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 and Journalism 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.
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 May 2020 or after. 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 values and seeks to create inclusive environments that promote interfaith dialogue, and welcomes applicants of all political, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as gender identities. Moreover, FASPE seeks Seminary Fellows with diverse interests and backgrounds, including those pursuing careers as leaders of congregations, as chaplains, at universities, and in other settings. Fellows are selected 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.
DATES FOR THE 2024 SEMINARY PROGRAM: June 21, 2024 - July 5, 2024
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
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.