The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) has awarded $20,000 to Fresno Pacific University to fund a faculty member’s exploration of the relationship between singing and reconciliation in the church.
The CICW Teacher-Scholar Grant will go Amy Whisenand Krall, Th.D., assistant professor of biblical and theological studies. Plans are to host workshops in scriptural study and practice-sharing, collaborating with local churches on worship, singing and reconciliation. The grant was written by Krall and Anna James Miller, director of grant funding support and foundation relations and the award is the maximum award for this kind of grant. “I’m thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to exploring these topics alongside churches in Fresno and the Central Valley,” Krall said.
“Teacher-Scholars from a wide variety of disciplines have so much to contribute to congregations and parishes—helping us all see things we otherwise might miss, offering access to essential wisdom for ministry. We are grateful for each of these Teacher-Scholars and the promise of their work for strengthening congregational life,” said John Witvliet, CICW director.
Located on the campus of Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI, the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship funded 11 Teacher-Scholar grants in its first round for 2023-2024. The program recognizes the role teacher-scholars play in strengthening and nurturing Christian worshiping communities. Grants are made possible by the generous support of the Lilly Endowment Inc.
Grant recipients come from theology, music, philosophy, higher education, applied science and sociology. Emphases vary—playfulness in very small churches, equipping bi-vocational preachers, an analysis of industry distribution of popular worship songs, multidimensional preaching practices, implications of online pandemic liturgies—but the common purpose is to both deepen people’s understanding of worship and strengthen practices of public worship and faith formation. Recipients include scholars at three research universities, four seminaries and four private colleges and universities representing nine U.S. states and one Canadian province.
CICW also awarded four Worshiping Communities grants to emphasize deepen engagement with the sacraments, engaging Scripture through art and developing a common language for worship to both deepen people’s understanding of worship and strengthen practices of public worship and faith formation.
Kathy Smith, leader of the Vital Worship Grants Team, said, “We are grateful to award these new grants, trusting these projects will serve to encourage vital worship in new ways. We thank God for the thoughtfulness and creativity expressed and pray that these groups and their leaders will be richly blessed in the year of learning ahead.”
Since it began in the year 2000, the Vital Worship Grants Program has awarded over 1,000 grants to churches, schools, organizations and teacher-scholars across North America for projects that generate thoughtfulness and energy for public worship and faith formation at the local, grass-roots level. The program is generously supported by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc.