Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Postdoctoral Fellowship (PostDoc) programs provides awards of $30,000 each year (plus housing, health benefits, and moving benefits) to support a two-year visiting professorship in a theological school, college, or university setting. Louisville Postdoctoral Fellows are accompanied by an academic mentor and a pastoral mentor. Fellows also constitute a peer learning cohort that meets a total of six times over two years.

Application Deadline: November 15, 2021 *NEW date*

Fellowship Amount: $30,000 stipend per year
(plus additional benefits)

Apply for a Postdoctorial Fellowship now.

The Postdoctoral Fellowship (PostDoc) program provides awards of $30,000 (plus insurance, housing & moving benefits) each year to support a two-year visiting professorship in a North American theological school, college, or university setting. Louisville Postdoctoral Fellows are accompanied by an academic mentor and a pastoral mentor. Fellows also constitute a peer learning cohort that meets a total of six times over two years.

Previous PostDoc Fellowships

PostDoc Eligibility

Applicants must have completed all Ph.D. or Th.D. work and received their degree by the time the postdoctoral fellowship begins in September. Preference will be given to recent Ph.D./Th.D. graduates. Former LI Dissertation Fellows are eligible to apply for the Postdoctoral Fellowship. Scholars from the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply, and the fellowship can be assigned to theological schools, colleges, or universities in the U.S. or Canada.

Applicants should describe their commitment to the Christian church and theological education and suggest how their doctoral work has prepared them appropriately for a career in theological school teaching. Applicants may represent a variety of academic disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, ethics, the social sciences, biblical studies, historical, systematic, and practical theology, as well as interdisciplinary studies.

In all its grantmaking, including the Postdoctoral Fellowship program, the Louisville Institute is interested in funding persons and projects with the potential to strengthen the religious life of North American Christians and their institutions while simultaneously advancing North American religious and theological scholarship.

Members of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary Board, staff, or student body — including immediate family members (parents, spouse, or children) – are not eligible to apply.

Applicants may not submit applications to more than one Louisville Institute grant or fellowship program within the same grant year (June 1-May 31).

Questions about eligibility may be sent to

PostDoc Application Requirements

All documents must be submitted by 11:59pm on November 15th. Upload each application requirement in *.pdf format (preferred). Transcripts must be received on or before November 15th.  Recommenders must submit their letters by November 23rd. If you encounter problems, contact

Applications must include:

    • Applicant Information: Using the online form, provide details about your field of research, institutions you attended, relevant coursework, academic honors, pertinent teaching/employment experience, and titles/citations of publications.
    • Curriculum Vitae or résumé (no more than 4 pages)
    • Application Essay: In 1,500 words (double-spaced and typed in a 12-point font), describe both your interest in theological school teaching and the relationship you see between the nature of your doctoral preparation and the challenge of theological education in the twenty-first century.
    • Transcripts: One official copy of each of your graduate & professional school transcripts sent by the institutions or dossier service directly to the Louisville Institute via hard copy or transcript service to
    • Two Letters of Recommendation: When uploading your application requirements, please provide the names, email addresses and phone numbers for your recommenders. After submitting your application, LI will immediately email recommenders with a link to submit letters online. LI will notify you via email as each person successfully submits a letter. Applicants should contact their recommenders in advance to explain procedures and guidelines (below). Letters of Recommendation must be submitted by November 23rd.
      • Postdoctoral Mentor’s Letter of Recommendation: Your faculty mentor/advisor will be asked to provide a letter of support that will assess your (1) commitment to and understanding of a vocation in theological education; (2) commitment to the church in shaping your teaching vocation; and (3) promise as a teacher and researcher in theological education. The recommender should also indicate the expected date of your graduation.
      • Postdoctoral Second Letter of Recommendation: The second recommender should speak specifically to your (1) personal qualities and commitments, (2) spiritual formation, (3) service to the church, and (4) scholarly promise.

      All application must be uploaded through our website in *.pdf format by 11:59pm on November 15. Transcripts must be mailed or emailed by November 15.  If you encounter problems, please email

Review and Selection Process

Every year the Louisville Institute Board appoints a selection committee to review proposals and award Postdoctoral Fellowships. Committee membership and deliberations remain confidential.

Applicants whose projects are not funded will be notified by mail as soon as possible following the adjudication process. Due to the large number of applications the Institute receives, LI Board and staff members do not provide additional feedback on declined proposals.

Fellowship application status will be announced on or before March 1, 2022.  Interviews will follow for those selected to move forward in the process.

Duration of Award and Stipend

Postdoctoral Fellowships will provide a stipend of $30,000 per year for two years. Awardees will also receive housing, medical insurance, and moving expenses.


Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to participate in all six cohort meetings (September/October, February/March, May/June) over the two years of the fellowship. Travel and lodging expenses for these meetings will be covered by the Louisville Institute.

Please note that Louisville Institute grantees may not simultaneously hold two grants or fellowships from Lilly Endowment-funded organizations that total more than $45,000.

Placement Procedures

Ordinarily, the Louisville Institute will place Postdoctoral Fellows in an appropriate, ATS-accredited theological school. The Institute will arrange two-year placements depending on the teaching needs of the theological school, the disciplinary expertise of the Fellows, and theological fit.

In the event a Postdoctoral Fellow accepts a full-time teaching position in a theological school, and agrees to participate fully in cohort activities, the Institute may support cohort participation, but will not provide the $30,000 stipend, housing, medical insurance, or moving expenses. The Louisville Institute will negotiate fellowship status and cohort participation on a case-by-case basis.

Cohort Meetings

Postdoctoral Fellows will meet as a cohort three times per year (for a total of six meetings). Each cohort will be facilitated by one professor who will structure cohort meetings to help participants achieve the goals of the Postdoctoral Fellowship: (1) to provide an excellent first-time teaching experience in a theological school that the Institute trusts can provide a good introduction to theological education; and (2) to help Fellows more clearly understand and articulate their vocation as theological educators.

Louisville Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellows become Louisville Fellows who are dedicated to the vocation of theological education, either by engaging in the lifelong development of their own imagination as theological educators or by supporting others doing the same.


For further information on all Fellowships, please consult the Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions pages.