through place-based pedagogies and other models of teaching and learning? This project will establish a network of inquiry-driven scholars and teachers who are interested in the powers and stories of particular places, histories, geographies, and cultures shaped by – and shaping – religious experiences and expressions in the South. The project is primed to advance existent place-conscious pedagogical approaches at the intersection of religion and ecology in response to today’s crises in sustainable living.

Learning Abstract :
A pilot group of faculty interested in resources, uses, and assessments of place-based pedagogies initiated a Southern Bio-Regional Network. Committed to building a collegial community interested in a range of place-based pedagogy models and exercises, this initial group met over a three-day consultation, sharing specific approaches they had used in their classrooms, experimenting with each other's teaching-learning exercises, and discovering a shared purpose to implement this Network. An additional gathering at the national AAR/SBL meeting drew additional faculty and graduate student interests creating a broader cohort now better leveraged through a live blog committed to the use, expansion, and research of pedagogies of place in the Southern Bio-Region. The blog is found at: http://religionplacepedagogy.wordpress.com/ Committed to establishing a diverse network of scholar teachers from a range of settings and fields, this Network addresses issues ranging widely from food and agriculture to narratives and meanings of place.
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Discovering Student Learning in the Religious Site Visit Assignment

Awarded Grant
Banas, Mark
Georgia Perimeter College
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for a small research project to identify the goals of the religious site visit assignment with respect to student learning. Specific project goals include: 1) a workshop for Georgia faculty to discuss the religious site visit assignment and determine how best to assess student responses in an experiential learning environment; 2) conduct research using student survey responses to visiting religious sites as well as faculty reflective responses on its implementation; 3) from ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a small research project to identify the goals of the religious site visit assignment with respect to student learning. Specific project goals include: 1) a workshop for Georgia faculty to discuss the religious site visit assignment and determine how best to assess student responses in an experiential learning environment; 2) conduct research using student survey responses to visiting religious sites as well as faculty reflective responses on its implementation; 3) from the data determine practices which either benefit or limit student learning using the experiential pedagogy of a religious site visit assignment; 4) share the results via publication and presentation.

Learning Abstract :
This small grant project was comprised of two parts: a workshop of 18 faculty teaching in Georgia, and a student survey. At the workshop, participants had the opportunity to learn about some of the advantages and challenges of utilizing a religious site visit assignment in their courses through both presentation materials and roundtable peer discussions. Out of this experience a student survey was developed and then implemented in three Georgia institutions during the Spring 2014 semester to collect data on student perspectives in their religious site visits. Though the overall influence on students' attitudes towards other religions was rather unclear from the survey results, they still pointed in two directions. First, some students maintained an essentialist understanding of religion, which was a little surprising since the assignment was geared to thwart this potential pitfall. Second, other students found this assignment extremely worthwhile from an experiential standpoint.
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Wheaton College World Religions Roundtable

Awarded Grant
Hill, Andrew
Wheaton College - Illinois
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The aim of the project is to organize a one day round table centered on the topic of religious studies/world religions. The invited participants will be (a maximum of eight) faculty persons teaching World Religions/Religious Studies (WR/RS) in undergraduate programs from local Chicago area colleges and universities (e.g., Aurora University; Benedictine University; College of DuPage; Elmhurst College; North Central College; North Park University; University of Illinois ...
Proposal abstract :
The aim of the project is to organize a one day round table centered on the topic of religious studies/world religions. The invited participants will be (a maximum of eight) faculty persons teaching World Religions/Religious Studies (WR/RS) in undergraduate programs from local Chicago area colleges and universities (e.g., Aurora University; Benedictine University; College of DuPage; Elmhurst College; North Central College; North Park University; University of Illinois Chicago). The purpose of the event is to provide a forum for the focused exchange of ideas, curricular materials, and best teaching practices. The goals for the event include: the opportunity to discuss the teaching and learning of WR/RS in community; improve pedagogy; broaden individual data bases in the pooling of curricular resources; and begin to build an area network for faculty teaching WR/RS (with a view toward developing some kind of regular colloquium). In addition, I hope this event will contribute to wider ongoing efforts to restore a program in WR/RS at Wheaton College.

Learning Abstract :
The Wheaton College World Religions Roundtable gathered invited faculty persons from several Chicago area colleges and universities for a day to discuss the teaching and learning of world religions. The event was designed to provide a forum for the focused exchange of ideas, curricular materials, and best teaching practices. The most significant thing learned from the event was the value of simply gathering for such a forum, summarized by one participant's response to the question: What was most helpful? "The opportunity to meet, get to know, interact with and learn from colleagues in a variety of related disciplines in schools in the area. The depth and range of wisdom and expertise was invaluable." The potential contribution to the ongoing conversation on teaching and learning was the discussion and exchange of ideas on the topics of "field trips" to Chicago area worship/learning centers associated with the world's religions and student interactive assignments.
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Polishing our Pedagogy: Teaching Theology at a Distance

Awarded Grant
Derrenbacker, Robert
Thorneloe University, School of Theology
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Thorneloe College School of Theology (TCST) at Thorneloe University is coordinating a weekend workshop for its faculty members, all of whom teach by distance education and are spread across Ontario. This would bring, for the first time, all the faculty members together to explore the opportunities and challenges that are brought to bear through teaching theology at a distance. This workshop would focus on the methods and tools that work ...
Proposal abstract :
Thorneloe College School of Theology (TCST) at Thorneloe University is coordinating a weekend workshop for its faculty members, all of whom teach by distance education and are spread across Ontario. This would bring, for the first time, all the faculty members together to explore the opportunities and challenges that are brought to bear through teaching theology at a distance. This workshop would focus on the methods and tools that work best for undergraduate distance teaching in theology, particularly in the rural and remote contexts that many of TCST’s students experience in northern Ontario and other similar locations in Canada. What could result from this workshop is a greater sense of cohesion and cooperation from among the faculty, the development of faculty capacities for assessment of students learning at a distance, a greater appreciation for a common pedagogy, and a shared sense of vision for the teaching of theology at TCST.

Learning Abstract :
The Workshop funded by a Small Grant from the Wabash Center brought together, for the first time, faculty members teaching Theology courses at a distance at Thorneloe University, as well as students enrolled in its programs. As a result, the Administration of the University has learned of the value and importance of scheduling such get-togethers on a regular basis. As well, the Faculty and Administration have learned directly from students about the rewards and frustrations of taking a Theology program almost exclusively by distance education. And finally, we have identified those areas in our Theology curriculum in need of updating, revision and administrative attention. These results and learning outcomes from the Workshop would benefit anyone teaching Theology at a distance, particularly through an institution located outside of a main urban center in Canada that serves a diverse and diffused student population spread across the expanses of Ontario and Canada.
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Assessing the Training of Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Religion Department at the University of Georgia

Awarded Grant
Medine, Carolyn
University of Georgia
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
This grant will be used to assess the practices I have instituted in my classes for training graduate students to take leadership roles in the classroom, particularly to analyze data gathered from Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and to support a gathering of the GTAs and you over dinner to discuss the results. I will work with four students who have been my graduate assistants for a year to understand whether ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will be used to assess the practices I have instituted in my classes for training graduate students to take leadership roles in the classroom, particularly to analyze data gathered from Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and to support a gathering of the GTAs and you over dinner to discuss the results. I will work with four students who have been my graduate assistants for a year to understand whether the pedagogy I put in place - designing the Friday workshop sessions, for example - was one that they could transfer to their own classes as teachers of record.

Learning Abstract :
Carefully designing and structuring active learning activities for breakout sessions in large classes makes the classroom a safe space for beginning teachers, giving them transportable teaching skills, including how to design class discussions, how to engage undergraduate students in critical thinking activities, and how to scaffold the learning elements of ideas (the information that students must learn) with connections (learning the relationship between kinds of information), and extensions (the movement beyond rote learning and comparison/contrast to critical thinking). The structuring, which also serves the students well, acts like playing scales, the basic activity of music, on which the young teacher can improvise as his or her confidence in the classroom grows.
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Students Finding Virtue: Theological Information Literacy and Intellectual Tenacity

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “How can the virtue of “intellectual tenacity” be instilled in theology undergraduates as they conduct library research?” It expands upon two previous 2010 and 2011 Whitworth projects, for which librarian-and-professor collaboration produced student success when working with primary and secondary theological resources. It will address the entire spectrum of information literacy, as well as develop processes for resource quality evaluation. Whitworth’s mission is “to provide its ...
Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “How can the virtue of “intellectual tenacity” be instilled in theology undergraduates as they conduct library research?” It expands upon two previous 2010 and 2011 Whitworth projects, for which librarian-and-professor collaboration produced student success when working with primary and secondary theological resources. It will address the entire spectrum of information literacy, as well as develop processes for resource quality evaluation. Whitworth’s mission is “to provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart.” In this project, the mind of each student will be educated through a successful research experience, and the heart strengthened through acquiring the virtue of intellectual tenacity. The librarian will meet and collaborate with theology faculty to design successful assignments and develop processes by which students will evaluate resources. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the librarian will work with students as they successfully conduct their research.

Learning Abstract :
This year-long project entitled Students Finding Virtue: Theological Information Literacy and Intellectual Tenacity promoted student success in using theological information sources. In addition, it sought to answer the question, "How can students be taught to be tenacious in finding the best sources when doing research, not just settling for the first sources they find?" Through collaboration between the Library and Theology faculty, student success was made attainable from the start, by matching faculty members' goals for a given research assignment with resources in the Whitworth Library. The project also explored how to teach students to assess the results of their research, and found that a mid-semester evaluation of annotated bibliographies was most effective. The virtue of intellectual tenacity was encouraged in each student, as each persevered to find higher quality sources to incorporate into the final paper. As a result, a collaborative model for student research success has been established at Whitworth University.
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Inclusive Language in Recognizing Religious Commitments in the Classroom

Awarded Grant
Burford, Grace|Brown, Sidney
Sewanee: The University of the South
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
This project focuses on developing tools to promote the use of language in religious studies and theology classrooms that fully includes students with commitments either to religions different from those that dominate religious discourse in our culture, or to no religion at all, and even those ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
This project focuses on developing tools to promote the use of language in religious studies and theology classrooms that fully includes students with commitments either to religions different from those that dominate religious discourse in our culture, or to no religion at all, and even those who consider themselves anti-religious. These tools will include scenarios of improvisational dialogical play, readings and questions for discussion, and a checklist for religious privilege. The project co-directors will create these tools by analyzing work that has been done in this area consulting with two other scholars in this field, and interviewing with key participants in interreligious dialogue. We will present these tools in 2014 to the other members of the “Religious Commitments in the Classroom” Wabash colloquy. Publication of our work in an interreligious journal such as Buddhist-Christian Studies and/or presentation of it at a professional conference are also potential outcomes for this project.

