Faith and Learning Mentors

Faith and Learning Mentors

The Center for Faith and Learning facilitates the Faith and Learning Scholars Program.  Faculty from all colleges of the University and rising sophomores who are interested in exploring and discovering the intersection of faith and learning become Mentors and Scholars sharing in a three-year long faith-learning journey together.  This includes four Dinner Dialogues based on selected readings and a commitment to support students in their search for the integration of faith and reason.  Rising sophomores, who are nominated, are invited to apply to be Scholars.  Scholars who begin in Fall 2016 will conclude their experience in Spring 2019 when they graduate. To view the sample Scholars application, please click on the link on the right.

The “Faith and Learning Scholars” program began in Fall 2011.  At present the Center is facilitating three groups of 101 student Scholars and 66 faculty Mentors:

  • St. Thomas of Villanova II group (40 sophomore Scholars, 29 Mentors)
  • St. Monica II Group (34 junior Scholars, 25 Mentors)
  • St. Augustine II group (27 senior Scholars, 11 Mentors)

Mentors who will choose to be part of the program next year will begin the Program's seventh group, the St. Augustine III group, with a goal of 30 sophomore scholars/15 mentors.  Each group meets individually for the Dinner Dialogues at Picotte Hall at Dundale, yet the Faith and Learning Scholars Program functions as one large intentional faith community usually having the opportunity to gather as a unified whole once per semester.

Mentors introduce students to leading scholars who have explored the vocation of the mind and the intersection of faith and learning in their writings. Faculty who elect to enter the program commit to scheduled dinner discussions that explore the intersection of faith and learning and the vocation of the mind.

  • Mentors will be seated at Dinner Dialogues together with their mentees, encouraging exploration of ideas about the readings and fostering community
  • Mentors (when possible) will be available to student scholars for discernment in their life choices
  • Mentors will assess and evaluate the program

Program Design

The Center for Faith and Learning will provide structure and oversight for a variety of mentor-scholar interactions.   At a minimum, five meetings are planned for each year.

  • Students and faculty meet twice a semester for dinner and dialogue to discuss assigned reading relevant to the nature, purposes, and challenges of faith and learning.  This is a 2 hour dinner commitment.
  • Students and faculty will be encouraged to participate in other relevant campus programs as opportunities are identified.
  • Ideally, the Faculty Mentors will continue the Scholar Mentoring relationship until the student has graduated.


Program Aspiration

The Center for Faith and Learning Faculty Mentor Program seeks to: 

  • support and affirm faculty whose teaching and research incorporates the intersection of faith and reason
  • provide opportunities for faculty conversations concerning the vocation of the life of the mind
  • invite faculty to be role models for students to interact with faculty whose teaching and research are vocational, rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

Through the intentional work of these faculty Villanova University seeks to prepare the next generation of students to integrate faith and learning into their emerging adult lives. In addition, the Center for Faith and Learning hopes to encourage young scholars to consider advanced degrees and life in the academy as a future vocation.


Center Logo

Senior Scholars Say:

"Our dinner dialogues were always like a breath of fresh air for me -- they helped me take a step back and consider my faith, something that I don't always make time for in my day-to-day life. Those moments became very important to me over the past three years."
"I have had the opportunity to meet a group of people all with the same focus of school and integrated faith.  I never thought I would be able to connect with these students (and faculty) in one setting. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to experience faith and learning these three years."
"I'm a more confident person. Not just in my faith life, though that's certainly true, but I feel like a more well-rounded individual for having participated in this program. I'm more open. I'm more comfortable talking about myself and my experiences."
* Faculty Mentors application 2017-2018.pdf
2017-2018 Faculty Mentor Application
* Scholars application 2017-2018.pdf
2017-2018 Scholar application