The Taylor and Tamara Woods Humanities and Belief Endowment was created for the purpose of supporting the College of Humanities in its efforts to promote a humanities education that is both intellectually enlarging and spiritually strengthening. It provides valuable and needed resources to assist undergraduate students, aspiring academics in graduate programs, and practicing LDS scholars in the humanities at BYU in their quest to live, think, and publish as believing thinkers and thinking believers.
With immense gratitude and a deep desire to honor the generosity and vision of our donors, the College of Humanities will develop and assess strategies that are the most effective in sustaining and nurturing scholars of faith in the humanities. This will impact the kind of mentoring and pedagogy we offer undergraduates at BYU, improve preparation and training of faculty at BYU and provide an outreach program for all LDS graduate students in the humanities at their host institutions.
In regard to this later effort, we are pleased to announce the first annual Humanities and Belief Summer Workshop from June 19 – 30, 2017. LDS graduate students will be brought to BYU for a seminar of intensive readings, discussion, and mentoring with BYU faculty and invited guests from other universities. We will investigate scholarship that addresses the challenges of belief in our time and provides pathways through, rather than around, those challenges. The goal is to shore up their faith, strengthen their connection to a community of believing humanists and role models, and expose them to theories, methodologies, and ideas that are often neglected in graduate programs but that offer powerful tools for the believing humanist.
Ultimately this endowment will improve pedagogical approaches as well as scholarly endeavors so that our faculty and students are in a better position to contribute and shape respective fields as scholars of faith. As we research and understand contemporary paradigms of study in the humanities we seek to identify and expand the common ground between the humanities and belief.