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AJCU Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship Planning Meeting

Awarded Grant
Masson, Robert|Gaillardetz, Rick|Hornbeck, J. Patrick
Fordham University
Undergraduate School
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
In response to the increasing prevalence of part-time instructors in Theology and Religious Studies courses, particularly in small Jesuit institutions, as well as in response to a challenging job market for the graduates of Jesuit doctoral programs in these disciplines, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities' conference of theology and religious studies chairs is proposing to create a national postdoctoral teaching fellowship program. The program would establish a cohort of three-year, non-renewable postdoctoral positions at participating institutions, which would provide young scholars with job security, teaching preparation, and professional mentorship, while also providing institutions an opportunity to shift away from dependence on part-time instructors. We propose to craft, during academic year 2016-17, a proposal for a Wabash doctoral grant that would underwrite the teaching preparation component of this project; the present proposal seeks support for a planning meeting in November 2016, in connection with the AAR/SBL annual meetings.

Learning Abstract :
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Theology and Religious Studies Chairs Conference held our November 2016 planning meeting in San Antonio, Texas. We had several interrelated goals for the November meeting. First, we sought to assess whether the institutions and departments represented by the AJCU chairs' conference would be willing to commit to establishing a nation-wide network of postdoctoral teaching fellowships in Theology and Religious Studies. This network, as we envisioned it, would both help smaller Jesuit institutions improve the quality of teaching in their theology or religious studies departments as well as provide recent graduates of Jesuit doctoral programs in theology and religious studies with a new set of professional opportunities. While these interconnected agenda items were the primary purpose for the gathering, we also took advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to assemble to conduct the usual business of the conference's annual meeting.
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