Advancing Public Knowledge on Race, Justice, and Religion in America
The Henry Luce Foundation’s Theology Program invites new inquiries for projects seeking to advance public knowledge on the topic of race, justice, and religion in America.
The Luce Foundation encourages the submission of letters of inquiry from seminaries and divinity schools, colleges and universities, and other institutions and organizations committed to enriching public discourse on this topic.
Due no later than February 15, 2021, inquiries must be submitted through the Foundation’s online portal. Grant amounts of $250,000 to $750,000 will be considered, and approved grants will typically fund projects that can be completed in less than five years.
Through competitively-awarded grants, the Luce Foundation aims to support collaborative, experimental, and field-shaping initiatives that enliven the practice of public scholarship on—and promote public understanding of—race, justice, and religion in America. We invite inquiries for projects that seek to rethink received understandings of religion and race in America, to imagine alternative possibilities, and to alter the terms of public discourse.
The Foundation especially encourages the submission of inquiries for projects that will:
- Revisit and interrogate accepted histories of race and American religion
- Critically examine connections between religion, racism, and white supremacy
- Strengthen understanding of the role of religion in movements for racial justice
- Work across religious, racial, cultural, disciplinary, and/or institutional boundaries
- Draw on diverse knowledge communities and amplify underrepresented voices
- Attend to transnational movements, flows, engagements, and influences
- Deepen and extend efforts to build a more just, equitable, and democratic future
Grants may fund a wide range of possible activities, including (but not limited to):
- Public-facing humanities and social science scholarship
- Media initiatives and other forms of public and community engagement
- Support for early career scholars and emerging public thinkers
- Creative uses of digital technologies and new publication platforms
- Multi-institutional collaborations and partnerships of various kinds
Collaborative engagement across sectors and contexts—including religious, academic, media, policy, activist, and/or art communities—is particularly encouraged, and special consideration will be given to proposed projects involving such partnerships.
Should you have questions in advance of completing an inquiry, please e-mail them to email@example.com.
December 1, 2020 – Application portal is open for submissions
February 15, 2021 – Deadline for institutions to complete the letter of inquiry form online
June 15, 2021 - Deadline for selected institutions to submit full proposals online
December 1, 2021 - Awards are announced
Additional Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions
- Institutions outside of the United States may submit appropriate projects for consideration only if they provide evidence of non-profit status acceptable to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
- Only one inquiry may be submitted per institution.
- Funded projects may begin no earlier than January 1, 2022.
Luce Fund for Theological Education
The Luce Foundation is not currently accepting new inquiries in this grant category. Please watch our website for updates on new funding opportunities.
The Luce Fund for Theological Education supports the development of new models of teaching and learning, research and publication, leadership development and educational program design. Structured as an open competition for seminaries, divinity schools, and other institutions that support graduate theological education, the Fund places central emphasis on the challenges of public engagement, within and across multiple religious traditions, and in a variety of different contexts.
The Foundation especially encourages: inquiries that are linked to the Theology program’s historic emphases; collaborative, experimental, and potentially field-shaping initiatives; curricular innovations and new pedagogical approaches; inventive uses of digital technologies and new publication platforms; and projects that are centrally animated by faculty—the teachers and scholars whose efforts are vital to the future of theological education.
A full list of projects funded through the Luce Fund for Theological Education can be found in the Foundation’s grants database. New Letters of Inquiry to the Luce Fund are accepted annually between January 1 and March 15.
January 1st - Competition and online portal open for submissions
April 30th - **Deadline Extended** Deadline for institutions to complete the Letter of Inquiry form online
June 15th - Deadline for selected institutions to submit full proposals through the online portal
November - Awards are announced
Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions
- Any accredited seminary or divinity school in the United States is eligible to submit a letter of inquiry. Institutions of various sizes, from smaller seminaries to larger schools of theology, are encouraged to apply.
- Other institutions and organizations that primarily support the work of graduate theological education are also eligible to submit a letter of inquiry.
- Seminaries outside of the United States may submit appropriate projects for consideration only if they provide evidence of non-profit status acceptable to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
- Multi-institutional collaborations are welcome. The lead grantee and administrative base for the proposed project must be an eligible institution of theological education.
- Grant amounts of $250,000 to $500,000 will be considered.
- Grants ordinarily fund projects that can be completed within 2-3 years.
- Only one proposed project may be submitted per institution.
- Funded projects may begin no earlier than January of the following year.
The Foundation will be assisted in its review of inquiries and proposals by an advisory committee:
Dr. David Greenhaw, President and Professor of Preaching and Worship, Eden Theological Seminary
Dr. Jan Love, Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Dr. Ingrid Mattson, London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies, Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario
Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, President, Louisville Seminary
Dr. Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California
Should you have questions in advance of completing the Letter of Inquiry, you may e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Luce Foundation's Theology program aims to advance understanding of religion and theology. Through grants to seminaries, divinity schools, and research universities, the program supports the work of scholars, cultivates the next generation of leaders, and promotes public engagement.
Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions
Responding to the diverse sector of North American institutions dedicated to graduate and professional education in theology and religion, the program provides support for seminaries and divinity schools, research universities and university-based centers, and a limited number of independent media organizations.
The program does not provide direct grant support for individuals or individual research projects.
Letters of inquiry can be submitted at any time through our online portal. Should you have questions in advance of completing the Letter of Inquiry, you may e-mail them to email@example.com.