Learning Abstract :
How can sensitive, intelligent people with commitments to different religions and to no religions at all, as well as those who consider themselves anti-religious, engage responsibly in a classroom discussion about religion? While professors in religious studies do this every day in their own classrooms, we wondered how inclusively we are doing it. How well are we managing to welcome everyone in the room and to make use of all their good ideas? Because inclusive language is an integral part of encouraging all voices and all religious commitments (or lack thereof) in the classroom, we designed an in-class survey on religion that excludes most mainstream Americans, in order to generate that feeling of exclusion in those who might not otherwise have experienced religious exclusion before. We also created teaching tools such as a handout on more inclusive terms, a bibliography, and selections from a test of Christian privilege.
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Reflection Toward Innovation: A Retreat on Biblical Studies Pedagogy for Gordon College

Awarded Grant
Green, Roger
Gordon College
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College proposes a retreat in the summer of 2014 discuss pedagogical strategies in our Core first-year courses, Old Testament and New Testament. Building on existing departmental efforts, we will use funds to support research, reflection and discussion aimed at addressing the changing needs of our students, growing class sizes, and the cultural shifts in our incoming students’ approach to the biblical ...
Proposal abstract :
The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College proposes a retreat in the summer of 2014 discuss pedagogical strategies in our Core first-year courses, Old Testament and New Testament. Building on existing departmental efforts, we will use funds to support research, reflection and discussion aimed at addressing the changing needs of our students, growing class sizes, and the cultural shifts in our incoming students’ approach to the biblical text. We will host one two-day retreat for the department. The retreat will focus on addressing students’ needs (both as first-year students and as students of the Biblical text), examining current approaches and identifying key areas for further study. Such a project will enable our department to better address the needs of our students, and we will share our discussions with colleagues at Gordon and across institutions.

Learning Abstract :
The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College conducted a retreat in the spring semester of 2014 to discuss pedagogical strategies in our core first-year courses, Old Testament and New Testament, and in our core Theology course. Building on existing departmental efforts, we used funds to support research, reflection and discussion aimed at addressing the changing needs of our students, growing class sizes, and the cultural shifts in our incoming students' approach to the biblical text and to theological inquiry. The retreat focused on addressing students' needs (both as first-year students and as students of the biblical text and of theological texts), examining current approaches and identifying key areas for further study. Such a project enabled our department to better address the needs of our students, and we will look for opportunities to share both our discussions and our findings to the wider academy.
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Religious Commitments and the Pedagogy of the Elders

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Dean
West Chester University
Undergraduate School
2013

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
The elders of the black-freedom struggle and civil rights movement have a great deal of wisdom to offer with regard to the role of religious commitments in shaping social change. Those who have continued the work of the black-freedom struggle have developed pedagogies of change and ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
The elders of the black-freedom struggle and civil rights movement have a great deal of wisdom to offer with regard to the role of religious commitments in shaping social change. Those who have continued the work of the black-freedom struggle have developed pedagogies of change and a series of tactics that they use with folk as well as formal educational audiences. The goal of this project is to investigate and document some of the pedagogical models and tactics the elders have found useful over the past six decades. The project is a series of interviews with a variety of black-freedom struggle elders. The proposed outcome is an article or series of articles that shares pedagogical insights and teaching tactics that include the use of student’s religious commitments in order to help students connect their lives to the issues that impact society.

Learning Abstract :
During the grant project I have learned that the elders of the Black freedom struggle and civil rights movement do indeed have a pedagogy of social change. It is a pedagogy that has been passed down through the generations. A significant part of this pedagogy is to expose students to the personal stories of people involved in struggles for nonviolent social change through readings, videos, and when possible, guests in class. These stories often lead students to reflect on how they might respond in a similar situation. Another major component of the pedagogy of social change is to create spaces for students to explore their ancestors and spiritual legacies. As a result, students are often faced with reconciling their families' histories with their sense of self. Often in these situations students are faced with asking questions about their own religious commitments and their commitments to overcoming injustice. What I have found most exciting about the project is that when employing a pedagogy of social change and tactics mid-career faculty experience transformative moments in the lives of their students. Students are looking for places to make meaning out of their lives. The religion, theology, philosophy and peace studies courses that use a pedagogy of social change create such opportunities.
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The Bible and the Big Questions at PC(USA) Liberal Arts Colleges: Toward Pedagogies of Values Identification, Critical Thinking, and Civic Engagement

Awarded Grant
Lopez, Davina
Eckerd College
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Bible has historically comprised a core component of the Humanities at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges, given the latter’s indebtedness to Judeo-Christian traditions. Herein a challenge for biblical studies teachers resides in contestations over content, method, and interpretive authority, alongside the Bible’s disputed importance in college curricula. At the same time, the Bible is a potential resource for helping students to ask “big questions.” This project will ...
Proposal abstract :
The Bible has historically comprised a core component of the Humanities at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges, given the latter’s indebtedness to Judeo-Christian traditions. Herein a challenge for biblical studies teachers resides in contestations over content, method, and interpretive authority, alongside the Bible’s disputed importance in college curricula. At the same time, the Bible is a potential resource for helping students to ask “big questions.” This project will bring together biblical studies teachers at five PC(USA) liberal arts colleges for three workshops over the next year, wherein we aim to develop a collaborative, supportive atmosphere and think about ways to understand similarities and differences between our teaching personae and practices. Rather than rehearse oppositions between “faith” and “intellect” in teaching biblical studies, we will embrace three intersecting sites for exploring pedagogical dilemmas and strategies: values identification and spiritual life, critical thinking and interconnectedness of knowledge, and community-integrative education and civic engagement.

Learning Abstract :
This project aimed to consider a range of questions facing teachers of biblical studies at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges, including: a) what specific resources the Presbyterian higher-educational heritage offers for contemporary biblical-studies pedagogies; b) how teachers of biblical literature at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges might overcome dichotomous understandings of biblical studies pedagogies as being either rooted in "seminary" or "university" models; c) how teaching the Bible with undergraduates at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges can be enhanced through challenging supposed oppositions ("faith"/"intellect," "believers"/"non-believers"); d) how the Bible, which historically has occupied a central place in liberal arts curricula, might be best encountered in a contemporary liberal arts setting - with contemporary students; and e) how teachers of biblical literature in these settings might learn from each other and clarify our own pedagogical orientation to the material that we share, embracing a holistic vision of what teaching the Bible can be and do.
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Religious Commitments in the Classroom: Interviews with Students

Awarded Grant
Webster, Jane
Barton College
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Why are my students not talking about their religious commitments? What’s at stake for them either way? How can I (or should I) encourage them to engage the conversation? This student-led project will explore the dynamics of religious commitments in a small town in rural ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Why are my students not talking about their religious commitments? What’s at stake for them either way? How can I (or should I) encourage them to engage the conversation? This student-led project will explore the dynamics of religious commitments in a small town in rural North Carolina where religion is part of the everyday life. Working with a faculty member, select religion majors will conduct surveys and interviews to assess the contours and constraints of the talk about religious commitments in the college environment. From their evaluation, they will devise strategies to inform faculty and staff, and evaluate their success the following semester. They will report the results of their study in a Scholars Symposium and to the Board of Trustees. The desired outcome is to develop a robust conversation about religious commitments in this Eastern North Carolina undergraduate college, and to promote leadership and research among Religion majors.

Learning Abstract :
Alexander Astin, et al, argue that conversations in the classroom about meaning and purpose in life ("spiritual quest") enhance other college outcomes, such as academic performance, psychological well-being, leadership development, and satisfaction with college (2008: 10). This student-led project assessed the contours and constraints of the talk about religious commitments in the college environment with surveys, individual interviews, and class questionnaires. They found that most students wanted to engage conversations of personal identity, meaning, and purpose in the classroom, to ask questions to each other about their religious commitments and to learn how to describe their own. Instructors can facilitate these conversations by developing personal relationships with the students, setting norms, using small groups, linking the conversations to course content, and being flexible. The student team presented their findings in a Scholars Symposium.


Students discuss their part in the project



Powerpoint slide show reviewing the project

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Religious Commitments in the Albion College Classroom

Awarded Grant
McWhirter, Jocelyn
Albion College
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s 2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom. Do students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college think that classroom discussions about religious commitments cohere with its academic mission? How comfortable are traditional undergraduates with such discussions? How do they perceive their religious obligations in the classroom? How do they handle those obligations? This project will ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s 2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom. Do students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college think that classroom discussions about religious commitments cohere with its academic mission? How comfortable are traditional undergraduates with such discussions? How do they perceive their religious obligations in the classroom? How do they handle those obligations? This project will answer these questions, helping to chart the water for instructors seeking to navigate religious commitments in the undergraduate classroom. It will also give four college seniors a way to interact with the issues, both personally and as they affect other students. Activities include the creation, administration, and analysis of a student survey, conversation among religious studies students and faculty, a presentation to the College community, reflection and evaluation by the project director, and consideration by the Wabash Center 2013-14 Teaching and Learning Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.

Learning Abstract :

Do students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college think that classroom discussions about religious commitments cohere with its academic mission? How comfortable are traditional undergraduates with such discussions? How do they perceive their religious obligations in the classroom? How do they handle those obligations? A survey of 95 Albion College religious studies students indicates that most are comfortable discussing religious commitments in class, especially when someone else initiates the conversation. They are willing to talk about their own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others. Most think that discussing personal beliefs enhances their education. While some report that their religion obligates them to reject certain academic claims, only a few felt strongly that they should speak up about their beliefs in the classroom. Tellingly, 38% compartmentalize academic and personal views about religion. These results suggest that Albion College professors have an opportunity to help students integrate religious studies with personal beliefs.



Religious Commitments in the Albion College Classroom (mp4)

Powerpoint slideshow reviewing the project (pdf)

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Millennial Students and the Pedagogy of Comparative Theology

Awarded Grant
Locklin, Reid|Brecht, Mara
St. Norbert College
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
If Millennial students do not see boundaries between religious traditions, as suggested by sociological studies of the generation, is the academic project of comparative theology, which aims to transgress boundaries between traditions, at risk? Colloquia participants will gather to explore and share pedagogical strategies for “meeting” Millennial students “where they are” in order to invite them into the discipline of comparative theology. First, the colloquia project aims to establish a ...
Proposal abstract :
If Millennial students do not see boundaries between religious traditions, as suggested by sociological studies of the generation, is the academic project of comparative theology, which aims to transgress boundaries between traditions, at risk? Colloquia participants will gather to explore and share pedagogical strategies for “meeting” Millennial students “where they are” in order to invite them into the discipline of comparative theology. First, the colloquia project aims to establish a shared understanding of our Millennial students and the unique features of the Millennial classroom. Around this foundational paradigm, colloquia participants will offer scholarly perspectives on teaching comparative theology for Millennial students; collaborate to develop specific teaching techniques and learning designs to best engage the Millennials; and collectively imagine how comparative theology itself ought to be reshaped in conversation with this generation of students.

