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CCCU Awards $68,000 in Faculty Research Grants

CCCU Awards $68,000 in Faculty Research Grants

September 19, 2023

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities today announced the 2023 recipients of its annual Networking Grants, awarded to support high-quality Christian scholarship that speaks within the broader academy. A total of $68,000 was awarded to five research teams hailing from 15 different institutions — including the first-ever team of researchers from an International Affiliate university.  

The Networking Grants for Christian Scholars program was established more than two decades ago through the ongoing generosity of Walter and Darlene Hansen, and in 2020, a generous gift from the Christian Community Credit Union expanded the size of the grants. Each year, the CCCU awards Networking Grants to scholars whose work satisfies two key criteria: 1) the work is significantly informed by Christian practices, perspectives and purposes, and 2) the work demonstrates the potential for dissemination in the larger academy.   

“We join together faith and scholarship for the common good with an understanding that we are part of a larger educational fabric and need to engage the broader range of scholarship well,” shared Stan Rosenberg, CCCU vice president for research and scholarship and founding director of Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (SCIO). “Our research efforts, like our commitment to service, need to be developed in a meaningful way to serve, communicate to and engage in meaningful discussions with the larger academic academy. We are grateful to both sets of donors for helping us spur even higher levels of excellence in research, teaching and service at our member colleges.” 

This year, the CCCU awarded Networking Grants to five distinct research teams composed of 23 scholars, representing 11 CCCU colleges or universities and four additional institutions. These institutions span a wide geographical area, both throughout the United States and abroad. Notably, one of the research teams is composed of scholars from Daystar University and Africa International University, both CCCU International Affiliate institutions located in Kenya. Daystar and Africa International are the first International Affiliate universities, and the first universities in the continent of Africa, to be awarded a Networking Grant. 

“I’m pleased indeed that we can announce these newly awarded projects which promise to add to the outstanding projects we have previously funded,” said Rosenberg.  

Grant-funded projects are divided into two categories: Initiative Grants provide up to $30,000 in funding over three years for teams implementing research projects, and Planning Grants provide up to $5,000 in funding over one year for teams setting out to plan research projects.


2023 Initiative Grants 

The Interplay Between Christianity, News and Sports  

  • Dr. Timothy Macafee, Chair and Associate Professor of Communication, Concordia University Wisconsin (project director)
  • Dr. Mike Mirer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee  
  • Dr. Steven Montreal, Professor of Political Science, Concordia University Wisconsin   
  • Dr. Scott Chappuis, Assistant Professor of Communication, Concordia University Ann Arbor 

The Nature of Spiritual Ties to Place  

  • Dr. Victor Counted, Associate Professor of Psychology, Regent University (project director) 
  • Dr. Benjamin Meagher, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Hope College  
  • Dr. Richard Cowden, Research Associate in the Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University  
  • Dr. Jamie Aten, Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership, Wheaton College 


2023 Planning Grants 

The Missionary Database and Map Initiative: A Collaborative Digital Humanities Project  

  • Dr. Thomas Whittaker, Assistant Professor of History, LeTourneau University (project director) 
  • Dr. Matthew Preston, Chair and Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Anderson University 
  • Dr. Alex Mayfield, Assistant Professor of History, Asbury University
  • Mr. Joseph Wang, M.S. Student in Computer Science, University of Southern California 

 Deception, Occultism and Cultism in the Body of Christ: Towards Understanding of False Doctrine of Death  

  • Dr. Laban Ayiro, Vice Chancellor, Daystar University (project director) 
  • Prof. Egara Kabaji, Professor of Literary Communication, Daystar University
  • Dr. Caroline Ayuya, Senior Lecturer of Clinical Psychology, Daystar University 
  • Dr. Martin Munyao, Senior Lecturer of Theology, Daystar University 
  • Dr. Niceta Ireri, Senior Lecturer, Africa International University 
  • Mr. Charles Katua, Accountant, Daystar University 

Chaplains and Spiritual Care in Community-Based Social Services  

  • Dr. Ryan Gladwin, Associate Professor of Theology and Ministry; Director of Community Transformation Center, Palm Beach Atlantic University (project director) 
  • Dr. Stephanie Boddie, Associate Professor of Church and Community Ministries, Baylor University 
  • Dr. Gaynor Yancey, Professor, Lake Family Endowed Chair in Congregational and Community Health; Director of the Center for Church and Community Impact, Baylor University 
  • Mrs. Emma Feyas, Associate Director of Community Transformation and Chaplaincy, Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Mr. Jeremy Morse, Associate Director of Recruitment and Development, Community Transformation Center, Palm Beach Atlantic University 

For more information on the CCCU’s Networking Grants for Christian Scholars program, visit


About CCCU

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 185 Christian institutions around the world. Since 1976, the CCCU has served as the leading national voice of Christian higher education. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and more than 30 from an additional 19 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ- centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.

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