Peer Mentoring

Peer Mentoring Clusters

Up to $7,500 to support small groups for peer-to-peer mentoring

Deadline for Proposals is March 15, 2019


Funds for mid-career faculty of color who have been participants in a past Wabash Center workshops or colloquies

The Peer Mentoring Clusters program supports faculty of color who are former participants in Wabash Center programming and want to gather a small group for further networking and vocational growth. Only the cluster leader must have participated in a previous Wabash Center workshop or colloquy, the other cluster participants can be colleagues from a range of places.

Minoritized faculty face particular challenges and pressures and can benefit from networks of peer-to-peer mentoring. Peer mentoring conversations can surface ways to meet the demands of mid-career teaching and administrative jobs and can provide faculty of color with strategies not only to discern challenges and pressures, but to navigate them as well.

We hope that these peer-to-peer mentoring clusters will develop and deepen the sorts of conversations that are the mark of Wabash Center workshops and colloquies.

The form and focus of these conversations is open for the applicants to design, aligned (broadly speaking) with the teaching focus of the Wabash Center.

Institutional indirect costs are not permitted for Peer Mentoring Cluster Grants.

Each spring we gather the “Cluster Leaders” whose proposals have been accepted in the March adjudication for a required initial meeting at the Wabash Center. This meeting is designed to help the cluster leaders think about the purposes and processes of the Peer Mentoring Clusters.

The 2019-20 Cluster Leaders’ Meeting will be June 12-14, 2019.

Submitting a Peer Mentoring Cluster Proposal

Application Deadline: March 15, 2019

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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 Proposal Narrative & Budget, and a CV document containing one-page CVs of each participant.

1. Grant Information Form
The form requests information necessary for the consideration of your proposal (including contact information, grant project dates, and amount of the grant).

This form requires contact information and signatures for:

  • The Cluster Leader (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 (NO SIGNATURES REQUIRED).
  • 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 requests for the institution).

2. Proposal Narrative & Budget
In 1000-1250 words, please:

  • Describe who will be involved in the cluster and what they will contribute to the articulated goal
  • Describe the relevant context for this work and why it is necessary for you at this time
  • Narrate the structure and timing of the conversations and gatherings, including details about the strategies and objectives for each stage
  • State how you will know, after a year of meetings, that this set of conversations has met your expectations
  • On final page: Provide a line item budget with a narrative explanation that indicates the main expense categories for the project and how the costs for each item were determined. Institutional indirect costs are not permitted for this size of grants

3. CVs
Attach one document containing a one-page CV for each of the participants in the Peer Mentoring Cluster

List of 2019-2020 Peer Mentoring Clusters

Negotiating Identity: Claiming Our Spaces
Swasti Bhattacharyya, Buena Vista University (cluster leader)
Verna Ehret, Mercyhurst University
Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Mid-career Faculty of Caribbean Descent: An Unusual Cohort Among Teachers of Religion
Althea Spencer-Miller, Drew Theological School (cluster leader)
Margaret Aymer, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Steed Davidson, McCormick Theological Seminary
Mignon Jacobs, Fuller Theological Seminary

Leading Antiracist and Cross Cultural Competency from the Margins
Damayanthi Niles, Eden Theological Seminary (cluster co-leader)
Sharon Tan, Eden Theological Seminary (cluster co-leader)
Eleazar Fernandez, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
J. Samuel Subramanian, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
Pamela Ayo Yetunde, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Cuban-American Scholars: Identity and Reconciliation
Albert Hernández, Iliff School of Theology (cluster leader)
Luis Pedraja, Quinsigamond Community College
Michelle Maldonado, University of Miami
Ramon Luzarraga, Benedictine University
Margarita Suárez, Meredith College
Elsie Miranda, Barry University
Miguel De La Torre, Iliff School of Theology

Emancipatory Teaching, Scholarship, and Pedagogy in the Era of Pax Americana
Angela Cowser, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (cluster leader)
Jennifer Leath, Iliff School of Theology
Asante Todd, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Alton Pollard, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Black Women Embodying Authenticity as Women, Teachers, Scholars and Mentors
Janice McLean-Farrell, New Brunswick Theological Seminary (cluster leader)
Mitzi Smith, Ashland Theological Seminary
Sheila Winborne, Northeastern University

Navigating Various Faculty Roles in Community
Neomi DeAnda, University of Dayton (cluster leader)
Néstor Medina, Independent Scholar
Matilde Moros, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Flow of Life: Teaching, Research, Leadership and Service
Melanie Harris, University of Denver (cluster leader)
Carolyn Medine, University of Georgia
Helen Rhee, Westmont College

Overcoming Pedagogical Challenges Faced by Asian American Professors: Accent, Language, and Race
Joseph Cheah, University of St. Joseph (cluster leader)
Tamara Ho, University of California – Riverside
Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Earlham School of Religion
Jung Eun Sophia Park, Holy Names University

