Since the 1920s, the Teaching of the Bible Grant program has been quietly yet consistently providing financial and denominational support for teaching the Bible at Presbyterian-related colleges, universities and secondary schools.
The grant, which is offered annually to PC(USA)-related colleges, universities or secondary schools, provides up to $10,000 for the funding of a new program — or new aspects to existing programs — for teaching the Bible.
Past awardees have used the grant to develop new curriculum or experiment with new approaches to teaching. College chaplains, professors and local church leaders have collaborated on creative programs to deepen students’ engagement with Scripture through intensive study and service to the larger community. In 2010, the grant enabled a Presbyterian-related secondary school to offer an anti-racism and diversity program with a strong biblical foundation.
Now, the Teaching of the Bible Grant is sharpening its vision and expanding its offerings to help Presbyterian-related schools further deepen their educational and vocational mission.
“We are pleased to be able to strengthen the partnership between the Presbyterian Mission Agency and our Presbyterian-related colleges and universities, particularly as it relates to how teaching the Bible to undergraduates can help to form a new, emerging Presbyterian identity for the 21st century,” said the Rev. Charles Wiley, coordinator of the office of Theology and Worship.
In its 2015 request for proposals — which is now open — the mission agency is seeking proposals designed to explore the interrelationship of grace and gratitude and the connections of these realities to Presbyterian identity.
“The Theology, Worship and Education ministry area is committed to helping Presbyterians understand their lives in terms of ‘grace and gratitude’: God’s grace toward the world — and toward them — and the grateful response of God’s people in becoming more and more like Christ in living out their faith,” Wiley said.
To further assist 2015 applicants, the mission agency will sponsor a J-term consultation in 2015-16 that will bring together related college and university faculty members and chaplains, staff from the office of Theology and Worship, seminary faculty and guest speakers. The consultation will provide opportunities to explore teaching the Bible, discern what it means to be Presbyterian and provide a way to deepen the schools’ formative mission.
“Although the Teaching of the Bible Grant is intended to serve all of the Presbyterian-related colleges, universities and secondary schools, we have found that in the last decade the program has served fewer than a third of the eligible institutions,” said Laura Bryan, associate for Financial Aid for Service. “One of the most exciting aspects of our 2015 request for proposals focusing on grace and gratitude is the J-term consultation, which we hope will expand the reach of the program.”
For more information about the Teaching of the Bible Grant, email or call Laura Bryan at (800) 728-7228, ext. 5735, or visit www.pcusa.org/financialaid for more information. The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2015.