National Lutheran News

Lilly Fellows Program to study value of ‘distance learning’

The Lilly Fellows Program will return to Valparaiso for its 20th national conference October 14-15. Besides being a homecoming of sorts, this choice is consistent with the theme of the conference: “Face to Face in Time and Place: Perspectives on Place in Higher Education.”

Valparaiso University’s Center for the Arts building reflects the image of its Chapel of the Resurrection. Photo provided by Valparaiso University.

The Lilly Fellows program was organized in 1991 to explore the role of church-related institutions in higher education. Celebrating the program’s 20 years, organizers of this year’s conference hope to continue the mission of the Lilly Fellows Program, but in a new context.

“This conference marks a turning point. We are planning to take a voice in a more general issue in higher education than in the past,” -Joe Creech

“We are in a different place than we were 20 years ago,” said Joe Creech, the program director. “In the early ’90s the church was considered out of vogue, under fire, and that the church didn’t really matter. That is not the case anymore,” he told Metro Lutheran.

This year’s conference will continue the original goal of the program by exploring a topic relevant to the church-related institutions. But organizers want it to broaden the dialogue as well.

“[Distance education] is front and center for most institutions,” Creech said. “This topic is timely and interesting, and given our church-related angle we have something unique to contribute to the discussion,” he added.

“This conference marks a turning point. We are planning to take a voice in a more general issue in higher education than in the past,” Creech said. “The knowledge can have more impact,” he said. The organizers hope eventually to disseminate the conversation to a larger audience.

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