Digital Salons

Digital Salons

Pilot for Pivoting Wabash Center Programming
Fall 2020 to Summer 2021

2020-21 Digital Salon: Cohorts on Re-Imaging Teaching and Learning


The Wabash Center is responding quickly to the needs of faculty for conversation and guidance. Therefore, we are adding to our programming Digital Salons.  The Digital Salons are designed to bring faculty peers into a sustained conversation.  COVID 19 caught all of us by surprise.  In spring of 2020, due to the pandemic threat, all of higher education abruptly went to online teaching. It is still not clear when this crisis pedagogy will end; it is not certain when/if classrooms will regularize.  Without a vaccine, or recommended medication cocktail, schools are left to speculate on the immediate as well as long term implications of the pandemic to courses, curriculum and the teaching life.  A new landscape of teaching is emerging. Faculty need assistance in this moment of upheaval, uncertainty, and change. Through imaginative and pedagogical reflection, cohort groups will explore what is being discovered in this peculiar moment about teaching, learning and the teaching life.


Digital Salons, facilitated by peer facilitators, are cohorts that meet for an academic year to grapple with the changes in teaching practices and the teaching life, sparked by the COVID 19 crisis. Each online group is organized for monthly dialogues to consider creative ideas for the habits, practices, and approaches to teaching while in the midst of the novel corona virus pandemic. This is not a product-oriented group.  Rather, through processes of imaginative and pedagogical reflection, this cohort will rethink, reengineer, recast, redesign and reconceive teaching during and beyond this crisis moment. Emphasis will be upon play, creativity, self-care, and keeping well the authentic voice in crisis. 

Goals and Core Questions of Inquiry

 As a consequence of involvement with the yearlong faculty conversations, participants will be able to:

  • Reflect imaginatively and critically upon the effects of the pandemic on teaching practices, institutional realities and the vocation of teaching
  • Demonstrate capacity to rethink learning goals and outcomes for courses after the pandemic
  • Integrate new ideas for student ministerial formation and civic formation to attend to issues of crisis in communities
  • (Re)Design new syllabi, course sessions, and learning activities that directly attend to issues of student and societal trauma
  • Demonstrate capacities for integration of creativity in their teaching
  • Nurture a sense of belonging for self and other colleagues in community
  • Hear their own authentic voice in teaching

Each Digital Salon will build conversation around one or more of these questions:

  • What kinds of knowledges must we now incorporate in our teaching practices and in our course designs?
  • What does it mean, now, to be creative to re-think and re-imagine a “bread & butter” course?
  • What, for now, is health and generativity of a teacher? What is healing and care for the soul?
  • What are the new or changed vocational challenges of teaching in higher education?
  • In what ways must we reconsider, reconstitute, rebuild, and revision communities which shape the teaching and learning experiences in our institutions?


Applicants may apply to only one Salon and each Salon has specific applicant criteria unique to that Salon. Hence, applicants ought to make certain that their eligibility matches that of the particular Salon. Information about each Salon is included on their respective webpages. Brief descriptions are provided below. Questions about the Salons? Contact: Dr. Paul O. Myhre, Senior Associate Director,

Salon 1 – Mid-Career African American Faculty

Leadership Team – Dr. Willie James Jennings, Yale Divinity School & Dr. Carolyn Medine, University of Georgia

Applicants – African American Faculty; 5 years in the profession to mid- and late-career faculty teaching in Colleges, Universities, or Theological Schools

Brief Description – This salon will focus on teaching about and about being part of at-risk black communities in this moment.

More information…

Salon 2 – Vocational Trajectories for Mid-Career Theological School Educators

Leadership Team – Dr. Evelyn Parker, Perkins School of Theology & Dr. Joretta Marshall, Brite Divinity School

Applicants – Mid-career theological educators; multi-ethnic

Brief Description – Reflect on vocational trajectories for mid-career theological educators.

More information…

Salon 3 – Tending to the Body and Soul of Early Career Theological School Educators

Leadership Team –Dr. Katherine Turpin, Iliff School of Theology & Dr. Eric Barreto, Princeton Theological Seminary

Applicants – Early Career Theological Educators

Brief Description – Built around the metaphor of the teaching life as a dinner feast, we will explore what the abundance of the feast looks like in the midst of a pandemic and the attendant institutional crises theological education is facing.

More information… 

Salon 4 – Faculty of Asian/American Heritages Teaching Diverse Religious Traditions at Different Stages of Career Development

Leadership Team – Dr. Kwok Pui-lan, Candler School of Theology, Emory University & Dr. Tat-Siong Benny Liew, College of the Holy Cross

Applicants – Faculty of Asian/American heritages who teach religious and theological studies in Universities, Colleges, or Theological Schools

Brief Description – Develop a cohort of colleagues teaching diverse religious traditions at different stages of career development to discuss in seven sessions.

More information… 

Salon 5 – Engaging Imagination as Theological School Faculty

Leadership Team – Dr. Amy Oden, Independent Scholar & Dr. Roger Nam, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Applicants – Theological School Faculty at any stage of their career

Brief Description – This Salon will explore what is now possible in theological education – in our classrooms, in our course design, in our spiritual lives, in our pedagogy and scholarship as well as in our common life within institutions – that perhaps didn’t seem possible before COVID-19.

More information…

Salon 6 – Latinx Perspectives on Possibilities of Teaching Theology and Religious Studies

Leadership Team – Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, AETH, Asociación para La Educación Teológica Hispana & Dr. Chris Tirres, DePaul University

Applicants – Early- and Mid-Career Latinx faculty; Faculty of any racial or ethnic background who teach in a Hispanic Serving Institution

Brief Description – Our Digital Salon will use the lens of Latinx culture to address the challenges and possibilities of teaching theology and religious studies in the context of COVID-19.  

More information…

No Longer Accepting

Applicants will be notified of decision
by August 7, 2020

Questions about the Salons?
Dr. Paul O. Myhre
Senior Associate Director


Participants in the Salons will receive an honorarium of $3,000 for full participation in the online Salon meetings and the culminating meeting in Indianapolis on June 28-20, 2021.

Wabash Center