Other Funding Sources

The Wabash Center awards grants only for projects focused explicitly on issues related to teaching and learning theology and religion in higher education.

We receive many inquiries about worthy projects that we simply cannot fund because they fall outside the parameters of our grants program. Therefore, we have compiled this list of other possible funding sources for higher education and related projects.

There are far too many funding agencies for us to provide anything close to a comprehensive list — especially given the wide variety of possible topic areas. So our list begins by listing other lists of funding agencies.

The resources listed here focus on granting agencies that seem particularly applicable to likely Wabash Center web site visitors. But the world of granting institutions is vast and constantly shifting. Large segments of the granting world are missing from our very partial list, including: grants focused on ethnicity, race, or religious affiliation, most grants for area studies and most international grants (the list is oriented toward scholars in North America). And we have not included grants that focus on community activism or language acquisition. 

Large Foundations

The following foundations give large sums of money for projects. Most often these grants go to an institution, but occasionally to an individual (or, if you are thinking of a big project, you may be able to “piggyback” with an institution). There are many of these, but the following are specifically interested in issues of religion.

  • Lilly Endowment Inc.
    The Lilly Endowment does not generally make grants to individuals. Most of the grants made by the Lilly Endowment are in response to a Call for Proposals. Institutions such as The Wabash Center and the Louisville Institute are established by the Lilly Endowment as “re-granting institutions” to distribute Lilly funds.
  • Ford Foundation
    The broad goals of the Ford Foundation are to build knowledge and strengthen organizations and networks through Asset Building and Community Development, Peace and Social Justice Knowledge, and Creativity and Freedom.
  • Luce Foundation
    The Luce Foundation’s Theology program encourages the development of leadership for religious communities through theological education, and fosters scholarship that links the academy to churches and the wider public. The program provides funding for seminary education, leadership, ecumenical and inter-religious programs, and religion and the arts. The Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology program, administered by the Association of Theological Schools, supports innovative research and publication by full-time seminary faculty.
  • John Templeton Foundation
    Big money for big projects addressing the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. Support for dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, and between such experts and the public at large.
  • Pew Charitable Trust
    Makes large grants for large projects to institutions, not to individuals.
  • Jessie Ball DuPont Fund
    Grants for religious institutions

Salary Replacement Grants

These grants are designed to enable faculty to take one or more semesters leave from their institution in order to dedicate that time to research. Some of these grants must be used to extend a sabbatical leave funded by your home institution. Others have requirements as to when your last funded leave was. Many can be combined with other grants. Some can not. Many are unrestricted. These grants do not require residency at a specific location.

Travel Funds and Summer Stipends

This is a selection of grants providing less than $10,000 that are designed for short term projects, or for a discrete section of a larger project, or to reimburse travel/research expenses.

  • American Academy of Religion Research Grant
    Funds expenses (and possibly short term salary replacement) for specific research project.
  • American Association of University Women Short Term Publication Grant
    Given for eight weeks to be dedicated to bringing a specific publication to completion.
  • Franklin Research Grants, American Philosophical Society
    Small grants given for faculty in any field to cover research expenses such as travel, microfilm, and field work.
  • Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation (unable to locate website)
    Pays for faculty to travel to an area not normally associated with their expertise in order to expand their horizons and improve their teaching. Contact: Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, Suite 1025, 50 Congress St, Boston, MA 02109.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
    Gives awards for short-term research projects. Note that you will need institutional nomination. Note that on request the NEH will send you reader reports this is one of the only opportunities to receive feedback on your proposal and is well worth the application process regardless of whether or not you receive the grant.

Grants with Residency Requirements

This is a small selection of the many grants that are available if you are able to reside in a specific locale in order to receive funding. This includes grants to facilitate participation at a humanities institute for a semester or year, research at specific libraries for a period of weeks or months, or residence abroad for the period of the grant.

Some of these grants are designed for salary replacement in order to give or extend a research leave, others simply reimburse travel expenses, some do both.

Some Humanities Institutes

Some Library Grants

Some International Grants


Thanks to Michael Penn (Mount Holyoke College) who first compiled this list in 2006. We have added to it and modified it since then. Any omissions or mistakes are entirely our own.

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