Learning Abstract :
Comparative theology presumes boundaries between traditions, in order to transgress them. Millennial students, who resist and reconfigure traditional boundaries, would seem to represent an uncomfortable demographic for such a practice. Our project gathered teacher-scholars to imagine new pedagogies that are student learning-focused and also meaningful for comparative theologians' own scholarly work. Drawing on participants' classroom experience, as well as sociological studies of millennial students, the workshop reflected on the challenges posed by the emergence of new epistemologies and patterns of religious belonging. At the same time, we learned that comparative theology offers certain "affordances" to millennial students that other forms of theology or religious studies may not. Because comparative theology is premised on engaging across boundaries, teaching in this mode enables students to talk about and learn with the diverse forms of boundaries, including religious ones, they experience in their lives, while also affording new grammars for naming transcendence.
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Integrating Student-Centered Inquiry for Transformational Learning among Diverse Students

Awarded Grant
Elness-Hanson, Beth
Trinity Lutheran College (no longer in operation - see notes)
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Trinity is in the crucible of change. However, this kairos-time provides the opportunity to strategically innovate—integrating “student-centered inquiry"—for stronger learning outcomes among a wonderfully-diverse student body. The past eight years have seen changes from a traditional Bible college to a “biblically-centered liberal arts college” with new majors beyond traditional ministry. The changes of campus location, president, academic dean, Biblical Studies chair, new majors, and adding athletic programs has ...
Proposal abstract :
Trinity is in the crucible of change. However, this kairos-time provides the opportunity to strategically innovate—integrating “student-centered inquiry"—for stronger learning outcomes among a wonderfully-diverse student body. The past eight years have seen changes from a traditional Bible college to a “biblically-centered liberal arts college” with new majors beyond traditional ministry. The changes of campus location, president, academic dean, Biblical Studies chair, new majors, and adding athletic programs has resulted in a vastly different student body— with 42% people of color, almost half are athletes, and approximately 7% are non-Christian—a radical change from a decade ago. Thus, the faculty seeks to engage the diversity of ethnicity, faith traditions, and learning styles by integrating the “gracious space” provided through student-centered inquiry. We seek to develop our capacity to empower active, responsible participants in their own learning in ways which respects diversity while engaging meaningfully in exploring the Christian world view.

Learning Abstract :
Trinity Lutheran College faculty and administrative staff were able, over the short period of the grant, to "develop our capacity to empower active, responsible participants in their own learning in ways which respects diversity while engaging meaningfully in exploring the Christian worldview," as well as identify limitations of our ability to accomplish these aims. After baseline measures and post-test comparisons, as well as trainings for faculty, Trinity applied changes to our core religious curriculum. Further, the grant made obvious that while change in syllabi and pedagogical practices can indeed make a small impact on how students learn, the "who" students work with is an equally important question that needs to be asked and addressed. The need to diversify the faculty profile is paramount to student success in biblically centered curriculum.
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Study on "The Relationship between Religious Commitments and Views on Social Issues"

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Nicole
University of Mount Union
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
The proposed research project forms the centerpiece of the REL400 seminar, entitled "Theologies of Nonviolence." The project seeks to answer the following working question: What is the relationship between the religious commitments of Mount Union students and their commitments to nonviolent belief, practice, and lifestyle? Another ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
The proposed research project forms the centerpiece of the REL400 seminar, entitled "Theologies of Nonviolence." The project seeks to answer the following working question: What is the relationship between the religious commitments of Mount Union students and their commitments to nonviolent belief, practice, and lifestyle? Another version of the question currently under discussion is: Do stronger/higher religious commitments translate into stronger/higher commitments to nonviolence? While the project does not explore religious commitments solely, they are a key concern of the project insofar as they are explored in conjunction with and connection to undergraduate commitments to nonviolent belief and practice and to related social issues.

Learning Abstract :
This Wabash Center grant-supported project involved a student-led, mixed methods research project which served as the centerpiece of an upper-level seminar on "Theologies of Nonviolence." The project was developed and conducted collaboratively from beginning to end with students and sought to explore the relationship between undergraduates' religious commitments and their perspectives about ethical and social issues related to nonviolent belief and practice. The work involved engagement with the literature of faith-based nonviolence theory and practice, a survey of juniors and seniors at the University of Mount Union, qualitative interview data collection and analysis, and a formal class presentation at SCHOLAR Day, Mount Union's annual undergraduate research forum in late April.
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Humor, Departmental Identity, and Religious Commitments

Awarded Grant
Houck, Anita
Saint Mary's College - Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom. This project aims to compare how faculty members and students in Roman Catholic institutions view religious commitments in the classroom. In particular, the project addresses three questions: 1) Do faculty and students agree on the extent to which their courses should and do engage religious commitments? 2) Does the name of ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom. This project aims to compare how faculty members and students in Roman Catholic institutions view religious commitments in the classroom. In particular, the project addresses three questions: 1) Do faculty and students agree on the extent to which their courses should and do engage religious commitments? 2) Does the name of a department - Theology, Religious Studies, or Theology and Religious Studies - shape students' expectations of how the course will engage their and their teachers' religious commitments? and 3) In what ways might humor be an effective tool in religious studies and theology classes, particularly for engaging religious commitments? The project will investigate these questions through a literature review and online student and faculty surveys. Faculty participants, who have been recruited from a range of Roman Catholic colleges and universities, will then gather at the annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America to discuss the findings and distill insights.

Learning Abstract :
Through surveys and faculty conversations, this project compared the views of faculty and students in Roman Catholic institutions on three topics. First, faculty and students differed in their perceptions of how much their courses engaged students' religious commitments; in a follow-up conversation, faculty hypothesized that students have a narrower view than faculty of what constitutes "religious commitments." Though courses varied in the extent to which students and instructors reflected on their religious commitments, most students reported that the level of reflection worked well for them. Second, students did not perceive significant differences among three common names of departments in Catholic institutions (Theology, Religious Studies, Theology and Religious Studies). Third, faculty and students agreed that humor has significant pedagogical benefits, though their views of certain kinds of humor differed. Students with clear, strong religious commitments, and students who found their courses especially challenging, had less positive views of humor.
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Teaching Sexuality and Religion to a Changing Student Body: Challenges and Strategies for Classroom Instructors

Awarded Grant
Ott, Kate
Drew University
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Sexuality, more so than other subject areas, magnifies the embodied nature of teaching and learning as well as conspicuously silences open dialogue given its taboo status in many religious and theological contexts. Students need to be equipped to consider affective and contextual issues of sexuality in the context of their overall educational formation. Instructors need constructive pedagogical strategies for teaching sexuality across a variety of cultural contexts and religious traditions ...
Proposal abstract :
Sexuality, more so than other subject areas, magnifies the embodied nature of teaching and learning as well as conspicuously silences open dialogue given its taboo status in many religious and theological contexts. Students need to be equipped to consider affective and contextual issues of sexuality in the context of their overall educational formation. Instructors need constructive pedagogical strategies for teaching sexuality across a variety of cultural contexts and religious traditions in order to deal effectively, responsibly, and explicitly with classroom dynamics and institutional contexts. We will convene eleven professors with expertise teaching sexuality and religion across disciplines, from diverse institutional and religious contexts, to: 1) identify the unique aspects of the religious or theological context contributing to the null curriculum related to sexuality; and 2) develop pedagogical strategies to overcome these constrictions, which we will then implement and share at our home institutions, a national conference, and through peer-reviewed publication(s).

Learning Abstract :
Sexuality, more so than other subject areas, magnifies the embodied nature of teaching and learning as well as conspicuously silences open dialogue given its taboo status in many religious and theological contexts. Yet, student learning about sexuality that incorporates knowledge of and about religion, in particular, may greatly improve the public discourse about sexuality through our students as responsible citizens and as leaders in their chosen professions. To bridge this gap, a collaborative group of professors and instructors with expertise and experience teaching sexuality and religion in a variety of disciplines and diverse institutional and religious contexts developed, tested, and refined classroom teaching strategies to shift from a content-based "subject matter" to an embodied learning experience, resulting in perspective transformation as a primary student-learning outcome. Findings in the form of "guiding questions," encourage instructors to attend to contextual, experiential and performative aspects of the classroom environment.
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Teaching Theology and Religion in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges, Prospect, and the Ph.D.

Awarded Grant
Mathewes, Charles
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to host a two-day workshop, in consultation with the Wabash Center, which will evaluate the role of U.Va’s Ph.D. program in the formation of teachers of religion and theology. While we intend to use this opportunity to assess the efficacy of the various elements of the Ph.D. program, we will focus especially on gauging the preparedness of our graduates for teaching duties in ...
Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to host a two-day workshop, in consultation with the Wabash Center, which will evaluate the role of U.Va’s Ph.D. program in the formation of teachers of religion and theology. While we intend to use this opportunity to assess the efficacy of the various elements of the Ph.D. program, we will focus especially on gauging the preparedness of our graduates for teaching duties in the academy. To these ends, the workshop will gather information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the graduate experience at U.Va using first-person data from graduates in recent years. This data will enable U.Va to consider how best to structure its Ph.D. program in years to come; it will also provide a case study from which other institutions may profit.
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Faculty Colloquy on Teaching for Pastoral Education about Same-Sex Desires, Behaviors, Identities, and Relationships

Awarded Grant
Priest, Robert|Luy, David
Trinity International University
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Our society and world is undergoing rapid changes in our understandings and convictions related to same-sex desires, behaviors, identities, and relationships, which raises the difficult and pressing need for our MDiv graduates to provide wise, loving, and theologically faithful leadership in pastoral settings in relationship to contemporary sexualities. Building on recent emergent interest in this topic among Trinity faculty and students, we are proposing to convene a faculty cohort to ...
Proposal abstract :
Our society and world is undergoing rapid changes in our understandings and convictions related to same-sex desires, behaviors, identities, and relationships, which raises the difficult and pressing need for our MDiv graduates to provide wise, loving, and theologically faithful leadership in pastoral settings in relationship to contemporary sexualities. Building on recent emergent interest in this topic among Trinity faculty and students, we are proposing to convene a faculty cohort to meet 7 times over the next semester where we will do shared readings, and where we will brainstorm and consider ideas for improving the quality and depth with which contemporary sexualities are engaged within the classroom and curriculum as a whole. Our goal is create an interdisciplinary faculty cohort on campus with shared conversations about desired program-based outcomes for our MDiv program, and shared conversations about how to achieve these positive outcomes through improved teaching in this area.

Learning Abstract :
Our society and world is undergoing rapid changes in its understandings and convictions related to same-sex desires, behaviors, identities, and relationships. These changes accentuate the pressing need for MDiv graduates to gain discourse competency in the area of contemporary sexualities, while also being formed in such a way that they might provide appropriate leadership and support to lay persons within a variety of pastoral settings. This project sought to assess ways in which this need could intentionally be addressed more effectively within an MDiv program. It did so by organizing a series of text-based discussions among a group of seminary faculty members and staff persons associated with student life. These eleven meetings were designed to promote a more nuanced familiarity with the contemporary landscape of contemporary sexuality, identify sites of personal and vocational intersection, and stimulate the formulation of strategies for addressing apparent lucanae through pedagogical, curricular and co-curricular adaptation.
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The Racialization of Religious Discourses in the Classroom and the Academy

Awarded Grant
De La Torre, Miguel
Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
James Evans, Rita Nakashima Brock and Orlando Espin are being asked to explore the discourses of our various disciplines with an eye to exposing the use of common categories and modes of argumentation that function as a cover for encoding Eurowestern culture, values, ideologies, and worldviews in subtle ways that ensure the dominance in discourse of those would-be normative voices. From discourses in the academic study of comparative religions to ...
Proposal abstract :
James Evans, Rita Nakashima Brock and Orlando Espin are being asked to explore the discourses of our various disciplines with an eye to exposing the use of common categories and modes of argumentation that function as a cover for encoding Eurowestern culture, values, ideologies, and worldviews in subtle ways that ensure the dominance in discourse of those would-be normative voices. From discourses in the academic study of comparative religions to theology to ethics, there is a persistent tendency, usually fairly naively and with little forethought, to teach, think and write as if there were a normative modality that speaks to and for every intellectual endeavor. White academic scholars claim implicitly to engage a value-neutral discourse analysis that has somehow surfaced as a refined (and reified) modality across the whole academic waterfront. Sometimes the act is deeply encoded in a subtle choice of words that slant the whole argument in a particular direction—without being overly obvious in stating a bias. Insofar as we scholars of color find ourselves all too often adopting the same cognitional categories that have seemed to dominate discourse generally in the academy, our own discourses run the same risk of racialization. How can we scholars of color help each other and particularly help our White colleagues to identify this racialization of discourse? To that end, each invited speaker will give an hour presentation followed by small group discussions that will explore, based on what was said, how the racialization of their discipline impacts their teaching and scholarship.