List of 2018-2019 Peer Mentoring Clusters

Non-Normative Texts and Non-Normative Bodies
Angela Harkins, Boston College School of Theology & Ministry (cluster leader)
Mary Foskett, Wake Forest University
Frances Flannery, James Madison University
Jae Hee Han, University of Pennsylvania
Lily Vuong, Central Washington University
Annette Reed, New York University

Racialization and the Study of Islam: Navigating Teaching and Service
Martin Nguyen, Fairfield University (cluster leader)
Hussein Rashid, Barnard College
Sylvia Chan-Malik, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Arshad Ali, George Washington University

Listening from Within: From Surviving to Flourishing in Academia
Shanell Smith, Hartford Seminary (cluster leader)
Teresa Delgado, Iona College|
Jennifer Kaalund, Iona College
Eboni Marshall Turman, Yale Divinity School

Leadership Development for Theological Faculty with Multicultural and Multi-Professional Identities
Moses Biney, New York Theological Seminary (cluster leader)
Jin Han, New York Theological Seminary
Tamara Henry, New York Theological Seminary
Insook Lee, New York Theological Seminary 

Minoritized Faculty Teaching Biblical Studies in the Northeastern Liberal Arts Environment
Jacqueline Hidalgo, Williams College (cluster leader)
Tat-siong Benny Liew, College of the Holy Cross
Emerson Powery, Messiah College

List of 2017-2018 Peer Mentoring Clusters

How Shall We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land? Peer-Mentoring for Vocational Longevity among Caribbean American Biblical Scholars
Margaret Aymer Oget, Austin Presbyterian Theological School (Cluster Leader)
Steed Davidson, McCormick Theological Seminary
Mignon Jacobs, Fuller Theological Seminary
Althea Spencer-Miller, Drew University

Womanist Separation for Wholeness
Wilda Gafney, Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University (Cluster Leader)
Pamela Lightsey, Boston University School of Theology
Valerie Bridgeman, Fuller Theological Seminary

Peer Mentoring Cluster: Transnational Korean Women Faculty Mentoring
K. Christine Pae, Denison University (Cluster Leader)
Jin Young Choi, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity
W. Anne Joh, Garrett-Evangelical Seminary
Nami Kim, Spelman College
Boyung Lee, Pacific School of Religion/Iliff
Seung Ai Yang, Chicago Theological Seminary

Teaching as Racialized Bodies
Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Earlham School of Religion (Cluster Leader)
Grace Kao, Claremont School of Theology
Linda Thomas, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

1903: Returning to the Past, Negotiating the Future
Roger Nam, George Fox University (Cluster Leader)
John Ahn, Howard University Divinity School
Paul Cho, Wesley Theological Seminary
Paul Kim, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Bo Lim, Seattle Pacific University

Being a Paracletos to One Another: Peer Mentoring Cluster for Four West-Coast Korean-American Biblical Scholars
Eugene Park, San Francisco Theological Seminary/Graduate Theological Union (Cluster Leader)
Uriah Kim, Graduate Theological Union
Kyong-Jin Lee, Fuller Theological Seminary
Janette Ok, Azusa Pacific Seminary at Azusa

List of 2016-2017 Peer Mentoring Clusters

Sustaining a Sense of Vocation through Latino/a Peer Mentoring
Gregory Cuéllar, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Cláudio Carvalhaes, McCormick Theological Seminary
Angela Tarángo, Trinity University
Christopher Tirres, Depaul University
Santiago Slabodsky, Hofstra University

Working Together as Colleagues for Mutual Mentoring & Success
Miguel De La Torre, Iliff School of Theology (Cluster Leader)
Luis León, University of Denver
Albert Hernández, Iliff School of Theology
George Tinker, Iliff School of Theology
Jennifer Leath, Iliff School of Theology
Michele Watkins-Branch, Iliff School of Theology

Keeping the Faith: Teaching Hard Truths in Troubled Times
Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (Cluster Leader)
Anthony Pinn, Rice University
Juan Floyd-Thomas, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
Blanche Cook, Wayne State University

Mentoring for Interdisciplinary Latinx Religion Scholars
Jacqueline Hidalgo, Williams College (Cluster Leader)
Neomi DeAnda, University of Dayton
Peter Mena, Phillips Theological Seminary

Navigating Mid-Career in Teaching and Research for Korean Women Faculty
Wonhee Anne Joh, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Seung Ai Yang, Chicago Theological Seminary
Boyung Lee, Pacific School of Religion
Nami Kim, Spelman College
K. Christine Pae, Denison University
Jin Young Choi, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Philadelphia Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Cluster
Nyasha Junior, Temple University (Cluster Leader)
Emerson Powery, Messiah College
AnneMarie Mingo, Pennsylvania State University
Stephanie Crumpton, Lancaster Theological Seminary
Richard Newton, Elizabethtown College

