Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood secures a $400,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation

June 30, 2022


United Lutheran Seminary, in partnership with Vanderbilt Divinity School, has received a $400,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund the program, “Toward Our Common Public Life.”  Rev. Teresa L. Smallwood, J.D., Ph.D., the James Franklin Kelly and Hope Eyster Kelly Associate Professor of Public Theology at United Lutheran Seminary (ULS), is principal investigator. Emilie M. Townes, Ph.D., dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School, is co-investigator. The grant period is July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2024.

Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood

“United Lutheran Seminary is grateful to the Henry Luce Foundation for the opportunity to highlight Dr. Smallwood’s visionary work in the areas of racial and social justice,” said the Rev. R. Guy Erwin, Ph.D., president of ULS. “Her ability to bring communities and individuals within higher education and the church together for a common purpose will greatly enhance new opportunities for our students and Luce grantees.”

"Toward Our Common Public Life" (TCPL) will operate as a guidepost for current Henry Luce Foundation grant recipients to collaborate as they also work independently on their individual grant projects. The purpose is to foster greater communication and symmetry among grantees so that even greater collaboration among grant recipients can organically develop. This work will uncover the need for generative conversations that lead to connecting various projects to one another and to their communities of engagement. To achieve this, TCPL will facilitate a series of gatherings both in-person and through virtual formats to initiate this cross-pollination between grantees.      

United Lutheran Seminary is a welcoming and diverse learning community equipping people to proclaim the living Gospel for a changing church and world. This grant will allow Dr. Smallwood and her students the opportunity to help leaders in the broader academic community develop the capacity to do greater work by unifying the reach of their funded grant projects; to join hands with other like-minded funded grantees; and, to strengthen the work of social and racial justice in learning communities across the nation. Learn more about United Lutheran Seminary at - @unitedlutheranseminary.

This project is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation - @HLuceFdn.

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy.

Contact: Linda Fiore