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Seminary Program

The opportunity to travel and build friendships with such a diverse group of passionate and committed individuals was truly a gift; it brought to life the possibility and strength of joining hands across faith traditions and professions to confront the ethical issues we face in our time.
Elizabeth Andrasi
2015 FASPE Seminary Fellow

FASPE is an intensive, two-week study program in professional ethics and ethical leadership. FASPE 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 in their professions in contemporary settings in which they work.

FASPE Seminary challenges its Fellows to recognize their responsibility to exercise ethical leadership in their clerical and pastoral careers. FASPE begins by examining the actions and choices of German and international clergy in enabling and supporting Nazi policies. FASPE then draws on this historical example to help Seminary Fellows grasp their role and responsibility as individuals with influence in their communities and to lead them to identify and confront the ethical issues currently facing clergy of all faiths.

Each year, FASPE Seminary awards fellowships to 14 to 16 individuals pursuing, or recent graduates of, graduate-level religious training at divinity schools, seminaries, chaplaincy programs or other related institutions. Fellows spend two weeks in Berlin and Poland, where they visit key sites of Nazi history and participate in daily seminars led by specialized faculty. The program couples the power of place with academic rigor and many informal opportunities for creative exchange.

FASPE draws on a large pool of applicants, whose diverse backgrounds and interests enrich discussions both inside and outside the seminar room. Seminary Fellows travel with Medical Fellows, allowing them to broaden their understanding of the role of professionals over shared meals and activities and in several interdisciplinary seminars. FASPE Fellowships are fully funded so that financial ability does not affect participation.

Eligibility

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 2018 and January 2020. Those applying as students may be studying at a seminary, divinity school, rabbinical school, Muslim chaplaincy program or other graduate program related to religious OR theological training.

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.

2020 FASPE Seminary Program Dates: June 12, 2020 – June 26, 2020 (Program starts on the evening of June 12)

To learn more about the application process please go here.

To view photos of the 2019 Seminary program and to read about the experience, please go here.

FASPE Seminary Fellows examine topics such as:

  • the complicity of clergy in the execution of Nazi policies, including by failing to speak out
  • the role of confession, apologies and reconciliation
  • the right and responsibility of religious leaders to be ethical educators
  • pastoral leadership in a diverse community
  • religious faith, exclusivism and the temptations toward prejudice and intolerance
  • interfaith work and dialogue
  • navigating multiple loyalties to institutional authorities, religious doctrine and policies, lay leaders, community needs and more
  • end-of-life decisions and discussions (structured as an interdisciplinary session with Medical Fellows) tactics to address ethical issues
An army chaplain blesses Wehrmacht soldiers in German-occupied Poland, 1941.German Federal Archive / BArch, Bild 146-2005-0193 / Walter Henisch / CC-BY-SA 3.0

FASPE Seminary Fellows now serve diverse faith communities as clergy, chaplains, theologians and educators. Through their shared FASPE experience, Fellows form long- lasting relationships and deep bonds that grow over time. Seminary Fellows participate in formal and informal networks that provide support throughout their careers.

FASPE Seminary was initially developed by a committee of professors, priests, rabbis and scholars and in consultation with faculty at Georgetown University and Yale University.

For more information on how to apply to FASPE Seminary, please click here.