PUC Receives Summer Research Grant

By Melinda Smith on June 13, 2007

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On October 1, 1995, Pacific Union College was awarded $30,000 as one of 12 colleges selected for participation in a summer research program for college faculty. This program, largely funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, distributes mini-grants to individual faculty members at select Christian colleges. Harold Heie, Director of Gordon College's Center for Christian Studies which administers the program, described its purpose as being "to nourish high quality Christian scholarship that addresses important scholarly issues in ways that have the potential to make lasting impact on future academic discussion."

Pacific Union College and the 11 other selected colleges were chosen out of 107 eligible Protestant colleges by a program advisory committee comprised of six senior Christian scholars. The colleges were judged on such things as their commitment to promoting Christian scholarship and the potential of the college's faculty to generate this scholarship. The $30, 000 PUC received as one of the grantee colleges will in turn be matched by the college and will then be divided among faculty members for research during the summers of 1996, 1997, and 1998.

PUC faculty members hoping to participate will submit research proposals and letters of recommendation from two senior scholars. On the basis of the quality of the research proposal and the likelihood that their study will result in publication, four faculty members will be selected each year. The grant recipients are expected to spend at least 10 weeks during the summer on full-time research and will have the opportunity to attend a three-day research seminar held each August at Gordon College. This seminar will give participants a chance to share their ideas within groups of four to six people working on related topics. Each group will also include a scholar already distinguished in his or her research area, and will, therefore, provide participants with a chance to establish relationships with mentors.

During the course of the Pew Summer Research Program, PUC will submit periodic progress reports, evaluating the success of the research projects and assessing the positive effects the program has had on its culture of scholarship. This program is anticipated to be of great benefit to the college, giving its scholars the chance to contribute to their academic field and provide an often overlooked Christian viewpoint. But it is hoped that the program will also have an effect that lasts beyond its three-year scope, fulfilling the long-term goal of the Summer Research Program to help establish permanent quality scholarship in Christian liberal arts colleges.