Lilly funds program for religion professors

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Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $1.15 million to continue the work of IUPUI’s Young Scholars in American Religion program for the next five years.

The program offered through the school’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture is meant to help young faculty who teach religion.

More than 160 faculty have gone through the program, which began in 1991 and has been funded by Lilly since 2002. Each installation of the program is composed of 10 to 12 new faculty paired with two senior mentors; they meet four to five times over two years. Admission is highly competitive, with only about 10 percent of applicants accepted.

In addition to maintaining the program overall, the Lilly grant will also fund several more years of the center’s biennial conferences on religion and American culture.

The center’s director, Philip Goff, a professor of American and religious studies, said the young scholars program gives new professors “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,” Goff said in a written statement.•

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