Beginning with the inaugural Day of Common Learning in October 2002 featuring Stephen Carter and the theme of “Integrity,” the CSFD has contributed to a campus climate in which research, writing, creating, teaching, and learning are understood and valued as Christian vocations, with programs such as the Day of Common Learning, major campus lectures, and support for undergraduate research. Professor of English Susan VanZanten served as the Center’s first director (2002 – 2011). Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology Margaret Diddams served as the Center's second director (2011-2016). Professor of Psychology Margaret Brown serves as the current director.
The Center’s university-wide faculty development programs include opportunities, resources, and support in four areas: teaching, scholarship, mentoring, and sponsored programs administration. The Center also houses the Institute for Academic Innovation, launched in 2016. The Center manages SPU’s SERVE program (Spiritual and Educational Resources for Vocational Exploration), providing resources and funding to help faculty and students explore their vocational calling, meaning and purpose.
The Center also serves as the home for various academic programs funded by external grants, including the Hewlett Capstone Project, the Lilly PTEV SERVE Program, and the Lilly Fellows Network Mentoring Program.