Additional Scholarship Programming
Please see Section 6 of the COE Handbook for more information and additional programming that supports scholarship:
The primary purpose of a sabbatical leave is to provide opportunity for a ranked faculty member to devote concentrated effort to professional activities designed to bring future benefit to both the faculty member and to the University. Sabbatical leaves typically are used to pursue a significant project related to a ranked faculty member’s teaching, scholarship or institutional service.
A ranked faculty member is eligible to take a sabbatical during his/her seventh year of full-time responsibility at Messiah University (i.e., may apply for sabbatical during his/her sixth year). The applicant must have the rank of Associate Professor by the time the sabbatical is taken. One early sabbatical leave may be granted each year. A ranked faculty member may apply for the early sabbatical in the third, fourth, or fifth year of full-time employment at Messiah University.
Given the significance of a sabbatical leave to the candidate’s professional development and to the University, it is expected that the candidate will be in contact with his or her School Dean and Department Chair prior to the development of a proposal. Faculty members are expected to communicate with their Dean and Department Chair by the end of May Development Week in the spring prior to submitting their application. Faculty members must also submit an Intent to Apply for Sabbatical Form to the Office of Faculty Development by June 30th.
Faculty applications for sabbatical leave are due September 15th in the academic year prior to the academic year of the requested leave. For example, complete applications for a sabbatical leave during academic year 2026-27 are due by no later than September 15th, 2025.
Sabbatical leaves are determined on the basis of careful review of faculty applications. The Scholarship and Development Committee reviews all applications and recommends sabbatical leaves to the Provost; the Provost reviews the recommended sabbatical leaves and make recommendations to the President whose decision will be final.
Faculty scholarship is essential to creating a learning environment that nurtures intellectual challenge, open inquiry, collaborative scholarship, innovative problem solving, and artistic creativity. Faculty members must be actively involved in scholarship endeavors that may take various forms using Boyer’s broad definition of scholarship, which includes discovery, application, integration, and teaching.
Any current term-tenure track faculty member is eligible to submit a proposal for admittance into this program. New term-tenure track faculty will be eligible to apply during their first year for the load allocation beginning in their second year of teaching (they already receive a one-course reduction for Provost’s Seminar during their first year).
Messiah University supports four non-endowed Scholarship Chairs. The University also supports Endowed Scholarship Chairs through restricted endowments established by donors and friends of the University. Presently, the University has three Endowed Chairs — The C. N. Hostetter, Jr. Chair of Religious Studies, The Clarence W. Hottel Chair of Engineering, and The Harry R. Hitchcock Chair of Business and Management.
Scholarship Chair appointments are made on the basis of meritorious scholarly projects—using Boyer’s broad definition of scholarship, which includes discovery, teaching, integration, and application. Selections are based on a competitive application process, including review and recommendation by the Scholarship and Development Committee and approval by the Provost.
Each Scholarship Chair will receive a six-load credit reduction for two consecutive years and up to a total of $3,000 for direct expenses, related to their project(s). Full-time continuing faculty members (including Department Chairs) who have completed at least three years of full-time teaching at Messiah University, are eligible for a Scholarship Chair. Application may be made in the third year of full-time teaching.
The Distinguished Professor Chair is awarded to senior faculty members whose ongoing scholarship is of exceptional significance. The position is competitively awarded to those whose scholarship is esteemed nationally/internationally and who have made exemplary contributions in teaching and institutional service. Up to five ranked faculty may hold this position in any given year.
Faculty members who have been awarded the Distinguished Professor Chair retain the title of Distinguished Professor following the term and for the duration of their service as members of the Ranked Faculty at Messiah University
To be eligible to apply for an appointment as Distinguished Professor Chair, a ranked faculty member must have completed at least five years at the Professor level at Messiah University (allowing for review in the fall of the sixth year, with implementation in the fall of the seventh year.)
The term for a Distinguished Professor Chair will be five years. They may reapply for succeeding terms during the fifth year of the term. A candidate seeking renewal must submit a new application including all of the items outlined under the application process The focus of the
Distinguished Professor program is scholarship. Teaching and institutional service are a basis for being eligible for Distinguished Professor Chair, not criteria for selection.
The Office of Faculty Development administers an annual Conference Participation Fund to support full-time ranked faculty who assume active roles in professional conferences. One request may be funded per ranked faculty member each academic year, and the amount of each award may be a portion of the total request, depending on the number of requests received.