February 10, 2022

Press Release: Anselm House a Leading Participant in a $2.7M Baylor University Study on Character Formation in College Students


MEDIA CONTACT: Dan Olson, Managing Director, 612-203-8540, do@anselmhouse.org


Anselm House’s Fellows Program to be studied by Baylor University, alongside University of Notre Dame, Wheaton College (IL), and four other centers for Christian study, in a $2.7 million study.

Anselm House Program Director Andrew Hansen is a leader of this major research initiative

Anselm House is honored to be a core participant on a three-year, $2.7 million research grant led by Baylor University from the John Templeton Foundation. The research project will take place between 2022-2024, and developed out of conversations among leaders from Anselm House, the John Templeton Foundation, and Baylor University researchers about centers of Christian study at secular universities as sites of moral formation.

The research project will be led by Dr. Perry Glanzer and Dr. Sarah Schnitker of Baylor University, with Anselm House Program Director, Dr. Andrew Hansen, serving as facilitator of a community of practice for staff at centers of Christian study. The overall research project is called “The Role Of Meta-Identity In Developing Moral Communities Within Higher Education.”

The study will include an in-depth study of virtue formation at five centers: Anselm House (UMN), Lumen Christi Institute (UChicago), North Carolina Study Center (UNC Chapel Hill), Chesterton House (Cornell), and Collegium Institute (Penn). In addition, the research team will collect comparative data on virtue formation at three leading institutions of Christian higher education (Baylor University, Wheaton College (IL), and the University of Notre Dame), as well as students at the universities where these five centers serve.

Dr. Hansen will serve as the main facilitator of an ongoing community of practice among study center practitioners to share best practices associated with Christian virtue formation and to discuss the ongoing results from the research. The end result will be a better understanding of how virtue formation happens in different Christian higher educational contexts.

This research ties in with Dr. Hansen’s work in helping design and direct the Colin Maclaurin Fellows Program, including a recent article reflecting on this work published in the the International Journal of Christianity and Education. When asked why he is excited about this opportunity, Dr. Hansen replied: “This research promises to be the most rigorous, in-depth study to date of programs at centers for Christian study, and should provide very helpful data for deepening and improving the work of Christian intellectual and virtue formation within the context of the secular universities. The size and scope of the grant also promises to raise awareness of these sorts of institutions within the landscape of Christian higher education. We see our mission as doing the same sort of formation work often associated with Christian colleges.”

About Anselm House

Anselm House is a center for Christian studies that exists to help students and faculty at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) connect Christian faith & knowledge with all of life. We offer programs for students and faculty oriented around the integration of faith and vocation (our Fellows programs), administer a Christian faculty network for UMN professors, and host conversations, lectures, and courses open to the general public. We help equip the next generation of Christian servant-leaders for the university, the church, and the world. More information at anselmhouse.org.

For more about the project, see this link to this press release from Baylor University.

Dr. Andrew Hansen (lower right) at an early meeting with the grant researchers. Photo by Dr. Sarah Schnitker.
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