Learning Abstract :
Presenters at this conference were asked to explore the discourses of our various disciplines with an eye to exposing the use of common categories and modes of argumentation that function as a cover for encoding eurowestern culture, values, ideologies, and worldview in subtle ways that ensure the dominance in discourse of those would-be normative voices. From discourses in the academic study of comparative religions to theology to ethics, there is a persistent tendency, usually fairly naively and with little forethought, to think and write as if there were a normative modality that speaks to and for every intellectual endeavor. White academic scholars claim implicitly to engage a value-neutral discourse analysis that has somehow surfaced as a refined (and reified) modality across the whole academic waterfront. Sometimes the act is deeply encoded in a subtle choice of words that slant the whole argument in a particular direction—without being overly obvious in stating a bias. Insofar as we scholars of color find ourselves all too often adopting the same cognitional categories that have seemed to dominate discourse generally in the academy, our own discourses run the same risk of racialization.
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Can Virtue be Learned? An Exploration of Student Learning Experiences Using Select Pedagogies and Their Implications for Fostering Altruism, Compassion, and Solidarity as Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Ethics Courses

Awarded Grant
Fozard Weaver, Darlene|Agnew Cochran, Elizabeth
Duquesne University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach virtue, or to learn it? We consider this question through research related to student learning outcomes in undergraduate ethics courses at a religiously-affiliated university with an explicit commitment to social justice. We will gather qualitative data on student learning experiences, with particular focus on select pedagogical approaches that involve exposing students to the experiences of others. We also focus our inquiry around the implications ...
Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach virtue, or to learn it? We consider this question through research related to student learning outcomes in undergraduate ethics courses at a religiously-affiliated university with an explicit commitment to social justice. We will gather qualitative data on student learning experiences, with particular focus on select pedagogical approaches that involve exposing students to the experiences of others. We also focus our inquiry around the implications of these pedagogies in relation to student understanding of and attitudes regarding three character traits identified as “other-regarding” virtues in theological and philosophical scholarship--altruism, compassion, and solidarity. Our research will assist us in refining student learning outcomes for our ethics courses and will also generate a collaborative journal article exploring virtue and select pedagogies in the undergraduate classroom.

Learning Abstract :
This qualitative study examined student experiences of learning in required undergraduate ethics courses at a religiously affiliated university. The study used three pedagogical strategies (reflection on literature and film, deep listening via community-engaged conversations, and experiential learning activities) that expose students to others' experiences. Our guiding questions were: How do our students understand the purposes and value of ethics courses? Do students experience some pedagogical strategies as having greater impact on the learning, particularly with regard to virtues of altruism, compassion, and solidarity? Do their attitudes toward the moral value of theological resources shift during the course? Students reported that the pedagogical strategies positively impacted their learning by enhancing comprehension of course material, introducing affectively engaging moral exemplars, and facilitating cognitive shifts that informed their moral reasoning. The results aligned with student attitudes regarding the purposes and value of ethics courses but showed less impact on attitudes toward theological resources.
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Constructing a Religion Department in Changing Times

Awarded Grant
Reed, Randall
Appalachian State University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Significant institutional, personnel, cultural changes, and millennials with different learning needs have resulted in a decline in student enrollments/majors threatening the Religious Studies major at Appalachian State University. During a Wabash consultancy with Gene Gallagher, we developed a departmental mission and learning goals to address these learning needs. We seek a Project Grant for a two-year cycle of retreats and reflection to develop a radically new curriculum to effectively ...
Proposal abstract :
Significant institutional, personnel, cultural changes, and millennials with different learning needs have resulted in a decline in student enrollments/majors threatening the Religious Studies major at Appalachian State University. During a Wabash consultancy with Gene Gallagher, we developed a departmental mission and learning goals to address these learning needs. We seek a Project Grant for a two-year cycle of retreats and reflection to develop a radically new curriculum to effectively address the learning needs of this new generation. With Professor Gallagher, we will spend 2015-16 creating and implementing a plan, meeting regularly to address challenges and develop strategies to confront those challenges. A second retreat will evaluate progress, correct problems, and expand successes. Our goal is to do the hard work to create a collegial environment that addresses millennial learning needs, enhances the caliber of our teaching, strengthens our program, and increases student enrollment/majors securing our program’s continued existence.

Learning Abstract :
The Appalachian State University Religious Studies Program engaged in an lengthy process of introspection thanks to the grant provided by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. The two year grant allowed us to accomplish several things: We have established a program mission and learning goals. We have created better alignment between our curriculum and our learning goals. We have established a deep foundation of discussions about pedagogy. We have undertaken to better understand our students through qualitative and quantitative measures. We have and are developing several new pedagogical approaches to religion that will undoubtedly bear fruit in the coming months and years. We have realized that despite disciplinary and ideological differences, we do share a common goal in the teaching of our students. We have created a kind of camaraderie and group cohesion through regular program discussions made possible by the Wabash Grant.
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Difficult Conversations: A Pedagogy Initiative for Graduate Students in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia

Awarded Grant
Halvorson-Taylor, Martien|Jenkins, Willis
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
We propose to develop pedagogical mentoring for doctoral students learning to teach religious studies in the midst of community confrontations with social violence. Responding specifically to recent campus inquiries into sexual violence, and extending to address economic inequality and racism, we will develop an initiative organized around a series of conversations between student teachers and faculty mentors focused on specific techniques for teaching into difficult questions and community crises of ...
Proposal abstract :
We propose to develop pedagogical mentoring for doctoral students learning to teach religious studies in the midst of community confrontations with social violence. Responding specifically to recent campus inquiries into sexual violence, and extending to address economic inequality and racism, we will develop an initiative organized around a series of conversations between student teachers and faculty mentors focused on specific techniques for teaching into difficult questions and community crises of social violence.
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Religious Studies Inside Prison Walls: A Regional Workshop

Awarded Grant
Lloyd, Vincent
Syracuse University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
What are the most effective means of teaching religious studies inside a prison? To address this question, we propose a workshop exploring two dominant secular paradigms in prison education. What can religious studies scholars learn from these pedagogical paradigms, and how might these paradigms need to be inflected based on the particular experience of religious studies educators? While there has been an increase in the number of prison education programs ...
Proposal abstract :
What are the most effective means of teaching religious studies inside a prison? To address this question, we propose a workshop exploring two dominant secular paradigms in prison education. What can religious studies scholars learn from these pedagogical paradigms, and how might these paradigms need to be inflected based on the particular experience of religious studies educators? While there has been an increase in the number of prison education programs with religious studies faculty involvement, there has been relatively little discussion of the unique pedagogical issues raised for religious studies professors teaching in prisons. We have identified a group of ten scholars (including both theologians and secular religious studies scholars) who have expertise in this area who will gather to share best practices, build mentoring relationships, and explore connections between teaching and research.

Learning Abstract :
What are the most effective means of teaching religious studies inside a prison? While there has been an increase in the number of prison education programs with religious studies faculty involvement, there has been relatively little discussion of the unique pedagogical issues raised for religious studies professors teaching in prisons. These questions guided the workshop that we convened at the University of Montreal on May 3, 2015.
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Higher Education and the Teaching Vocation at a Church-related School

Awarded Grant
Paffenroth, Kim
Iona College
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Funding will support a reading and discussion group for our faculty, to consider the future and potential changes and reforms to our school from two perspectives: the institutional identity, considering how Iona College educates within the tradition of U.S. Catholic higher education; and from the personal perspective of the faculty’s own experience of their vocation as expressing and fulfilling their religious/spiritual identities, values, and lives. Particular issues ...
Proposal abstract :
Funding will support a reading and discussion group for our faculty, to consider the future and potential changes and reforms to our school from two perspectives: the institutional identity, considering how Iona College educates within the tradition of U.S. Catholic higher education; and from the personal perspective of the faculty’s own experience of their vocation as expressing and fulfilling their religious/spiritual identities, values, and lives. Particular issues within that larger examination will be the changing dynamics of Catholic higher education in terms of curriculum, the use of high impact practices, institutional identity when religious orders are dying, and a religiously diverse faculty, staff, and student population. We would use the following text to focus our conversation, since it addresses these issues specifically: Stephen R. Haynes, ed., Professing in the Postmodern Academy: Faculty and the Future of Church-related Colleges (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2002).

Learning Abstract :
Our group engaged in lively, thought-provoking, and productive discussions based on shared readings that laid out the various pedagogical, institutional, and vocational issues facing faculty at a church-related college. Our discussions have reinforced and now focused our commitment to raising and addressing these issues with more of our colleagues through further, larger group meetings and a conference. All of this will help us (especially our new colleagues) better adapt to the challenges we face, and thereby better serve our students.
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Meeting of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy

Awarded Grant
Kalmanson, Leah
Drake University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Funding will help support the second conference of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy, to be held at Drake University in July 2015. The conference goals are to provide educators in our field with pedagogical resources, to further our field’s contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to promote the inclusion of global and multicultural perspectives in philosophy and religion classrooms at the undergraduate level. The small project ...
Proposal abstract :
Funding will help support the second conference of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy, to be held at Drake University in July 2015. The conference goals are to provide educators in our field with pedagogical resources, to further our field’s contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to promote the inclusion of global and multicultural perspectives in philosophy and religion classrooms at the undergraduate level. The small project grant from the Wabash Center will help cover travel expenses and stipends for workshop leaders and invited speakers, as well as catering costs for a 2-day conference. Our pedagogical materials will be shared on the STCP’s website, and selected presentations will be eligible for inclusion in an upcoming special issue of the journal ASIANetwork Exchange.

Learning Abstract :
The 2015 Meeting of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy brought to the foreground the politicized nature of comparative philosophy as a field. As teachers, our practices in the classroom impact our students' perceptions of cultural diversity and their capacities for cross-cultural dialogue. Hence, the question of pedagogy necessarily entails that we as teachers critically interrogate our own assumptions, not only about what we do in the classroom, but about how we understand the parameters of "comparative philosophy" as a methodology. Indeed, the challenges we face in the classroom are often catalysts for critical scholarly inquiry. This productive relationship between teaching and scholarship has become one of the key values that the STCP seeks to foster.
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Teaching about Religions in Public: A Workshop on Theories and Methods for Deepening Public Knowledge

Awarded Grant
Kilde, Jeanne|Edgell, Penny
University of Minnesota
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Religious Studies Program respectfully requests a grant from the Wabash Center to partially fund a two-day workshop for faculty members aimed at (1) investigating issues and problems related to teaching about religions in public settings outside of college classrooms, specifically public forums, media interactions, and K-12 professional development workshops, (2) evaluating several pedagogical models and related methods for translation into these public settings, and (3) developing plans for a series of events ...
Proposal abstract :
The Religious Studies Program respectfully requests a grant from the Wabash Center to partially fund a two-day workshop for faculty members aimed at (1) investigating issues and problems related to teaching about religions in public settings outside of college classrooms, specifically public forums, media interactions, and K-12 professional development workshops, (2) evaluating several pedagogical models and related methods for translation into these public settings, and (3) developing plans for a series of events and initiatives to enact selected pedagogies across the subsequent two years. Participants in the workshop will include 20-25 faculty members and graduate students from the University of Minnesota and other Twin Cities area institutions who teach about religions. We will invite Dr. Elaine Ecklund (Rice University) to facilitate the workshop. This event is part of a larger initiative, titled “Religion and Public Life,” sponsored by the Religious Studies Program on the University of Minnesota.

