Mission & Vision

The Lumen Research Institute is a global collective of Christian scholars who pursue questions of social concern through collaborative and interdisciplinary research efforts.
The heart of the Lumen Research Institute is a global collective of fellows. Their selection is based upon their expertise and a theologically-informed commitment to scholarship that is collaborative and interdisciplinary.  The underlying rationale for the formation of such a research collective is the ability to address matters of pressing social concern, but do so with the best-resources afforded by diverse teams of scholars.  For example, individual scholars as well as scholars working within a particular discipline and/or geographic region often possess certain strengths but also attendant weaknesses that often go undetected.  This side of eternity, scholars will always need to be vigilant about recognizing the limitations of their work.  One way to try to minimize those limitations, however, is for work to be conducted by collaborative teams of scholars representative of an array of disciplinary and geographic backgrounds.



As tangible expressions of their efforts, all working groups disseminate forms of scholarship designed to reach particular audiences.  While those publications are often represented by more-traditional forms of scholarship such as refereed journal articles and books, they may also include policy briefs, articles in magazines and newspapers, and documentaries.

The institute-wide research projects currently include a symposium (along with recordings of symposium proceedings), a theme issue for an academic journal, and a book. It is anticipated that the institute will host a series stemming from the success of the first two symposia and related scholarship.


Habits of Hope: Educational Practices for a Weary World

The “Habits of Hope” symposium extends the theological logic concerning hope to the work persons called to the academic vocation do. The disorientation plaguing individuals called to such a vocation was on the rise through the 2010s, with Covid-19 only exacerbating it. While the pandemic has gratefully eased, that sense of disorientation is one from which educators have yet to recover.


Fellows with the Lumen Research Institute pursue lines of research with colleagues at various institutions around the world. However, they also work together as members of an institute working group. Those working groups are determined by the institute’s mission, perceived needs, expertise of fellows, and available funding. In addition to contributing to the efforts of a working group, members also contribute in their own ways to an institute-wide research project. For example, from 2016-2018 the institute pursued “The State of the Evangelical Mind” project. From 2019-2020 the fellows will be pursuing the “Public Intellectuals and the Common Good” project. As with the working groups, that institute-wide project is determined by the institute’s mission, perceived needs, expertise of fellows, and available funding. Also, both of these emphases successfully targeted publications and symposia, along with a litany of individual presentations.