Pastor-in-Residence Fellowships

Pastors: Apply for $10,000 to Study Suffering and the Good Life alongside Christian Scholars

2017-2018 Pastor-in-Residence Fellowship Description

Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought (‘the Center’) invites applications for a $10,000 “pastor-in-residence” grant for work related to its research theme for the 2017-2018 year, “Suffering and the Good Life.”

This grant will assist pastors who wish to stimulate their thinking and preaching exploring the pastoral implications of contemporary scholarship on Suffering and the Good Life. Grant recipients will have the opportunity to engage in weekly conversation with the Center’s residential fellows and visiting scholars who are working on this topic during the 2017-2018 academic year. Our aim is to bring Christian pastors into meaningful conversation with the scholarly work of the Center in a way which helps them to bring thoughtful teaching and pastoral counsel about suffering and its role in human flourishing to their congregations.

Grant Eligibility and Benefits

Applicants must be a Southern California area pastor with a Master’s of Divinity or equivalent theological degree. Grant recipients will be expected to attend weekly Wednesday morning roundtable meetings with CCT Research Fellows and occasional seminars with visiting scholars. The Pastor-in-Residence will be invited to attend the Center’s end-of-year conference on issues related to the below focal questions. They will also be expected to develop a sermon series on topics related to these questions.

Grant recipients will receive a $10,000 stipend for their participation in Center roundtable meetings, end-of-year conference attendance, and creation of a sermon series on the above-described theme.

Focal Questions

  • What are the conditions under which suffering plays a role in bringing about human flourishing?
  • In what ways is flourishing in the context of suffering contingent on the response of the sufferer?
  • What are the psychological effects of suffering and which of these are conducive to character development?
  • Are there intentional practices the sufferer can adopt to raise the likelihood that suffering conduces to positive growth and change?
  • What light do recent studies on post-traumatic growth shed on the foregoing questions? What further scientific work bears on them?
  • What is the relationship between suffering and pain?
  • Is there a distinctly Christian approach to the experience of suffering and its connection to happiness?
  • How might churches and other voluntary associations help their members harness suffering for good in their lives?

Visiting Scholars

The Center invites prominent scholars from a variety of disciplines to visit the Center for a seminar with research fellows. The following scholars will be visiting the Center during the 2017-2018 year:

  • Marilyn McCord Adams (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • David Bain (University of Glasgow)
  • Lawrence Calhoun (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
  • Julie Exline (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Crystal Park (University of Connecticut)
  • Eleonore Stump (Saint Louis University)
  • Richard Tedeschi (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
  • Miroslav Volf (Yale Divinity School)

Application Instructions

Applicants are asked to submit the following by November 15, 2016:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Writing sample (which needn’t comprise published work)
  • A research proposal of no more than 600 words explaining the nature of their interest in questions about Suffering and the Good Life, ideas for sermon series on related topics (which may or not match the sermon series eventually crafted by grant recipients), and concrete thoughts about how their participation will impact their congregation.

Completed applications should be submitted electronically to CCT's Director, Evan Rosa, at


Need a reminder about the application?

Sign up for the Biola CCT email newsletter, The Table, for weekly emails featuring thoughtful articles, videos, podcasts, and event opportunities.

We'll keep you informed when the deadline gets closer.


Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639