Learning Abstract :
Two conclusions: First, the importance of having discussions across disciplines and topics to develop shared strategies for creating public discussions that "work" in the sense of fostering widespread participation of those with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and views, and supporting respectful dialogue and constructive disagreement as well as exploring areas of commonality. Second, the necessity to interrogate widely shared discourses which may adopt a universal
language but which in reality are deeply rooted in a particular, historically constituted
set of experiences in order to create an atmosphere of genuine inclusion.
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Living Religions Collaborative Pedagogies Consultation

Awarded Grant
Riley, Philip|Drescher, Elizabeth
Santa Clara University
Undergraduate School
2015

Proposal abstract :
The proposed project is a yearlong on-site and online consultation among teaching scholars, religious practitioners, and media professionals that aims to develop a collaborative pedagogy of living religions for a media rich, digitally-integrated, religiously diverse world. The consultation will be structured around two face-to-face gatherings of classroom practitioners from the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University, communications media practitioners from Religion News Service (RNS), and congregational practitioners from Northern ...
Proposal abstract :
The proposed project is a yearlong on-site and online consultation among teaching scholars, religious practitioners, and media professionals that aims to develop a collaborative pedagogy of living religions for a media rich, digitally-integrated, religiously diverse world. The consultation will be structured around two face-to-face gatherings of classroom practitioners from the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University, communications media practitioners from Religion News Service (RNS), and congregational practitioners from Northern California religious communities. Before, between, and after the face-to-face consultations, participants will engage in collaborative reflection online. Fruits of the consultation will inform a number of products aimed at reshaping learning practice in religious studies classrooms in collaboration with religious congregations and religion media professionals. Given our university context, a central focus of the project will be how classroom, congregational, and communications media practice can more deeply and durably engage young adults in exploring religious ideas, practices, and communities.

Learning Abstract :
The LRC Pedagogy Consultation gathered teaching scholars, religion educators, religious practitioners, media professionals, and undergraduate students for a yearlong consultation aimed at developing pedagogies for a media rich, digitally-integrated, religiously diverse world. The Collaboration highlighted the importance of ongoing conversation among varied participants in the religious landscape in addressing the learning needs, questions, and interests of young adults. We learned through the project that engaging young adults in the study of religion requires developing active connections with local religious sites, communities, and practitioners, where they can explore their own questions and interests. Using digital tools to collect data that is meaningful to young adults and that facilitates forms of reflection that are familiar to "digital natives" provides rich content that brings young adults own perspectives and experiences into focus in the classroom.
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A Collaborative Teaching Apprenticeship for Students and Faculty for the PhD Program in Theology at Villanova University

Awarded Grant
Hanchin, Timothy
Villanova University
Undergraduate School
2015

Proposal abstract :
Villanova University is primed to launch a PhD program in Theology with a focus on faith engaging culture in light of the Augustinian tradition of intellectual inquiry. Key to doctoral education will be the deliberate and systematic attention to teacher formation. Collaborative Apprenticeship Sessions (CAS) introduce students to apprenticeships of pedagogical development with faculty of the Theology and Religious Studies Department, augmented by university resources such as The Villanova Institute ...
Proposal abstract :
Villanova University is primed to launch a PhD program in Theology with a focus on faith engaging culture in light of the Augustinian tradition of intellectual inquiry. Key to doctoral education will be the deliberate and systematic attention to teacher formation. Collaborative Apprenticeship Sessions (CAS) introduce students to apprenticeships of pedagogical development with faculty of the Theology and Religious Studies Department, augmented by university resources such as The Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL). The sessions are organized around three fundamental concerns for the subsequent Teaching Formation Modules (TFM): the cognitive apprehension of pedagogy theory; the appropriation of practical knowledge for achieving teaching and learning goals; and the individuation of the teaching persona. Insights gained from CAS assessment will prepare faculty for the implementation of TFMs. Published evaluations of teaching formation may inform the larger pedagogical life of Villanova and serve as a pioneering model for doctoral studies in American higher education.

Learning Abstract :
Key to doctoral education will be the deliberate and systematic attention to teacher formation. Collaborative Apprenticeship Sessions (CAS) introduced students to apprenticeships of pedagogical development with faculty of the Theology and Religious Studies Department, augmented by university resources such as The Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL). The sessions (five instead of the original 3) were organized around three fundamental concerns for the subsequent Teaching Formation Modules (TFM): the cognitive apprehension of pedagogy theory; the appropriation of practical knowledge for achieving teaching and learning goals; and the individuation of the teaching persona. The CAS achieved the first three proposed project goals of the grant. Prior to designing the courses on the philosophy of education and theological pedagogy, the Heart of Teaching needed a founding vision. Dr. Hanchin and Dr. Lang Hearlson composed the Heart of Teaching vision, rationale and learning goal and outcomes informed by the four Wabash funded pedagogical workshops and fifth synthesizing workshop.
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Fostering Religious Understanding in Going Global First Year Seminar Courses

Awarded Grant
Minister, Meredith
Shenandoah University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Students are not required to take religion courses at Shenandoah University, yet the school emphasizes that students gain proficiency in global awareness, including religious understanding. This proficiency is assessed as an outcome of the First Year Seminar Going Global program, an assessment in which students have demonstrated improvement in every aspect of global competencies with the exception of religious understanding. In response, the goals of this project are to prepare ...
Proposal abstract :
Students are not required to take religion courses at Shenandoah University, yet the school emphasizes that students gain proficiency in global awareness, including religious understanding. This proficiency is assessed as an outcome of the First Year Seminar Going Global program, an assessment in which students have demonstrated improvement in every aspect of global competencies with the exception of religious understanding. In response, the goals of this project are to prepare faculty to infuse religious literacy into First Year Seminar courses and that, as a result of this infusion, students will become more religiously literate. In order to prepare faculty to infuse religious literacy into First Year Seminar courses, this project will fund a learning community focused on drawing out religious themes embedded in four existing First Year Seminar courses, faculty workshops, and stipends for faculty to infuse religious literacy into their First Year Seminar courses.

Learning Abstract :
Faculty and students are eager to participate in discussions about the role of religion in public spaces but often do not have the resources to be able to navigate conversations around religion. Through a series of faculty workshops and interdisciplinary conversations, this project attempted to create resources for faculty to infuse teaching about religion into existing courses, particularly courses with a global focus, so that faculty are prepared for questions about religion and how they intersect with existing course content. Through this process, faculty learned how to navigate questions around how religion makes a difference in the world instead of shying away from discussions about religion. This project revealed the value of outreach from the religion faculty to other faculty on campus and how religion faculty can partner with other members of the faculty across campus in order to promote the understanding of religion.
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Undergraduate Department: Making Explicit Teaching Excellence

Awarded Grant
Brintnall, Kent|Maguire, Joanne
University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to gather information from students -- through surveys and focus groups -- about what is happening when they are having a classroom experience they would describe as valuable, worthwhile, or ''good." We want to use this material to identify the specific habits, practices and aptitudes that create for students, such experiences. The project will also create opportunities for faculty to reflect on this information to refine their ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to gather information from students -- through surveys and focus groups -- about what is happening when they are having a classroom experience they would describe as valuable, worthwhile, or ''good." We want to use this material to identify the specific habits, practices and aptitudes that create for students, such experiences. The project will also create opportunities for faculty to reflect on this information to refine their classroom practices. In sum, this project seeks to gain insight into what specific practices and skills generate engaging classroom experiences and effective teaching so that we can more thoughtfully and intentionally reproduce them with pedagogical integrity.

Learning Abstract :
Making Explicit Teaching Excellence sought to understand what students experience as effective and engaging teaching. Relying on surveys and focus groups, we asked students to explain what features of a classroom experience made the experience work well. Students clarified the importance of discussion, exploration and other "active" pedagogies. At the same time, they noted that they both needed and wanted guidance and clarification from knowledgeable, authoritative instructors. To say it another way, students distinguished between what they found engaging and what helped them to understand material. Working out how to balance "taking the lead" and "letting students figure it out" is the key learning outcome from this research.
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Revising the Core: Religious Studies 101-102 in the Rhodes College Curriculum

Awarded Grant
McNary-Zak, Bernadette
Rhodes College
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
How might we redesign the Religious Studies 101-102 sequence, which centers on the study of the biblical texts and interpretations, so that our first-year students learn to grapple more explicitly with contemporary questions of meaning and value? In order to create a teaching and learning environment that is better aligned with our institutional mission, the Department of Religious Studies at Rhodes College will evaluate the current course content and pedagogical ...
Proposal abstract :
How might we redesign the Religious Studies 101-102 sequence, which centers on the study of the biblical texts and interpretations, so that our first-year students learn to grapple more explicitly with contemporary questions of meaning and value? In order to create a teaching and learning environment that is better aligned with our institutional mission, the Department of Religious Studies at Rhodes College will evaluate the current course content and pedagogical issues in this sequence; learn more about how this sequence intersects with other areas of the college curriculum; articulate a set of expectations, standards, and learning goals for a revised model for Religious Studies 101-102; and develop courses for a revised Religious Studies 101-102 sequence.

Learning Abstract :
Our department undertook curricular revision to improve teaching and learning in our Religious Studies 101-102 courses, one of two first-year sequences required for incoming students at our institution. Over the course of the grant period, we engaged in a process of critical reflection about how we teach these courses; we learned more about how these courses might intersect with other areas of the college curriculum; we articulated a set of expectations, standards, and learning goals for a revised course sequence; and we developed courses for a revised sequence. These courses are foundational and central to the strength of our liberal arts curriculum. They are relevant sites for engaging issues of identity and difference, inclusivity and diversity. Our revised Religious Studies 101-102 sequence seeks to better serve our curriculum, pedagogical aims, and institutional mission.
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Intentional Interdisciplinarity: Instituting Religion across the Curriculum

Awarded Grant
DeTemple, Jill
Southern Methodist University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
The new University Curriculum at Southern Methodist University presents expanded opportunities for the interdisciplinary study of religion within and across departments that have thus far been unrealized by the department of religious studies and others in the greater university. This grant will allow the department to identify, articulate, and add value to the teaching of religions in global contexts across disciplines through a series of supported conversations with related (affinal) ...
Proposal abstract :
The new University Curriculum at Southern Methodist University presents expanded opportunities for the interdisciplinary study of religion within and across departments that have thus far been unrealized by the department of religious studies and others in the greater university. This grant will allow the department to identify, articulate, and add value to the teaching of religions in global contexts across disciplines through a series of supported conversations with related (affinal) departments, and then more distant units across the wider university. These conversations will focus on the expansion and routinization of students' exposure to differing theories, methods, data, and disciplines in the study of religion.

