2019 FASPE Seminary Application
Deadline: Friday, December 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST
FASPE Seminary applicants must either be enrolled in graduate school preparing for work as a religious leader at the time of application or they must be working as clergy with a relevant graduate degree received between May 2017 and January 2019. Those applying as students may be studying at a seminary, divinity school, rabbinical school, Muslim chaplaincy program or other graduate program related to religious training.
FASPE is an intensive, two-week study program in professional ethics and ethical leadership taking place in Berlin, Krakow and Oswiecim (the location of the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz). FASPE Seminary approaches the study of professional ethics by examining the actions and choices of German and international clergy in supporting and/or enabling Nazi policies. It then draws on this historical example to help Seminary Fellows grasp their role as influencers in their own religious communities and beyond and to identify and confront the ethical issues currently facing clergy of all religions.
FASPE Seminary has developed its own curriculum of small group discussions, case studies and lectures that are connected to the history and historical sites the program explores. Interfaith dialogue and work also factors into the curriculum. Faculty leadership is provided by recognized academics, active clergy leading faith communities, historians and ethicists.
Interdisciplinary work and exchanges are also a core component of the Fellowship program and the FASPE alumni network. FASPE Seminary Fellows travel with FASPE Medical Fellows, allowing Fellows in each program to benefit from cross-disciplinary perspectives and discussions.
FASPE Seminary is neither a Holocaust studies course, nor a genocide prevention program. Rather, the curriculum is designed to challenge Fellows to critically examine constructs, current developments and issues that raise ethical concerns for religious leaders in the contemporary settings in which they work.
FASPE seeks Fellows who are interested in engaging in discussions with their co-Fellows and faculty and who have the intellectual and emotional maturity to unpack difficult and controversial issues responsibly and respectfully in small group settings. FASPE selects its Fellows on the basis of their academic background, personal and professional experiences, capacity for leadership and ability to contribute to the program and the alumni community. All applications are welcome and reviewed.
Short Essay Questions
You will find the following questions on the online application at the Submittable portal. Please be prepared to upload your responses (200 to 400 words each) to these questions in a single PDF document, along with the other components of the application, by the FASPE Seminary deadline using the link in Submittable.
- Describe your interest in the program by answering each (a) and (b):
a. Why are you interested in FASPE Seminary? (200 words maximum)
b. How will you enrich FASPE both as a Seminary Fellow during the program and as a member of our alumni community following the program? (200 words maximum)
2. Identify and describe an ethical concern you have about the work of clergy. This concern could encompass the role of clergy in their intersection with politics, culture or society; in day-to-day work; in interactions with the community being served; or otherwise. In your response, discuss the potential causes of the ethical issue you identified and how you think an individual religious leader can and should respond. (400 words maximum)
3. Please respond to one of the questions below:
a. Write about a time when you had to make a difficult decision as a leader or observed a mentor/colleague making a difficult decision in a leadership role. How did you decide what to do or how did your mentor/colleague handle the situation? In retrospect, were these adequate and appropriate responses? (350 words maximum)
b. Who is an influential person in a religious tradition whom you admire? What qualities, capacities and actions does he/she exhibit that inform your approach to religious leadership or study? (Note: this person need not be universally seen as influential, and this person can be historical or contemporary.) (350 words maximum)
4. FASPE Seminary is a multi-faith program with Fellows drawn from a number of religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths. Please describe your experience, if any, in interfaith work. Please also explain your views about both the opportunities and challenges posed by interfaith work. (350 words maximum)
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to reviewing your application and are available to answer any questions you might have.