Conant Grants for VTS Faculty

Date: May 23, 2022

Last week the faculty spent an entire day together reviewing the last academic year, making final decisions about programming, and thinking about the future. One piece of information that we looked at was a listing of the Conant Grants that VTS faculty have received to support their work in the coming year. Established in 1953 by William Schubael Conant, these grants are administered by the national Church, designated for the improvement of seminary-based theological education, and available to faculty members at Episcopal seminaries in the US.

The grants are generous, and faculty have used them over the years to support their research, writing, and course development. This year over $50,000 was designated for VTS faculty, and below is a list of their projects.

Dr. Liz DeGaynor will use her grant to study evangelicals and education from kindergarten through college, looking at the synergies between Christian formation and political influence. Dr. James Farwell will travel and research Dogen Zen with regards to Christian comparative theology. Dr. John Knight will research the classical doctrine of original sin in order to incorporate new findings in cognitive science into our understanding of human sinfulness. I will use my grant to support my research on a book and a course on Bible and film.

The Conant fund also supported the proposals of two of our affiliated faculty, and I am proud to name their projects here. Dr. Dan Heischman will use his grant to enrich and diversify a core course taught in the VTS doctoral program on Governance. And Ms. Peggy Parker will apply her grant towards travel as she explores ways to broaden the Church’s vision in the visual arts, theology, and pastoral ministry.

The Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D.
Vice President of Academic Affairs
and Associate Professor of Old Testament

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