Learning Abstract :
The new University Curriculum at Southern Methodist University presented expanded opportunities for the interdisciplinary study of religion within and across departments that have thus far been unrealized by the department of religious studies and others in the greater university. This grant allowed the department to identify, articulate, and add value to the teaching of religions in global contexts across disciplines through a series of supported conversations with related (affinal) departments, and then more distant units across the wider university. These conversations focused on the expansion and routinization of students' exposure to differing theories, methods, data, and disciplines in the study of religion.
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Teaching Religious Studies to Undergraduate Students in Health-Related Fields

Awarded Grant
Berkwitz, Stephen|Schmalzbauer, John
Missouri State University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Many undergraduate students pursuing degrees and careers in health-related fields will eventually discover that a knowledge of religious diversity and the interrelations between religion, spirituality, and health would be extremely useful for their work. We propose to develop a coherent curriculum made up of Religious Studies courses and internships to increase the cultural competence of students in health and human services programs. By discovering and communicating how Religious Studies can ...
Proposal abstract :
Many undergraduate students pursuing degrees and careers in health-related fields will eventually discover that a knowledge of religious diversity and the interrelations between religion, spirituality, and health would be extremely useful for their work. We propose to develop a coherent curriculum made up of Religious Studies courses and internships to increase the cultural competence of students in health and human services programs. By discovering and communicating how Religious Studies can enhance the education of these students, we aim to develop a capacity to teach about the many ways that Religion and Health intersect, and build meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations between Religious Studies and Health programs at Missouri State University. These goals will be accomplished through meetings with stakeholders on campus and in the health professions, symposia and consultations with outside experts, and collaborative curriculum development projects undertaken by faculty.

Learning Abstract :
Our grant research and activities taught us that Religious Studies courses can contribute in meaningful ways to the education of students in pre-professional health-related fields. By engaging students, faculty, and staff from the College of Health and Human Services in conversations about the interests and needs of future health professionals, we learned that we could design courses in areas where the humanities and the health sciences converge. Our faculty worked in collaboration to develop courses that explore the relationships between religion and health, enhance student understanding about religious diversity, and provide practical knowledge for students who plan to work with patients and clients. While creating a curricular focus on religion and health to complement our department's other offerings, we developed a clearer rationale for explaining the relevance and usefulness of Religious Studies coursework to students seeking an education in health and human services fields.
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Toward a Dynamic Model of Religious Studies Senior Capstone

Awarded Grant
Gorvine, William|Williamson, Robert
Hendrix College
Undergraduate School
2015

Proposal abstract :
The Religious Studies Senior Capstone, currently a 25-page thesis required of all majors, does not consistently meet the needs of students and faculty and may not be the appropriate capstone for the major. We propose to evaluate and redesign the senior capstone to bring it into alignment with our department goals. We will host a Wabash consultant to help us articulate our goals for the capstone and then a campus-wide ...
Proposal abstract :
The Religious Studies Senior Capstone, currently a 25-page thesis required of all majors, does not consistently meet the needs of students and faculty and may not be the appropriate capstone for the major. We propose to evaluate and redesign the senior capstone to bring it into alignment with our department goals. We will host a Wabash consultant to help us articulate our goals for the capstone and then a campus-wide workshop on possible humanities capstone models, including three consultants from model institutions. Over the summer department members will design a new capstone model, which will be implemented in the final semester of the grant. We will also a host an on-campus dialogue about interdisciplinary capstones, hoping to foster cooperation among departments.

Learning Abstract :
We proposed to evaluate and redesign the senior capstone experience to bring it into alignment with our department goals, a task we successfully accomplished with the help of a Wabash mentor, a campus workshop featuring consultants from model institutions, and a series of departmental retreats. The department re-articulated its department learning goals and collaboratively created, implemented, evaluated and further refined a new capstone course. It integrates three primary elements: (1) an intellectual autobiography asking students to reflect on their learning, with emphasis on the major; (2) a project designed on the basis of students' intellectual interests with implications for their life beyond Hendrix; and (3) a process of translating religious studies and liberal arts experiences into language appropriate for a résumé and for interviews with employers. The course has produced promising results that have been well-received by the college's leadership, and may provide a model for other programs.
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Religious Commitments in the Classroom

Awarded Grant
Brackett, Jeffrey
Ball State University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Our response to decreased enrollments is to ask, “How do we increase the appeal, visibility, and value of the connections in our curriculum to the students’ intellectual and personal goals/development?” Our goals are to: • Increase enrollment in our courses • Increase the number of Religious Studies Majors/Minors • Increase students’ ability to discern and articulate self-knowledge and knowledge of the world We will reach these goals by first communicating effectively ...
Proposal abstract :
Our response to decreased enrollments is to ask, “How do we increase the appeal, visibility, and value of the connections in our curriculum to the students’ intellectual and personal goals/development?” Our goals are to: • Increase enrollment in our courses • Increase the number of Religious Studies Majors/Minors • Increase students’ ability to discern and articulate self-knowledge and knowledge of the world We will reach these goals by first communicating effectively our own response to the presenting question. The next step is helping students to discern and articulate self-knowledge and knowledge of the world. Their responses help us identify links between their values and the values of Religious Studies courses. We also will elicit feedback from colleagues and leaders of campus religious groups regarding what religion topics are of greatest interest to their students. This feedback will help us design units and develop new courses that will help us achieve our project goals.

Learning Abstract :
We desired to increase the appeal, visibility, and value of the connections in our curriculum to the students' intellectual and personal goals/development. We sought to increase enrollment in our courses, increase the number of Religious Studies Majors/Minors, and increase students' ability to discern and articulate self-knowledge and knowledge of the world. We sought to reach these goals through: 1) ongoing workshops, which led to our developing of activities addressing "religious commitments" in the classroom, as well as redesigning/overhauling our curriculum in line with our goals of increasing, majors/minors and increasing enrollments; 2) reviving our former "Religious Studies Club" as "Religion Conversation Hour;" 3) meeting regularly with Council of Religious Advisors, a group of local religious leaders who advise BSU student religious groups; and 4) developing new courses, revising others, and dropping a few that were no longer integral to our program goals. While every aspect is taking longer than anticipated, slowing down has brought new focus. We have increased majors/minors, we have begun working together more effectively in the religious studies program, and we are challenged to seek new ways of changing any negative perceptions of our program.
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Developing Interfaith Encounters as High Impact Educational Practices

Awarded Grant
Siegler, Elijah
College of Charleston
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Our department will enhance and institutionalize engaged learning practices focused on interfaith encounter. We aim to establish an expectation that every graduating Religious Studies major will have experienced at least one interfaith engaged learning practice. This Wabash grant will support us in our efforts to create the conditions that would make this expectation feasible and sustainable. This grant will fund three types of programs: 1) Specific events designed to generate interest ...
Proposal abstract :
Our department will enhance and institutionalize engaged learning practices focused on interfaith encounter. We aim to establish an expectation that every graduating Religious Studies major will have experienced at least one interfaith engaged learning practice. This Wabash grant will support us in our efforts to create the conditions that would make this expectation feasible and sustainable. This grant will fund three types of programs: 1) Specific events designed to generate interest for and facilitate reflection on the project, including a foray dinner, mid-point meetings for evaluation and correction, and a final summative conference bringing together all stakeholders. 2) Faculty enrichment to design and implement engaged learning practices in the classroom and abroad or away. 3) The institutional infrastructure to sustain these practices long-term by providing course releases and stipends for faculty who will take the role Student Engagement Coordinator.

Learning Abstract :
Our goal that every Religious Studies major would have experienced at least one interfaith HILE by the time they graduate was more or less met, as was the expectation that majors would highly value these experiences—that was the easy part! What was harder to measure, we learned, was whether our changes would be recognized by the upper administration. So publicity needs to be a factor in any teaching project, especially in light of the crisis in the humanities on most college campuses. Some of our most successful events were interfaith activities that cost very little in funding (and indeed were not a line item in our original budget) but generated a lot of positive media! Finally we learned that changing our department's culture takes food, robust conversation, reading common texts, but it also will take hiring new faculty when our senior colleagues retire, and not losing tenure-track lines!
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The Teaching and Learning of Religion at a Public University

Awarded Grant
Lowe, Margaret
Bridgewater State University
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
BSU, like most state universities, has not yet addressed the teaching and learning of religious studies. Though faculty across disciplines regularly engage the subject, BSU lacks formal curricula, CORE requirements, or pedagogical collaborations in religious studies. To address this fundamental gap, our grant proposes a semester-long BSU Teaching Circle which will: (1) evaluate BSU’s existing ad hoc efforts; (2) study and adapt for BSU best practices culled from regional and national ...
Proposal abstract :
BSU, like most state universities, has not yet addressed the teaching and learning of religious studies. Though faculty across disciplines regularly engage the subject, BSU lacks formal curricula, CORE requirements, or pedagogical collaborations in religious studies. To address this fundamental gap, our grant proposes a semester-long BSU Teaching Circle which will: (1) evaluate BSU’s existing ad hoc efforts; (2) study and adapt for BSU best practices culled from regional and national models; (3) craft an initial religious studies prospectus aligned with BSU’s mission, strategic plan and specific population; and, (4) develop a sustainable Community of Scholars. Key outcomes are: (1) a clearly articulated, BSU-specific template for a religious studies curriculum; an internal, campus-wide system for sharing ideas, materials and resources (Blackboard); and (2) a set of potential assessment tools and metrics to evaluate the teaching and learning of religious studies in relation to student success at BSU.

Learning Abstract :
The Bridgewater State University (MA) Teaching Circles created an intensive, semester-long collaborative framework for a dedicated group of inter-disciplinary faculty who considered and then established critical, substantive and specific guidelines for the teaching and learning of religion at a public university. Based on our rigorous, systematic and reflective effort, we aligned these guidelines to BSU's specific institutional context, mission and student population. The project resulted in wide-spread administrative and faculty support to establish a new minor in Global Religious Studies as well as additional internal funding and an on-going Community of GRS Teacher/Scholars.
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Campus Book Discussion on Religious Violence

Awarded Grant
Royalty, Robert
Wabash College
Undergraduate School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this small grant is to support a campus conversation on the pedagogies of teaching about religious diversity and conflict led by the Religion department and supported by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology. The focus of the conversation will be the recent book by Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this small grant is to support a campus conversation on the pedagogies of teaching about religious diversity and conflict led by the Religion department and supported by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology. The focus of the conversation will be the recent book by Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name.
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Transforming Teaching about Religion and Spirituality in a Transformative Time

Awarded Grant
Richey, Jeffrey
Berea College
Undergraduate School
2016
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This small grant will support research on the impact of the changing cultural-historical context of “religion” and “spirituality” on the teaching of Religion at Berea College. The goals are to survey polling data related to student perceptions of “religion” and “spirituality” and, in response, develop course syllabi and other curricular revisions to address the challenges of teaching about these subjects in an increasingly “spiritual, not religious” era.
Proposal abstract :
This small grant will support research on the impact of the changing cultural-historical context of “religion” and “spirituality” on the teaching of Religion at Berea College. The goals are to survey polling data related to student perceptions of “religion” and “spirituality” and, in response, develop course syllabi and other curricular revisions to address the challenges of teaching about these subjects in an increasingly “spiritual, not religious” era.

