Mission Statement:

The Gerber Institute furthers the Mission of Newman University by promoting interdisciplinary dialogue exploring Catholic thought and practice in the diverse realms of educational, theological, philosophical, political, spiritual, social, and cultural life.

Vision Statement:

       The Gerber Institute will promote serious and intellectually rigorous discourse bringing Catholic thought and practice to bear on selected topics of public concern. The Institute will engage Newman University students, faculty, and staff, and local and regional community members, through conferences, lectures, symposia, and other forms of programming. 

       The inclusion of prominent scholars and public figures from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds will serve to enhance Newman University’s reputation as a center for Catholic studies.


The Gerber Institute may consider awarding grants for projects that support and further the mission and vision of the Gerber Institute under the following conditions:

  1. The number (and amount) of grants is based on availability of funds in any given year.
  2. The grant application is submitted by a member of the Newman University community including faculty, staff, students or alumni.
  3. The grant request does not exceed $2,000 from faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees or $1,000 from students. Requests that exceed the individual limits will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  4. The project to be funded has the potential to produce a broad and lasting impact.
  5. Grants to underwrite certain costs associated with group trips may be considered.
  6. Grants will be considered for individual participation in conferences, symposiums, or other professional development opportunities.


Applying for a Grant

The person requesting the grant should submit a proposal detailing in no more than 1,000 words:

  • The proposed project
  • The intended or expected outcomes
  • How the project supports or furthers the Institute’s mission, vision, or yearly theme
    • Note: Projects well-suited for this grant opportunity will incorporate Catholic writers/Church documents, promote Catholic traditions, and/or engage with Catholic organizations, etc. Please be specific about how this project will promote or engage with Newman’s Catholic Identity and Catholic thoughts and practice.
  • An estimate of all expenses needed to complete the project, including the amount requested of the Gerber Institute
  • How the project outcomes will be evaluated. A detailed description of how the project will be communicated with/to the members of the Newman campus. (E.g. A report to the Gerber Board, a Lunch & Learn presentation, a campus display, a survey, an updated class syllabus, etc.)

Please send all applications to the Director of the Gerber Institute. Grants must be approved by the board.  The board meets 4 times a year (ordinarily September, November, January/February, and April).  In order to be considered, the grant request must be received no later than 5 days prior to a board meeting to be included in the agenda for that meeting.  If you have any questions about any potential grant request, please contact:

Josh Papsdorf, Director

The Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies

[email protected]

316-942-4291 ext. 2148

Click the link to see past Grants Awarded.

[Revised on 03/31/2023]




The Gerber Institute invites all full-time and half-time faculty members of Newman University to apply to become Gerber Fellows. Gerber Faculty Fellows provide intellectual, organizational, and creative leadership in fostering interdisciplinary dialogue on the Newman University campus as a means of promoting the Institute’s mission, vision and theme.

The Fellow’s service should consist of scholarly research, as well as the facilitation of activities conducted on the Newman University campus and, if applicable, in the Wichita community, as well as in the greater intellectual community in which the Fellow’s professional discipline plays a role.

For a one year appointment, the fellow receives a stipend of $1,500 and a one course release from teaching responsibilities. The Gerber Institute will support the cost of that course release for the School in which the release will be taken. The Gerber Fellow will work to create opportunities for the Newman community to foster dialogue in a variety of venues.

A part time Gerber Fellow may engage in the planning and implementing of events throughout the year through coordination with the Director.  This position will not have the condition of scholarly research or be eligible for the course release.  It is eligible for a stipend up to $1,500.

Applying to Become a Gerber Fellow

Newman University faculty members wishing to be considered for Fellowships should provide a recent curriculum vitae and craft a statement of intent in 1,000 words or less that will address the following:

  1. The faculty member’s relevant research aims
  2. How this research promotes the Gerber Institute’s mission, vision, and theme
  3. How the faculty member proposes to engage the Newman community in dialogue related to their research and to the Gerber Institute’s mission, vision, and theme

Applications should also include a projected budget for funds required (beyond the stipend and course release), if any, to make the proposed fellowship activities successful. Please submit your application to the Director of the Gerber Institute during the semester prior to the semester in which the fellowship would begin.


Bishop Gerber Award for Excellence in Catholic Scholarship

Each year the Gerber Institute presents this award to one Newman undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of outstanding academic work that engages with Catholic tradition. Students may submit any work completed for credit in a Newman course during the past academic year. Eligible scholarly works can include papers, theses, artistic projects or presentations.

Submissions for each year’s awards must be received by March 1st either via electronic or hard copies of the work submitted to the Administrative Assistant of the Gerber Institute. For example, the Spring 2019 awards will be given for projects submitted during the Spring 2018 semester, the Fall 2018 semester or the Spring 2019 semester. (Please note that works must be submitted in their complete form by the March 1st deadline, even if they are being submitted for course credit later in that semester.)

Submissions will be evaluated by a three person committee comprised of the Director and two other board members. Works will be evaluated based on their overall scholarly quality, the degree of critical engagement with Catholic tradition, and the successful integration of Catholic tradition with the particular academic discipline.

Winners of the awards will be recognized at the annual Newman Academic Awards ceremony. In addition, they will receive a certificate and a $250 cash award. Winning works will also be featured on the Gerber Institute website.

Past Winners

2017-2018  Amanda Becker, “Doctors at Odds”