2024 Workshop: Design Thinking

2024 Virtual Teaching and Learning Workshop

Design Thinking for Religious and Theological Educators

Application Deadline:

September 27, 2023

Schedule of Sessions

All Sessions – 1:00 – 3:00 pm ET

  • Session 1 – January 29, 2024
  • Session 2 – February 12, 2024 
  • Session 3 – February 26, 2024
  • Session 4 – March 11, 2024 
  • Session 5 – March 25, 2024
  • Session 6 – April 8, 2024


Rev. Stephen Lewis, President, Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE)


Julius Bailey, University of Redlands
Min-Ah Cho, Georgetown University
Liam de los Reyes, Mount Angel Seminary
Nick Elder, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
Barbara Fears, Howard University
Kishundra King, Iliff School of Theology
Andrew Krause, Associated Canadian Theological Schools of Trinity Western University
Velma Love, Interdenominational Theological Center
Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo, Wake Forest University Divinity School
K. Christine Pae, Denison University
Kyle Schiefelbein-Guerrero, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon
Ashlyn Strozier, Georgia State University
Jeanine Viau, University of Central Florida at Cocoa
Maureen Walsh, Rockhurst University



Wabash Center Staff Contact:
Gina A. S. Robinson, PhD
Associate Director
Wabash Center 
301 West Wabash Ave. 
Crawfordsville, IN 47933


Educators and administrators of higher education are working tirelessly to navigate a rapidly changing environment accelerated by the effects of the global pandemic. Many are discovering how to adapt and design educational models and delivery systems for a changing industry. In a post-pandemic era, what does it mean to be teacher who employs design thinking? In what ways can design thinking help religious/theological educators and administers think, strategize, and implement new and different educational approaches?

Please be mindful that participants will be expected to work on their own design projects between sessions.  

This online workshop invites religious and theological faculty from diverse academic disciplines to learn and experiment with design thinking methods in their work as educators and administrators.  The six online sessions, with participants from diverse institutional contexts will:

  • Examine what it means to foster greater design intelligence in their work
  • Reflect on common challenges or constraints in developing new curriculum, educational programs or teaching initiatives
  • Learn, practice, and develop next steps to incorporate design thinking methods in their work

Sessions will include plenary and small group discussions as well as assignments between sessions to apply what participants learned. Participants will also pitch ideas for small project grant proposals up to $5,000 in order to develop next steps to practice what they learned in the workshop.  After the conclusion of the online workshop, participants may opt to submit their developed grant proposal for consideration of funding.


  • To explore the tasks of teaching through the lens of design
  • To nurture a community of learning and conversation around teaching and design
  • To build confidence in applying design thinking principles to educators and administrators’ work context

Participant Eligibility

  • Tenure-track, tenured, continuing term, and/or full-time contingency
  • Teaching religion, religious studies, or theology in an accredited college or university in the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada.
  • Job description or contract that is wholly for, or inclusive of, developing new curriculum or developing curriculum-related activities such as: degree/non-degree programs, co-curricular programs, new initiatives, new courses, revamping old courses, establishing laboratories or experimentation for teaching
  • Institutional support and personal commitment to participate fully in all workshop sessions
  • Participants must have the time availability to work on their own projects between sessions

Application Materials

Please complete and attach the following documents to the online application:

  • Application Contact Information form 
  • Cover letter:
    • An introductory letter describing: (a) your reasons for interest in this conversation on design thinking; (b) your institutional context and/or the class where design thinking principles could provide leverage and opportunity for enhancing and enriching your teaching and teaching life; (c) a possible curriculum, program, or teaching project for which this conversation might influence, impact or be of help. (250 to 300 words)
  • Brief essay:  
    • Describe a recurring challenge or constraint in your institution which affects your work of teaching (beyond personnel/budget) that has hindered your developing or revising curriculum, courses, projects, or programs. Reflect on how the institutional challenge or constraint has impacted your teaching, teaching life, and how you imagine the discipline of design thinking would help address the challenge or constraint. (500-1000 words)
  • Academic CV (4-page limit) 
  • A letter of institutional support for your full participation in this workshop from your Department Chair, Academic Dean, Provost, Vice President, or President. Please have this recommendation uploaded directly to your application according to the online application instructions. 


Participants will receive an honorarium of $3,000 for full participation in the hybrid workshop. 

Wabash Center