Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grant

Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grant


Application Opens: January 16, 2024

Application Deadline: April 10, 2024


Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grants explore the habits, principles, and practices of intergenerational mentoring within the context of the academy toward the purpose of fostering collegial relationships. The grants, awarded in the amounts up to $30,000 serve full-time faculty who teach religion or theology at colleges, universities and theological schools in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Facilitated and managed by one to two senior faculty/administrators in their own institutional context, Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grants are meant to provide hospitable conversation spaces, support, and networking for early career colleagues and/or colleagues of constituency groups which support theological education (for example, theological librarians, seminary deans, field education administrators, etc.)

The facilitator(s) will design a series of mentoring conversations and plan a retreat that engages topics related to the professional experiences of early career faculty. The Cluster will convene to discuss such topics as: tenure, promotion, hiring, contract negotiation, developing authority in the classroom, learning to read institutional contexts, navigating institutional bureaucracy, finding professional conversation partners, imagining, and reimagining courses, finding the teaching voice, work/life balance, learning to say “no” to overwork and over-extension, health and wholeness, etc. Intergenerational Mentoring Grants strengthen those committed to mutually advancing the professional and personal effectiveness of teaching in higher education and theological education. 

The clusters are designed for a minimum of seven gatherings over the arc of a year, and the foci of the clusters should fall within the parameters of the Wabash Center’s mission. At least one additional gathering must be a face-to-face retreat. Each cluster can contain 3-5 early career faculty plus 1 or 2 senior colleagues. The conversational focus of IMC Grant, decided while writing the proposal, must be some aspect, practice, or issue of teaching or the teaching life.  

Goals of the Cluster

 Each cluster will build itself through or by:

  • critical and imaginative reflection about their own teaching/work life.
  • identifying opportunities for agency in institutional and personal life.
  • naming myths of life in the academy.
  • reflecting on whole personhood in and out of institutional spaces.
  • identifying pedagogical postures, practices, habits, and tools that build from one’s wholeness.
  • considering ways persons might become advocates, accomplices, allies, and conspirators for one another.
  • considering the multiple kinds of support, coaching, guidance, training, and continued education needed over the potential long-arch of the teaching life.
  • considering ways to read the institutional contexts and contours of individual schools as well as the entire landscape of religion and theological education.

Role of the Facilitator

  • The facilitator will consider the focus, group size, needs, and uniqueness of the cluster group then, plan and budget accordingly. No two clusters will have the same plan or allocate the budget in the same way.
  • The facilitator will convene a minimum of seven online and/or face-to-face mentoring cluster conversations plus an in-person retreat.
  • The facilitator has agency to plan, design and budget based upon their own vision for the cluster group and the conversation. An additional elder facilitator may be added to the group. Should an additional facilitator be planned for – no additional funds will be provided in the budget.
  • The facilitator will create a plan, propose a budget, and invite 3 to 5 roundtable participants for the cohort they facilitate.

Eligible Participants in Each Cluster Cohort

  • Early career participants are invited by the facilitator to be members of that discrete cluster group. Invited participants to any cluster must be early career colleagues, i.e., colleagues teaching (or in administration) full-time for seven years or fewer. Please consult with the Wabash Center Director concerning exceptions to this description.
  • Participants must be employed full-time with teaching and/or administrative responsibilities. We understand that many colleagues are on contract status with their institutions. Contracted colleagues must be full-time status, considered as full-time faculty, and may have other administrative responsibilities.
  • Colleagues currently participating in an online or hybrid workshop are not eligible to facilitate or participate in a cluster.
  • Participants must be available for full participation of all sessions plus the cluster’s retreat.

Submitting an Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Proposal

Application Deadline: April 10, 2024.

Submitting an Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grant Proposal


5 parts need to be included in a Wabash Center Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grant Application. 

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Select > Grant

You will be prompted to attach the required documents (pdf format) to the online application, including a signed copy of the Grant Information Form, the Cover letter, the Proposal Narrative & Budget, a CV document containing one-page CV’s of the cluster facilitator/s and each participant, and an Institutional Letter of Support.

Part 1 – Grant Information Form

The Grant Information Form requests information necessary for the consideration of your proposal, including contact information, grant project dates, amount of the grant request, and a 150-word proposal abstract. The Grant Type to select is “Project.”

