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SLU School of Education Associate Dean Named to Advisory Board for the Future of Church-Related University

by Maggie Rotermund
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Maggie Rotermund
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ST. LOUIS – Molly A. Schaller, Ph.D., a professor of higher education and associate dean at Saint Louis University’s School of Education, has been named an inaugural advisory board member for a new consultation on the future of church-related universities.

Molly Schaller, Ph.D.

Molly Schaller, Ph.D, associate dean of the School of Education, addresses the class of 2027 during Convocation at Chaifetz Arena on August 19, 2023. Photo by Sarah Conroy. 

Schaller’s appointment was announced by Indiana Wesleyan University. The consultation is a partnership between the Lilly Fellows Program based at Valparaiso University and Indiana Wesleyan’s Lumen Research Institution

The “Future of the Church-Related University” consultation will engage the challenges of the higher education landscape and provide resources for discernment for leaders, teachers, and scholars called to care for the Church-related university’s future.

“I am so pleased to have a chance to contribute to this important work,” Schaller said. “Funding and mission will need to be directly connected for church-related universities to have a bright future. I am especially looking forward to working with this esteemed group of colleagues on this work.”

Schaller has taught master’s and doctoral courses in higher education administration programs for over 20 years. She publishes on student affairs in Catholic colleges and universities, leadership, and college student development.

The “Future of Church-Related Universities” consultation begins with a “Funding the Future” initiative led by President Jon S. Kulaga of Indiana Wesleyan University and Beck A. Taylor, president of Samford University.

A second initiative, “Minding the Mission,” will be led by David W. Wright, president emeritus of Indiana Wesleyan University; Barry H. Corey, president, Biola University; and Perry L. Glanzer, professor of educational foundations at Baylor University.

Subsequent initiatives may focus on administrators, curriculum, faculty, students, and trustees.

“Everyone acknowledges that the funding model for higher education – church-related higher ed included – is broken, so I’m excited about the opportunity to address this issue head-on,” said Joe Creech, Lilly Fellows program director. “But we need to do more than just survive. We need to move forward with a sense of purpose that permeates our institutions, and so it’s critical that this funding conversation take place within the larger context of mission.”

Creech will chair the 13-member advisory board, which will provide oversight for this consultation and review efforts made by the initiative leaders.

Other board members include:

The advisory board’s first meeting is scheduled for later this month.

Schaller was inducted into the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) College Student Educators International Diamond Honoree Class of 2023. She served as a Faculty Fellow for Mission and Identity from 2018-20 and was SLU’s Opus Prize site coordinator in 2019.

About the Lilly Fellows Program

Founded in 1991, the Lilly Fellows Program seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning through a variety of fellowships and through the collaborative and ecumenical Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. The Lilly Fellows Program is based at Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college of Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana

Established by Indiana Wesleyan University in 2016, the Lumen Research Institute is a global collective of Christian scholars who pursue questions of social concern through collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts.

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 13,500 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.