Seen Yet Unseen: Underrepresented Asian American Faculty
Hyun Paul Kim, Methodist Theological School in Ohio (Cluster Leader)
John Ahn, Howard University School of Divinity
Bo Lim, Seattle Pacific University
Roger Nam, George Fox Evangelical Seminary
Paul Cho, Wesley Theological Seminary

Mentoring Through Marginalized Realities: Female Faculty of Color at Beloit College
Debra Majeed, Beloit College (Cluster Leader)
Jennifer Esperanza, Beloit College
Nicole Truesdell, Beloit College
Lisa Anderson-Levy, Beloit College
Sonya Maria Johnson, Beloit College

Peer Mentoring Cluster
Carolyn Medine, University of Georgia (Cluster Leader)
Melanie Harris, Texas Christian University
Helen Rhee, Westmont College
Swasti Bhattacharyya, Buena Vista University

Teaching the Bible in a Rapidly Changing World
Kenneth Ngwa, Drew Theological School (Cluster Leader)
Aliou Niang, Union Theological Seminary (NYC)
Andrew Mbuvi, Shaw University Divinity School
AliceYafeh-Deigh, Azusa Pacific University

Discernment in These Times: Career Explorations of Four Teachers Who Lead While Called to Follow
Stephen Ray, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Nancy Westfield, Drew University Theological School
Barbara Holmes, United Theological Seminary Twin Cities
Dale Andrews, Vanderbilt Divinity School

African American Women Negotiating Academia with Self-Care
Mitzi Smith, Ashland Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Sheila Winborne, Northeastern University
Janice McLean-Farrell, City Seminary of New York

Peer Mentoring Cluster
Julia Speller, Chicago Theological Seminary (Cluster Leader)
Lee Butler, Chicago Theological Seminary
JoAnne Terrell, Chicago Theological Seminary
Christopher Ringer, Chicago Theological Seminary

Cultural Taxation on African American Mothers in Theological Education
Andrea White, Union Theological Seminary (NYC) (Cluster Leader)
Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Chicago Theological Seminary
Monica Coleman, Claremont School of Theology
Yolanda Pierce, Princeton Theological Seminary
Chanequa Walker-Barnes, McAfee School of Theology

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 in order to not limit the imagination and creativity of applicants’ ideas. However, you may look at the list of previously awarded clusters (above).

Who is eligible to apply?
The applicant (Cluster Leader) must be a past or current participant in a Wabash Center workshop or colloquy – by which we mean one of the year-long workshops or colloquies at the Wabash Center that meet for successive winters or summers.

Must every participant in the Cluster have been a participant in a Wabash Center workshop or colloquy?
No. But the applicant (Cluster Leader) must be.

What counts as “mid-career”?
We intend these Peer Mentoring Clusters for faculty who have been teaching in higher education for at least eight years and not nearing retirement.

Does everyone in the Cluster have to be mid-career?
No. A Cluster may include faculty members in earlier or later career stages, but since our intention is to support faculty at mid-career, we would expect the majority of the Cluster participants to fit this label and that others’ participation be explained (briefly) in the cover letter.

Must every participant in the Cluster be teaching theological or religious studies in higher education?
No. 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?
There is no absolute cut-off point. The amount of funding is one limiting factor. Also, consider how small or how large a group can be and still have effective conversation. Our assumption is that Clusters of between 3 to 6 participants would be a good range.

How often should clusters meet, and for how many years?
The number and format of the meetings will depend upon the proposal itself. Costs for travel and hospitality will limit the number of meetings. There is no specific number of meetings or length of time. Our hope is that the grant will be the catalyst to begin this peer work and that other professional development money could be used to continue the meetings once the Wabash Center funding is gone.

Can Clusters meet “virtually” (online)?
Yes. But we would expect at least one face-to-face meeting between cluster participants and an explanation in the cover letter as to why this seems to be the best way to carry out the conversations.

Can funds be used as stipends or honoraria in compensation for work and time?
Answer: Yes. 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.

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 I participate in more than one Cluster?


Start a structured series of gatherings for conversation

Build networks of professional growth

Support the exploration of academic vocation and the teaching life

Catalyze development of multi-year relationships with a small group of colleagues

Gather annually with other cluster leaders

Applications limited to participants in a previous Wabash Center workshop or colloquy, but the selected group of conversation partners is open

Not intended for disciplinary research or publication

Policy on Participation

Additional questions, please contact:

Dr. Tim Lake
Associate Director, Wabash Center



The funding for this program will be sent to the applicant’s business office 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: June 12-14, 2019

A required meeting of all Cluster Leaders (the project directors of each of the Peer Mentoring Cluster grants). This meeting is designed to help the Cluster Leaders think about the purposes and processes of the Peer Mentoring Clusters.

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. 

Grant Reporting Guidelines (pdf)

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