This form requires contact information for and signatures from: 

  • The Cluster Facilitator/s: The person/s responsible for providing narrative report on grants, typically the person/s overseeing the administration of the grant and writing the project proposal to apply for the grant.
  • Cluster Participants:
  • The Financial Contact: The person responsible for receiving the check and providing financial reports of expenditures for the institution. This should be a different person than the project director. 
  • The Authorization Contact: The person authorized to sign grant contracts for the institution.

Part 2 – Cover letter

Write a cover letter addressing the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in being a facilitator of an Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster?
  • What are your mentoring principles and practices?
  • What impact do you hope this Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster experience will have on the facilitator(s) and participants?

Part 3 – Proposal Narrative and Budget

No longer than 5 pages long (single-spaced), CV limited to 1 page, and page numbers required.

The Project Proposal must follow an outline of the 5 elements indicated below.

  • Describe the focus of the proposed intergenerational mentoring cluster, the relevant context for this work, and the teaching/teaching life issues this cluster will explore.
  • List 3-4 aims/goals you have for mentoring, building networks, nurturing friendships, and/or moving toward community within the cluster. State how you will know, after a year of meetings, that this set of conversations has met your aims/goals.
  • Describe who will be involved in the cluster and what they will contribute to the articulated goal(s).
  • Describe the collaborative practices and processes for internal evaluation to assess what is happening throughout the cluster cycle.
  • Narrate the structure and timing of the conversations and retreat gathering, including details about the topic, strategies and objectives for each meeting; group activities, excursions, and encounters throughout the intergenerational mentoring cluster cycle. Please provide a timeline.

Line Item Budget and Budget Narrative

In consultation with your institution’s financial officer, build a budget to support the activities projected. Provide a brief narrative in support of each line item expense. Make sure the budget is congruent with how expenses can be allocated at your institution.
Read: Grant Budget and Expense Guidelines (pdf)


Attach one document containing a one-page CV for the facilitator/s and each of the participants in the Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster 

Part 4 – Institutional Letter of Support

A letter of support from the applicant’s dean or department chair indicating their support of the project and what they hope will happen at the school or within the department as a consequence of the grant. The letter should be signed on the institution’s letterhead. It can be scanned and attached to the online application.

On what can grant funds be spent?

Grant funds can be spent on items and activities such as:

  • Childcare, elder care, house sitting to support attendance to group gatherings
  • Meals or groceries for gatherings
  • Travel, meals, lodging (retreat center, hotel, conference center, rented house)
  • Stipends (meager) for participation in the group
  • Equipment, supplies, materials to support group meeting and discussions
  • Honorariums for guest resource persons with group
  • Entrance fees or tickets for cultural events, museums, concerts, etc.
  • Germane services (e.g., coaching, gym memberships, spa, spiritual direction, workshop registrations, etc.)

Activities and items NOT Funded:

  • Research
  • International travel
  • Travel for attendance to disciplinary conferences
  • The preparation of textbooks
  • Research focused primarily on field content and only secondarily on teaching
  • Publication of conference papers or books, or production costs of other media
  • Stipends for writing the grant proposal or making application for the grant
  • Home utilities should group convene online
  • Items designated as gifts, presents, offerings or donations
  • Travel, meals, lodging expenses should family or friends accompany participant on an extended conversation

Please note that the grants of the Wabash Center are not intended for the use of underwriting the ordinary, ongoing work of the professorate, much of which is already supported by the home institution or department. The grants funds are meant to be used to support and strengthen teaching and the teaching life. The above lists are not exhaustive. All projects and budget expenditures must be in alignment with the Wabash Center mission.

Wabash Center Mission

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide some examples of the sorts of projects this program is intended to fund?
We have intentionally chosen to not provide illustrations of exemplary projects. We do not want to limit the imagination and creativity of applicants’ ideas. However, you may look at the list of previously awarded clusters.

Who is eligible to apply?
Answer: The grant will be awarded to senior faculty/administrators, as well as colleagues in particular and specialized constituencies (for example, theological librarians, seminary deans, field education administrators, etc.).

Can cluster participants currently be in a Wabash workshop or colloquy?
Answer: No.

Can cluster participants be part-time faculty?
Answer: No. We understand that many colleagues are on contract status with their institutions. Contracted colleagues must be full-time status, considered as full-time faculty, and may have other administrative responsibilities.

Can cluster participants be from different schools?
Answer: Participant colleagues may be from the same school or from various schools.

Must every participant in the Cluster be teaching theological or religious studies in higher education?
A Cluster may include others, but since our intention is to support faculty in the fields of theological and religious studies, we would expect the majority of the Cluster participants to fit this label and that others’ participation be explained (briefly) in the cover letter.

