Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $1.15 million grant to the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI. The university says the funding will support the center’s Young Scholars in American Religion program for the next five years.
IUPUI says the program serves as a postgraduate peer group for young professors teaching about religion. Philip Goff, professor of American Studies and Religious Studies and director of the center, says the program gives them a community.
"Together they will work on issues related to scholarship, teaching, career goals, how to get promoted and tenured, how to get along with difficult colleagues, and life/work balance — and that group will stay close for the rest of their careers," said Goff. "A lot of these people don’t know each other until they meet that first time in Indianapolis, and they become best friends by the end."
The university says more than 160 faculty have participated in the program since its inception in 1991. The program is administered in groups of 10 to 12 new faculty, who are paired with two senior mentors and meet four to five times over two years.
The Lilly Endowment grant will also fund the center’s biennial conferences on religion and American culture for "several more years."