Since our founding, the Henry Center has existed to support, both administratively and financially, various projects and initiatives of the TEDS faculty that are collaborative in nature and addressing pressing needs of the church. (For more details about these criteria, see our about page.) Unlike our Programs, Initiatives are terminal. Below you may learn more about our currently active initiatives, as well as legacy ones.
The Creation Project
Are science and the Bible fundamentally opposed in regards to understanding Biblical creation? This academic initiative seeks to humbly engage with the complexity of modern science while rediscovering the historical and theological core of the doctrine of creation. The Creation Project is a gigantic undertaking—one of the HCTU’s largest ever—which encompasses three years and five far-reaching programs. Although this topic is certainly controversial, the Center is dedicated to fostering intellectual humility and an eager desire for understanding.
The Christ on Campus Initiative
Christian students are bombarded daily with conflictory messages. Their church or parents may encourage them to think in a way that directly contradicts their peers, professors, and media diet. The Christ on Campus Initiative was established to provide academically sound resources for students which help balance the scales by voicing reasonable, firm, and nuanced Evangelical stances.
Visit the Christ on Campus Initiative’s Website
Emerging Adulthood Consortium
Faculty Lead: Deborah Colwill
As the world moves faster and generational gaps grow wider, many older ministers struggle to develop meaningful relationships with younger congregants. Individuals in their late teens and twenties face a complex landscape, one which is foreign to many outside their age bracket. By connecting with emerging adults, pastors not only learn how to serve this rising generation, but also how to equip young churchgoers to be agents for change. This 2015 project combined a conference and doctoral research grant program, both of which focused on building bridges between emerging adults and their church communities.
Globalizing Theological Education
Faculty Lead: Miriam Charter
Many blessings flow from a multicultural classroom. However, many challenges surround it as well. This initiative sought to highlight these blessings and address these challenges, specifically through transforming the practical operations of TEDS classes. At the time this project was proposed, much work had been completed about international education, but most of it revolved around areas like admissions, English language skills, and one-on-one counseling. This project brought together delegates from different international seminaries for workshops focused on the specifics of planning content for diverse classes and teaching theology in a way that accounts for the presence of the gospel across the world.
The Gospel Coalition
Faculty Lead: D. A. Carson
Originally called “The Pastors’ Colloquium,” this ministry began as a group of just under 50 pastors, invited by co-chairs Tim Keller and Don Carson to consider together whether it is possible, in the US, to recapture the “center” of confessional evangelicalism. HCTU funding helped this small group expand its team, develop a 2007 conference, build a website, and file as a non-profit organization. Soon after, the Gospel Coalition became financially independent from the HCTU, and has continued to grow into a well-known and successful Christian organization.
Visit the Gospel Coalition’s website
The HANA Project
Faculty Lead: Peter Cha
As every tribe, every tongue, and every nation comes to know and worship Christ, each develops a unique understanding of God’s identity. When these tribes are brought together, their individual perspectives supplement each other, leading to a fuller image of God’s majesty. In May 2013, the HANA (Hispanic and Asian North American) Consultation on Theology and Ministry met for four days to bring two distinct ecclesial communities together. Forgoing the formalities of a typical conference, 60 ministers and theologians engaged in lively roundtable discussions all week, seeking to join together in the work of the gospel and learn from each other’s faith experiences. The result was an abundance of essays, partnerships, and friendships.
Remembering Carl Henry
Carl F. H. Henry was one of the founding architects of the modern, U.S. Evangelical movement, and his fingerprints are everywhere around us, even if we lack the forensics to see it. In honor of Carl Henry’s would-be centennial birthday, we celebrated our late namesake with a rigorous one-day conference. This 2013 gathering boasted a collection of speakers both young and experienced who spoke on Henry’s life, his vision, and his impact.
Faculty Lead: D. A. Carson
The authority of scripture is an essential topic of Christian thought. It’s also a point of confusion and doubt for many, especially those of younger generations. This initiative brought together 37 first-rate theologians for a private 2010 gathering, focused on stockpiling their collective scriptural knowledge. Each arrived with a drafted paper on the authority of scripture, and after peer-reviewing their colleague’s writings, they left with an abundance of tightly-honed essays on this crucial topic. D. A. Carson acted as this project’s editor, compiling each of the 37 pieces into one master volume, titled The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures.
Faculty Leads: Robert Priest and Tite Tiénou
In many African Christian communities, health issues, death, infertility, and financial problems are widely attributed to “witches” thought to be acting through evil occult power. Those accused of practitioning witchcraft are typically older women, orphans, or individuals with mental or social difficulties. Accusations often lead to severe social or physical harm. The Witchcraft Accusations initiative was the first unified Christian response to this widespread crisis, leading to a 2013 international conference in Nairobi as well as countless essays, blog posts, and books.
Faculty Leads: Martin Klauber & Scott Manetsch
Since its birth, evangelicalism has had its own unique perspective on global missions. Officially titled “The Great Commission: Evangelicals and the History of World Mission”, this 2006 conference discussed evangelical missiology in honor of Dr. John Woodbridge, who has dedicated much of his professional career to this field of study. The gathering resulted in a book of the same name which compiled speakers’ writings into a volume edited by Martin Klauber and Scott Manetsch.
Submit a Proposal
We believe that there is an abundance of important theological research which is yet to be pursued, and many significant questions which have yet to be asked. Therefore, the Henry Center is proud to offer funding to TEDS faculty-led initiatives focused on advancing Christian thought and witness.
Initiative proposals may receive a maximum of $50,000 to be spent on costs such as team building, consultations, conference planning, and any other needs outlined by faculty teams. Proposals are due by February 1 of the preceding academic year, and should follow the guidelines stated below. Applicants will be notified whether their proposal has been funded no later than April 1 of the same year.
Successful initiatives will incorporate the following:
- A strong connection to the mission of the Henry Center
- Demonstration of a genuine need for the work proposed
- Direct association with the University through faculty sponsorship
- A clear plan for carrying out the activities outlined in the proposal
- Roles for leaders outside the TEDS community, as well as TEDS doctoral students (as appropriate) and ethnic minorities, women, and international participants, if possible
- A strategy for producing useful resources for Christian ministry leaders
Each grant request must include the following items:
- A one-page précis outlining the project
- Additional materials (up to five pages) outlining details of the project, including a carefully crafted budget including necessary line items and a funding schedule
- A detailed schedule for the proposed project
- Relevant biographical materials for existing project members with team roles clearly identified
- A one-page document showing how the project fits with the mission and work of the Henry Center
All applications can be emailed to [email protected], or mailed to:
Henry Center for Theological Understanding
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
2065 Half Day Rd
Deerfield IL 60015
Award recipients will be determined by the Henry Center Board, led by Director Geoffrey Fulkerson. In the event that your proposal is accepted, our staff will work closely with you to assure that the Center has broad oversight over all aspects of the project, and that the project’s team lead nonetheless assumes full responsibility for the endeavor, recognizing the limited resources of the Center.
If you represent an initiative that has already received prior HCTU funding, you may apply to receive additional financial support from the Center. To be considered for additional funding, you must write a one-page document indicating the specific reasons for your request. This document must then be submitted 30 days prior to the next Henry Center board meeting. Contact the Center if you’re unsure when the next board meeting will convene.