NetVUE Grants for Fostering Leadership for Communities of Faith

NetVUE member colleges and universities recognize that intentional programming and thoughtful mentoring can prove significant in a higher education setting for the exploration and discernment of a student’s many callings in life. This grant program provides funding for institutions that are working to augment their support for students who are considering possible callings to leadership roles in communities of faith. Grant funds should be used to develop or extend programming for students, and/or professional development for faculty members and staff, with the goal of connecting students to local faith communities and supporting them as they explore and discern their callings. Initiatives may be developed within or across a variety of academic departments and campus offices, and should involve leaders of one or more faith communities near campus.

Lilly Endowment Inc. logo

This initiative is administered by CIC with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Current Status

NetVUE Grants for Fostering Leadership for Communities of Faith may be requested in amounts ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 for use over two years to develop new programs, or to strengthen existing programs, that support students as they consider vocations of leadership for communities of faith. Programming should seek to develop students’ capacity for such leadership, in part through facilitating formative connections between participating students and particular faith communities. A wide range of proposals for student leadership formation are welcome, but each should include a mechanism for involving students (individually or in groups) with an established faith community near campus. Particular preference will be given to proposals which include efforts connected to justice, diversity, equity, or reconciliation.

Funds may be used for a range of purposes, but not to substitute for faculty and staff costs that the institution is presently providing for its vocational exploration activities. Capital expenditures, new personnel lines, equipment purchases, and indirect or overhead costs are not eligible for grant support; these expenses are to be covered by the institution. Rather, grants are meant to be used to offset one-time costs of program development and implementation.

Application Details

Grants will be awarded based on proposals that explain (a) the purpose and goals of the proposed activities and how they will help to foster leadership for communities of faith; (b) the relationship and harmony of these activities with ongoing institutional efforts, particularly those connected to vocational exploration; (c) the ways in which proposed activities or programs would facilitate regular and formative connections between students and specific communities of faith during the grant period; and (d) the ways in which NetVUE-supported initiatives would be sustained by the institution beyond the grant period. Programs consisting primarily of direct financial support for undergraduate students (in the form of internships, scholarships, or stipends) will be considered only if the institution can demonstrate how it will sustain these programs well beyond the grant period. 

Eligible NetVUE institutions may submit only one proposal for a Grant for Fostering Leadership for Communities of Faith during the current round. To submit an application, please refer to the official Invitation for Applications and online application form:

Applications for the current round of Grants for Fostering Leadership for Communities of Faith are due by December 15, 2023.

This is the first round of NetVUE Grants for Fostering Leadership for Communities of Faith. Up to 20 awards will be made in this round. The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2023. Decisions will be announced by March 1, 2024. Funds will be disbursed in two equal payments: the first half by April 1, 2024, and the second half by April 1, 2025 (following approval of an interim report). Spending must be completed by March 30, 2026.


All NetVUE member colleges and universities are eligible to apply for funding. Note: If an institution already holds one or more other NetVUE grants, the application must demonstrate that staffing and other resources are adequately distributed to allow all projects to succeed. Ordinarily this will require that the programs supported by the grants be directed by distinct leadership teams.

Institutions that are not yet members may join the network to become eligible for this grant. Learn more about NetVUE membership.

Contact Information

Questions about this and other NetVUE grant programs should be addressed to Carter Aikin, NetVUE grants director, at or (217) 854-5619. 

About NetVUE and Other NetVUE Grant Programs

Learn more about NetVUE, including the array of programs and services that are available to member institutions.

Browse a full list of NetVUE grant opportunities.