How small or how large can Clusters be?
Our assumption is that Clusters of between 3 to 5 participants would be a good range.

How often should clusters meet, and for how many years?
The clusters should meet a minimum of seven times either online or in-person, plus an in-person retreat. The format of the meetings will depend upon the proposal itself. Costs for travel and hospitality will limit the number of in-person meetings for some clusters

Can Clusters meet “virtually” (online)?
But we would expect at least one face-to-face retreat for cluster participants and facilitator(s).

How long should the retreat meeting be?
Answer: The retreat must be a minimum of 3 nights and four days.

Can we choose retreat locations beyond the continental USA?
Answer: Wabash Center discourages travel outside of the continental USA due to prohibitive costs.

Can funds be used as stipends or honoraria in compensation for work and time?
Answer:Yes, the facilitator(s) and participants can receive stipends. But stipends should be minimal for the participants in the Cluster, and larger for an outside expert who is used in some way. We assume that all members of the Cluster will be gaining from the meetings and conversations and will not need a full stipend to be involved.

Who is the grant awarded to?
Answer: The grant for this project will be awarded through the school of the facilitator. Grants are not awarded to individuals.

How rigid is the distinction between research and teaching?
This is not a research grant but talk about research and scholarship is not restricted or prohibited. Because the Wabash Center’s mission is to strengthen and encourage faculty member’s reflection on teaching, the funding is for that purpose. Research and scholarship might result from these Clusters, but this should not be the primary focus of conversation.

Can someone participate in more than one Cluster?


Previous Awardees


List of 2023 Intergenerational Mentoring Clusters

“Runways to Mid-Career Thriving for Asian Descent Theological Educators”
Roger Nam, Candler School of Theology  (Cluster Leader)
Grace Kao, Claremont School of Theology (co-facilitator)
Lisa Cleath, Princeton Theological Seminary
Janette Ok, Fuller Theological Seminary
Peng Yin, Boston University School of Theology
Aizaiah Yong, Claremont School of Theology

“Mentoring for Leadership Development for Theological Librarians”
Kelly Campbell, Columbia Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Christa Strickler, University of Notre Dame
Nathan Thebarge, Trinity International University
Andy Lofthus, Western Theological Seminary
Aileen Mulchrone, Catholic Theological Union
Virginia Dearborn, Princeton Theological Seminary

“Fostering a Collaborative Approach to Mentoring: A Conversation Between CEOS at Free Standing Seminaries”
Angela Sims, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (Cluster Leader)
Marsha Foster, Interdenominational Theological Center
Logan Hampton, Lane College
Lester McCorn, Clinton College
Matthew Williams, Independent Scholar

“Courageous Teaching”
Evelyn Parker, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Jessica B. Davenport, Colgate University
Ericka S. Dunbar, Baylor University
Nikki Hoskins, University of Scranton
Jessica Chapman Lape, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
Lakisha R. Lockhart, Union Presbyterian Seminary

“Leadership Development of Asian/American Women in Theological and Religious Studies”
Boyung Lee, Iliff School of Theology (Cluster Leader)
Nami Kim (co-facilitator)
AHyun Lee, Garrett- Evangelical Theological Seminary
Haruka Umetzu Cho, Santa Clara University
Heesung Hwang, Saint Paul School of Theology
Hyemin Na, Wesley Theological Seminary
Yuki Schwartz, Claremont School of Theology






The funding for this program will be sent to the business office of the school where the project director is employed to be dispersed according to the approved budget.

Because of the small size of the grant amount, there will be no indirect costs allocated to the hosting institution. Any significant changes occurring in the makeup of the participants or the structure of the gatherings needs to be checked with the Wabash Center.

Meeting of Cluster Leaders:

Each year, Wabash Center convenes cluster leaders (project directors), whose proposals have been accepted, for a required initial meeting. This (online) meeting is June 5, 2024. The aim of this meeting is to help cluster leaders increase capacity for designed conversations, community formation, and processes of mentoring. The meeting conversation includes sharing plans and designs with one another to strengthen and refine all the groups.  

Final Reports

All grants require a final report that reviews and analyzes the things learned in the course of the grant project and that accounts for the funds spent. Reports are due 30 days after the close of the grant period. Consult your grant contract for deadlines specific to your grant. 

Intergenerational Mentoring Clusters Reporting Guidelines (pdf)

Additional questions, please contact:

Gina Robinson, Ph.D
Associate Director, Wabash Center

Wabash Center