Learning Abstract :
The environment for teaching and learning about religion in America is changing rapidly. Like other humanities fields, religious studies has witnessed a decline in the number of undergraduates choosing it as a major. At the same time, the portion of university students who personally participate in or identify with traditional religions has shrunk, with more than a third claiming labels such as "nones" (i.e., those who do not feel any connection to religious institutions) or "spiritual but not religious" (i.e., drawn to ultimate concerns and attracted to ritual practices but disinclined to seek formal membership in religious communities). Those trained in the study of religion may need to embrace both broader understandings of religious phenomena (such as "spirituality and culture" or "diffuse vs. institutional religion") and broader visions of their place in the academy, including perhaps reassignment to curricular units that lack the term "religion" or "religious" in their names.
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Teaching Contemplation across Traditions: An Inter-religious Colloquium

Awarded Grant
Iwamura, Jane|Gauthier, Tina
University of the West
Undergraduate School
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
University of the West, a Buddhist-founded institution, will host a one-day event for select faculty of our interfaith consortium partners: Claremont School of Theology (Christianity), Academy for Jewish Religion (Judaism), Bayan Claremont (Islam), and the Indic Foundation (Hinduism). The colloquium, entitled “Teaching Contemplation Across Traditions,” will focus on 1) how contemplative practices and pedagogies are incorporated into religious and theological education within the five aforementioned religious traditions, and 2) how each of ...
Proposal abstract :
University of the West, a Buddhist-founded institution, will host a one-day event for select faculty of our interfaith consortium partners: Claremont School of Theology (Christianity), Academy for Jewish Religion (Judaism), Bayan Claremont (Islam), and the Indic Foundation (Hinduism). The colloquium, entitled “Teaching Contemplation Across Traditions,” will focus on 1) how contemplative practices and pedagogies are incorporated into religious and theological education within the five aforementioned religious traditions, and 2) how each of the five traditions prepares clergy and members to teach contemplative practices to others. The student learning needs that prompt this colloquium are twofold. First, as mentioned, contemplative practices enhance student learning experiences by bringing together mind, body, and spirit. Contemplation enables students to access new knowledge pathways (i.e. emotional, spiritual, kinesthetic, embodied, contextual, etc.) not always accessible through traditional academic practices. The second learning need deals with preparing religious leaders and pastoral care workers to serve diverse populations and foster inter-religious cooperation through the use of contemplative practices. The second need is particularly student-driven, while this particular solution is faculty-centered.

Learning Abstract :
The colloquium brought together faculty from our Southern California interfaith consortium—Academy for Jewish Religion (Judaism), Bayan Claremont (Islam), Claremont School of Theology (Christianity), Indic Foundation (Hinduism), and University of the West (Buddhism)—to discuss: 1) how contemplative practices and pedagogies are incorporated into religious and theological education within the five aforementioned religious traditions, and 2) how each of the five traditions prepares clergy and members to teach contemplative practices to others. Sixteen faculty participants gained a deep appreciation of contemplative practice from the respective faith traditions. Participants were especially impressed by the diversity of these practices and the different ways these practices engaged mind, body, and spirit. We also began to discuss how we incorporate these practices and perspectives into the classroom. A major realization was the communal nature of contemplative practice, i.e., the way in which religious contemplation (often seen as a solitary endeavor) actually creates and strengthens community.
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Faculty Retreat program

Awarded Grant
Shire, Michael
Hebrew College
Undergraduate School
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Hebrew College will hold its first faculty retreat in June 2016 as a culmination of a year of faculty working parties devoted to various themes of teaching and learning including peer teaching observations, methods of teaching in higher education, showcasing faculty assets, refining the student feedback cycle for greater impact on instruction and teaching resources for classroom and online environments.
Proposal abstract :
Hebrew College will hold its first faculty retreat in June 2016 as a culmination of a year of faculty working parties devoted to various themes of teaching and learning including peer teaching observations, methods of teaching in higher education, showcasing faculty assets, refining the student feedback cycle for greater impact on instruction and teaching resources for classroom and online environments.

Learning Abstract :
A group of faculty in an institution of higher learning can be further motivated and increasingly collaborative when they are invested in their own professional learning and reflective of their practice in the classroom. A Wabash Center small grant enabled the faculty of Hebrew College to initiate a peer led group of working parties on teaching and learning including the development of intellectual assets, peer to peer classroom observations, developing the student feedback assessment loop and deliberating on best practice in theological and textual teaching. Working parties were able to present their deliberations at a faculty retreat at the end of the year leading to swift implementation in the fall semester. Evidence of greater faculty collaboration across schools ensued and initiation of proactive reflective practice including syllabi review, co-teaching, etc. This year long project culminating in an end of year retreat is a model to be replicated as well as preparing faculty for an accreditation self-study for improvement in teaching and learning at the College.
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Arampur: A Virtual Indian Village on the World Wide Web

Awarded Grant
Schmalz, Mathew|Gottschalk, Peter
College of the Holy Cross
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for creation of a virtual Indian village on the World Wide Web to engage students in the exploration of issues of religious and cultural difference through the specificity of North Indian rural life.
Proposal abstract :
Support for creation of a virtual Indian village on the World Wide Web to engage students in the exploration of issues of religious and cultural difference through the specificity of North Indian rural life.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to engage students in the exploration of religious and cultural differences through a website designed to be a virtual tour of a North Indian rural village. As a teaching aide it sought to introduce students to religious life in rural North India, to engage students in the examination of the relationship between religion and society and to provide instructional support for courses considering South Asian civilization and issues of cross-cultural understanding.
The Virtual Village website was developed and can be found at: http://virtualvillage.wesleyan.edu/
The researchers found the experience formative for themselves as teacher-scholars. Their research showed how their investigative techniques developed, and showed them their ability to work collaboratively with each other and with the residents of the village upon whom the site is based. The website design required awareness of the diverse learning styles of students and the pedagogies needed to match those styles. The open structure of the website reflects for them their commitment to develop their teaching further.
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Teaching Religious and Theological Texts in an Integrated Freshman Core

Awarded Grant
Niedner, Frederick
Valparaiso University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Study leave grant to support study of teaching and learning issues involved in the integration of religious and theological texts into core curriculum, including faculty resistance to such topics of study.
Proposal abstract :
Study leave grant to support study of teaching and learning issues involved in the integration of religious and theological texts into core curriculum, including faculty resistance to such topics of study.

Learning Abstract :
This study leave project sought to study ways of assisting the teaching and enhancing the learning of theological texts in the Valparaiso University's Freshman Core course. He sought to examine and reflect upon reasons why both students and teachers find the study of religious and theological texts more problematic than the study of other kinds of texts. He also hoped to provide training for faculty who would teach the core, and to develop materials that could assist in recruitment of faculty instructors.
A significant learning gained from discussion with faculty concerned their own feelings of uneasiness and inadequacy when handling religious texts, particularly sacred or canonical texts. These instructors concluded that their uneasiness must have surely affected the nature of the class discussions and contributed to student uneasiness. Speaking at length with faculty in the area of Literature helped him to see that these instructors treat all texts as sacred and thus model for other faculty and students a "religious reading" of text. This is a useful stance to bring to the core course.
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Integrating Archaeology into Biblical Studies: A Consultation Series for Improving Instruction

Awarded Grant
Aubin, Melissa
Florida State University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Consultation to work on improving teaching and learning in the area of biblical studies through identifying strategies for the integration of the study of archaeology.
Proposal abstract :
Consultation to work on improving teaching and learning in the area of biblical studies through identifying strategies for the integration of the study of archaeology.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to convene scholars in a series of consultations devoted to integrating knowledge from the field of biblical archeology into biblical studies courses that have been traditionally limited to the literature of biblical cultures. It sought to identify ways to integrate the material culture of the biblical world into biblical studies courses, to consider new pedagogical strategies to that end, and to strategize practical approaches for integrating the work into syllabi.
The first consultation was dedicated to creating material for an anthology of practical strategies for integrating archeology into biblical studies. Participants' remarks became the basis of essays for the anthology. They also discussed teaching experiences in this area, syllabi and teaching materials. The second consultation was devoted to continued discussion on the anthology and the practical pedagogical issues it raised. Finally, they discussed ways to present accumulated teaching materials and specific resources.
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Integrating the Five Textures Approach to Religious Texts Throughout the Religion Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Chismar, Doug
Chowan College
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support faculty workshops and conversation on teaching and learning issues of using the “five textures” approach (an interdisciplinary approach to the study of texts and their contexts) in religion curriculum.
Proposal abstract :
Support faculty workshops and conversation on teaching and learning issues of using the “five textures” approach (an interdisciplinary approach to the study of texts and their contexts) in religion curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to implement within its curriculum an integrative pedagogical approach through a departmental retreat and a workshop with a professional consultant. The project hoped to develop an appropriate pedagogy to incorporate the "Five Textures Approach" interdisciplinary methodology for interpreting religious texts into all areas of the recently revised religion major curriculum.
The faculty retreat proved invaluable for this small department. It provided work space. As well as the social connections necessary to build a sense of community that facilitated their dialogue. As a result of their work, they were able to streamline and better integrate the major. They found the "Five Textures Approach" helpful, but the use of its language proved to be confusing for the students. New terminology helped them to put the approach into more accessible language. They also considered this pedagogy in light of recruiting concerns for the department major.
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Active Learning Theories and Applications in Religious Studies: A Collaborative Regional Consultation

Awarded Grant
Stratton, Beverly
Augsburg College
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Regional consultation to prepare for publication a volume on active learning theories and applications by participants from the Upper Midwest Region AAR/Lilly teaching workshop.
Proposal abstract :
Regional consultation to prepare for publication a volume on active learning theories and applications by participants from the Upper Midwest Region AAR/Lilly teaching workshop.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather scholars in a regional consultation seeking to improve the quality of teaching and learning in religious studies and theology by preparing for publication of a volume on active learning theories and applications. This consultation grew out of a regional AAR/Lilly teaching workshop in the Upper Midwest Region.
The Wabash grant helped them to begin to recognize through their teaching experience in the classroom, what they had learned in the AAR/Lilly teaching workshop. The ability to have safe, positive relationships with peers allowed them to become more critically reflective of their teaching practices and course goals. It also assisted them in their ability to test out new methods with teaching colleagues.
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Coming Together: A Consultation for Pastoral Psychologists

Awarded Grant
Bohn, Carole
Boston University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject

Proposal abstract :
Consultation to initiate communication among faculty who represent various perspectives on the integration of religion, spirituality, and psychology to improve theoretical and practical educational models and to extend the repertoire of approaches and resources for teaching and learning.
Proposal abstract :
Consultation to initiate communication among faculty who represent various perspectives on the integration of religion, spirituality, and psychology to improve theoretical and practical educational models and to extend the repertoire of approaches and resources for teaching and learning.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather pastoral counselors together for a consultation whose aim was to bring into dialogue three groups of faculty who represent three distinct, "nonconversant perspectives" on the integration of religion/spirituality and psychology. Three groups of individuals gathered: (1) liberal Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faculty, (2) Evangelical Christian faculty, and (3) psychologists who are interested in religious issues. The goal of the consultation was communication between the groups and examining theoretical and practical educational models in their work.
The participants agreed that their knowledge of educational models was developed in ways useful for their individual teaching. Their preconceptions about their differences were challenged and they found that they had much more in common than previously realized. They learned that their points of difference were more inline with the divisions between empirical and theoretical research that is present in the field of psychology generally. A major success of the consultation that contributed to overall learning was the opportunity to form personal relationships with colleagues who represent different perspectives.
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Case Book on the Teaching of Religion

