The Louisville Institute

The Louisville Institute
1044 Alta Vista Road Louisville, KY 40205 (502) 992-5432


The Louisville Institute is a Lilly Endowment-funded program based at Louisville Seminary supporting those who lead and study American religious institutions. The fundamental mission of the Louisville Institute is to enrich the religious life of American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.

The Louisville Institute seeks to fulfill its mission to bring together religious leaders and academics through three separate but related programs: 1) grantmaking, 2) fellowships in theological education, and 3) collaborative inquiry.


The grantmaking program seeks to support both research and inquiry by scholar/pastors and scholar/educators that strengthen the religious life of North American Christians and their institutions while simultaneously advancing American religious and theological scholarship. The Louisville Institute currently offers four grant programs:


The Louisville Institute offers three fellowships in theological education as part of its Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative:

  • Doctoral Fellowships support a two-year, nonresidential cohort of Ph.D./Th.D. students who are considering theological education as their vocation.
  • Dissertation Fellowships support the final year of Ph.D. or Th.D. dissertation writing for students engaged in research pertaining to North American Christianity. As part of the VTE Initiative, this program supports but is not limited to scholars who intend a career in theological education.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships provide promising recent graduates a two-year teaching internship in a theological school.

Collaborative Inquiry

The Collaborative Inquiry initiative enables teams of scholarly pastors and ecclesially-engaged academics to undertake genuinely collaborative inquiry/research about important, compelling questions facing the church and the world. These collaborative inquiry teams, each containing both pastors and academics, will constitute a widening learning community that seeks wisdom through corporate reflection as well as personal study.

Recent News

New Lilly Endowment Grant Supports Louisville Institute

Louisville Institute Supports Pastoral Study and Collaborative Inquiry

Louisville Institute Grant Programs and 2011-2012 Awards Announced  

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The Louisville Institute
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Recent Grants

Following are links to the summaries of some recent grants that you might find of interest. The featured grants change frequently, so be sure to check back from time to time in order to see what the Louisville Institute is funding.

  • Adaptive Leadership for the Mainline Church
    Grant Hagiya
    United Methodist Church
    View Summary
  • The Flourishing Life: Practicing Divine Wisdom
    Matthew Charlton
    Blakemore United Methodist Church
    View Summary
  • Can Progressive Christians Evangelize?
    Joseph Phelps
    Highland Baptist Church
    View Summary
  • “Sent”: Religion Entrepreneurship And The Origins And Negotiation Of A Church-Founder Identity
    Richard Pitt
    Vanderbilt University
    View Summary
  • Friendship in the Gospels
    Peter Dula
    Eastern Mennonite University
    View Summary
  • Weak and Silent Vessels: The Impact of the English Bible on Christian Women
    Beth Allison Barr
    Baylor University
    View Summary