Barry McNamara  |   Published August 10, 2015

Monmouth College receives $30,000 course development grant

Monmouth College has received a $30,000 Undergraduate Department Grant from Wabash College’s Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.
Monmouth College has received a $30,000 Undergraduate Department Grant from Wabash College’s Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. “This grant will enable us to develop our introductory World Religions course, a requirement for the religious studies major and a popular course with first- and second-year students,” said Hannah Schell, professor philosophy and religious studies. “Over the next two years, the department will focus on several aspects of the course, including how to balance the content about particular traditions with some of the theoretical and methodological issues we begin to address in the course.”   “I appreciate the student focus of the grant proposal submitted by the religious studies faculty,” said David Timmerman, dean of Monmouth’s faculty. “Clearly, students will be the beneficiaries of this award and what it makes possible.”   Monmouth College now becomes part of a new initiative at the Wabash Center in which professors from each of the campuses from around the country that received a grant in turn form a group that will meet three times to share ideas. Schell and department colleague Dan Ott will attend the first meeting in September in Indianapolis. At the four-day consultation, the grant recipients will refine the design, activities and evaluation process for their projects.
  “The grant also enables us to host a conference on campus, inviting representatives from other campuses in our region to share best practices and to compare notes about teaching world religions in the context of western Illinois,” said Schell. “That particular part of the grant follows-up on a similar gathering we held last fall related to the campus visit of interfaith leader Eboo Patel, which was very well-received by our colleagues in religious studies at various campuses.” Schell said her department will also discuss the role of field trips in the course and work on developing more contacts with religious communities in the area. The grant will support ongoing conversations within the department as well as across campus with other departments interested in cross-cultural and international aspects of the undergraduate experience.   The Wabash Center supports teachers of religion and theology in higher education through meetings and workshops, grants, consultants, a journal and other resources to make accessible the scholarship of teaching and learning. All Wabash Center programs are funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. “This is yet another instance where our excellent faculty in religious studies have garnered outside recognition and material support from the well-respected Lilly Foundation,” concluded Timmerman.
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