Awarded Grant
Eckel, David
Boston University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Renewal of 1997 grant to extend a book of case studies about real-life classroom situations for use in training doctoral students and teaching fellows, focusing on the religious dimension of their work in the classroom.
Proposal abstract :
Renewal of 1997 grant to extend a book of case studies about real-life classroom situations for use in training doctoral students and teaching fellows, focusing on the religious dimension of their work in the classroom.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to continue the work begun two years earlier which involved creating a book of case studies about real-life classroom situations. The book would emerge from seminars for doctoral students on teaching, using an adapted version of the case study method developed at the Harvard Business School. With this second grant they hoped to create cases focusing on the religious dimensions of their classroom work, as well as expand its audience to include the teaching fellows of the Boston University School of Theology.
The manuscript, Casebook for College and University Instructors of Religion, was created. The project director reports that their teaching fellows found it both exciting and useful to reflect upon their teaching using this method, and that it made them "far more thoughtful and effective teachers."
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Conference on Religion in the South and Electronic Media

Awarded Grant
Laderman, Gary
Emory University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Three day conference to promote discussion between scholars across disciplines (theology, religious studies, history) about teaching religions in the American South, emphasizing the uses of electronic media.
Proposal abstract :
Three day conference to promote discussion between scholars across disciplines (theology, religious studies, history) about teaching religions in the American South, emphasizing the uses of electronic media.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund an interdisciplinary, multimedia conference entitled "Religion in the American South: Toward a renewed scholarship." They hoped to promote discussion between scholars in theology, religious studies and history about teaching religion in the American South with emphasis on electronic media.
The project director reports that the conference reinvigorated scholarly interest in religions in the South and emphasized the potential of the web for research and teaching in this area. It also promoted the exchange of ideas about teaching among conference participants.
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Consultation on Bible in the General Education Curricula

Awarded Grant
Giles, Terry
Gannon University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Series of four full-day meetings that gather representatives from regional institutions that have introductory courses on Bible in the general education curriculum. Topics will consist of the rationale for the presence of such courses, the use of new communication technologies and evaluation/assessment in such courses, and consideration of the future cultural role of biblical studies.
Proposal abstract :
Series of four full-day meetings that gather representatives from regional institutions that have introductory courses on Bible in the general education curriculum. Topics will consist of the rationale for the presence of such courses, the use of new communication technologies and evaluation/assessment in such courses, and consideration of the future cultural role of biblical studies.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to bring together representatives of colleges and universities from the Eastern Great Lakes region for a series of four consultations on the Bible and general education curriculum. The purpose of the consultation was to assess the rationale for those courses and to evaluate various methodologies used in teaching them. Ultimately, it hoped to examine and articulate the role of Biblical studies in the core curriculum of an
American university at the commencement of the 21st century.

They found that there is no one normative approach to Biblical texts in general educational curriculum. Rather, the curriculum should be learner centered, focusing on helping students to discover their own answers. Biblical courses will remain key to curriculum in the 21st century because of the ways in which Biblical literacy helps to create an historical reality by which to evaluate immediate experience. Also, it helps students read primary texts. Computer technology and the internet are key resources for teaching Bible in the 21st century.
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Collaboration on a Religion and Culture Course

Awarded Grant
Denzey, Nicola
Skidmore College
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Three religion faculty collaborate to shape a new introductory course with an emphasis on team-teaching, multimedia presentations, an interactive website with course resources and databases, and an honors section.
Proposal abstract :
Three religion faculty collaborate to shape a new introductory course with an emphasis on team-teaching, multimedia presentations, an interactive website with course resources and databases, and an honors section.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to shape a new introduction to religion course with hopes of it invigorating the new religion major at the school. The course would be team taught by scholars of religion with different specializations and would involve creation of a course website with resource and databases. The course would also have an additional, jointly taught session for students in the Skidmore Honors Forum.
Grant money allowed them to bring in outside resources to the course and include a field trip for religion majors. Changes in the required faculty load made it impractical to include an extra Honors Forum section. They incorporated that work into the course instead. The major success of the course was the development of website of resources including online syllabi, course assignments and readings, religion links, an online image database and a glossary of course terms.
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Teaching Renewal & Retreat on “The Courage to Teach”

Awarded Grant
Burns, Camilla
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Extend annual faculty retreat in order to engage faculty in discussion of teaching as vocation with the help of Parker Palmer’s book, The Courage to Teach, the book’s study guides, video, and a facilitator.
Proposal abstract :
Extend annual faculty retreat in order to engage faculty in discussion of teaching as vocation with the help of Parker Palmer’s book, The Courage to Teach, the book’s study guides, video, and a facilitator.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funding for a faculty retreat and renewal on the topic of teaching as vocation, based on the work of Parker Palmer.
The final report indicated that the retreat was extremely successful. There was genuine appreciation for the degree of honest conversation about teaching struggles and successes that is present in the group. They felt that the retreat helped to establish a process of conversation that can be used in future dialogues on the ministry of teaching.
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Consultation for Learning Bible at Seattle Pacific University

Awarded Grant
Wall, Robert |Steele, Les
Seattle Pacific University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Two departmental retreats with outside professional consultants, the first to consider the pedagogy of a Scripture course intended for the traditional college sophomore, and the second to reflect on and assess the teaching of that course during the prior year.
Proposal abstract :
Two departmental retreats with outside professional consultants, the first to consider the pedagogy of a Scripture course intended for the traditional college sophomore, and the second to reflect on and assess the teaching of that course during the prior year.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a consultation on learning Bible at Seattle Pacific University in order to develop new strategies for teaching scripture as a required course. This would be accomplished through faculty retreats with nationally known scholars of teaching, as well as conversations with student focus groups.
The project director reports that the consultation was provocative and successful in accomplishing the stated goals. They reported the following implications of the consultation on the future of the Bible course: 1. develop a process to train and utilize advanced students as participant observers; 2. use of the "clearness meeting" to engage in formative faculty conversations regarding teaching and vocation; 3. to develop longitudinal surveys to evaluate long-term student learning; 4. to support and encourage writing and consultation on issues related to the course; 5. use of teaching portfolios for faculty teaching this course.
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Teacher Assessment in Religious Studies and Theology Departments in Undergraduate and Graduate Education in Three Institutions

Awarded Grant
Kollar, Nathan
St. John Fisher College
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Research to discover, gather, improve, create, test, and evaluate teaching assessment instruments for religious studies and theology teachers in undergraduate and graduate education in three Roman Catholic institutions.
Proposal abstract :
Research to discover, gather, improve, create, test, and evaluate teaching assessment instruments for religious studies and theology teachers in undergraduate and graduate education in three Roman Catholic institutions.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather a team of five scholar-teachers with extensive administrative experience to study teacher assessment in three Roman Catholic religious studies and theology departments. Their purpose was "to gather, discover, improve, create and test teaching assessment instruments for religious studies and theology teachers."
The team of five met monthly for a year to discuss ways to become more effective teachers and how to encourage others to become better teachers. In gathering and reflecting upon assessment literature they found very little was addressed to the specific needs of theology and religious studies. They experimented with new assessment techniques and reviewed the results. They discovered that "the most important instrument for classroom assessment is gathering with concerned faculty to discuss our mutual classroom expectations, experiences, and experiments."
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Teaching Catholic Social Teaching

Awarded Grant
Whitmore, Todd
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Series of conferences for Catholic colleges and universities to help develop programs in Catholic social teaching.
Proposal abstract :
Series of conferences for Catholic colleges and universities to help develop programs in Catholic social teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought "to initiate the institution of programs in Catholic social teaching at twelve Catholic colleges and universities in the United States." It sought to respond to the lack of knowledge and practice of Catholic social teaching on the part of American Catholics, through the creation of college and university level programs.
Overall, the participants' efforts on the individual campuses were successful in creating stronger programs for teaching Catholic social teaching in their institutions. In these schools, administrative officers frequently cited the presence of these programs as evidence of the school's Catholic identity; however, at times the level of verbal support did not match the material support. Other learning involved the reality that schools have not yet fully appreciated or rewarded faculty for their involvement in Catholic social teaching and justice projects. Participants saw these programs as having a positive effect on their campuses.
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Training Future Teachers of Christian Thought for Diverse Institutional Settings

Awarded Grant
Hauerwas, Stanley |Rogers, Eugene
University of Virginia
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Start a two-year series of annual symposia for faculty and graduate students at the University of Virginia and Duke University, alternating yearly between the two schools, to promote better teaching of Christian thought among graduate students.
Proposal abstract :
Start a two-year series of annual symposia for faculty and graduate students at the University of Virginia and Duke University, alternating yearly between the two schools, to promote better teaching of Christian thought among graduate students.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop an ongoing series of annual symposia at the University of Virginia and Duke University, alternating yearly between Charlottesville and Durham, to promote better teaching of Christian thought among graduate students.
The focus of the gatherings was on graduate students presenting sample job talks. They chose this model because of the difficulty of this type of presentation, which has a dual audience and purpose. Also, holding the symposia at two different institutions allowed graduate students to experience different contexts in which theology and religious studies is taught. The project directors report that the symposia were well attended and were extremely useful to the graduate students in their professional development.
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Preparation of Graduate Students for Careers as Teachers

Awarded Grant
TeSelle, Eugene
Vanderbilt University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Enhancement of required seminars for first-year Ph.D. students through “apprentice” relationships with Master Teaching Fellow, recent graduates in first teaching positions, and the wider community of scholars in the field of religion.
Proposal abstract :
Enhancement of required seminars for first-year Ph.D. students through “apprentice” relationships with Master Teaching Fellow, recent graduates in first teaching positions, and the wider community of scholars in the field of religion.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought "enhancement of required seminars for first-year Ph.D. students through ‘apprentice' relationships with Master Teaching Fellow, recent graduates in first teaching positions, and the wider community of scholars in the field of religion." The project built upon earlier funded projects by The Wabash Center.
They felt that this follow-up grant helped them to "sustain and refine" their training program. The project director reports that the program is viewed by both faculty and students as a major asset of the department and that it is frequently cited by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching as a model program among the graduate departments of the university.
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Theological Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Szarek, Gene
Loyola University Chicago
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
The Theology Department will develop a practicum to initiate a formal program to train graduate students in the methodologies of student learning, teaching styles, teaching strategies, and a coherent, underlying philosophy of teaching.
Proposal abstract :
The Theology Department will develop a practicum to initiate a formal program to train graduate students in the methodologies of student learning, teaching styles, teaching strategies, and a coherent, underlying philosophy of teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a program to train doctoral students in methodologies of student learning, teaching styles, teaching strategies, and to develop a coherent philosophy of teaching. This would be achieved through a non-credit course for doctoral students.
The program was successful in its attempt to train teachers. The project director reports that there appeared to be differing expectations among students about whether the course should lean toward pedagogical theory or toward a teaching practicum.
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A National Conference on Service/Learning in the Discipline of Religion: A Future of Service

Awarded Grant
McLain, F. Michael|Favazza, Joseph
Rhodes College
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices