Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

The Center for Catholic Jewish Studies’ (CCJS) Fellows Program is a non-credit undergraduate research program that exposes undergraduate students to the academic discipline of comparative theology and interreligious dialogue with attention to Jewish-Christian relations in particular and the Abrahamic traditions in general. Up to two undergraduate fellows are selected at the beginning of the fall semester from a pool of Saint Leo student applicants and are awarded a scholarship of $945 for the academic year. Undergraduate research fellows are required to participate in the following activities:

  1. Participate in and help lead the monthlyCCJS student Scriptural Reasoning meeting. Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a practice of interfaith reading that emerged in the last decade at Cambridge University and the University of Virginia. Small groups of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and sometimes people of other faiths, gather to read and reflect on short passages from their scriptures together.
  2. Write a research paper on a topic decided upon in consultation with the director.Fellows then present their papers at an interreligious studies and comparative theology panel on Saint Leo University’s Academic Excellence Day (held in the spring). It should be noted that each undergraduate fellow’s performance is monitored by the CCJS and continuance in the program depends upon completing all of the requirements. 


Application Process

Eligibility: In order to apply, students must be in good standing at Saint Leo University (according to the Registrar and Student Affairs) and must remain in good standing throughout the duration of the fellowship. Students must also be registered for the academic year in which they apply to the program. Leadership experience combined with a background in one of the Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Christianity, Judaism) is highly desirable. Though you do not need to belong to a religious tradition, you must be interested in interreligious dialogue and open to sharing your knowledge and experience of one of these traditions with others. Applicants should be highly organized and motivated to engage people of other faith backgrounds, enjoy building community, and commit to fulfill all fellowship requirements. 

Applications must include the following: 

  1. A completed application form, which contains a space for you to write the below personal statement. The form can be accessed here:  /resources/student-financial-support-center/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/saint-leo-university-privately-funded-scholarship-opportunities.aspx
  2. Personal statement: Through the Saint Leo scholarship website, applicants must submit a two-page personal statement, which includes all four of the below sections: 1) a detailed explanation of why you are interested in interfaith relations and interreligious dialogue; 2) a description of your experience or knowledge you have of a religious tradition; 3) what you hope to achieve during your time as a CCJS research fellow; 4) and any relevant skills that would allow you to meet the requirements of the program. NOTE: Your statement must include all four components to be considered.  Applicants can find all of the program requirements listed on the CCJS website. 

Submit applications by October 15th for best consideration. Please email Dr. Matthew Tapie with any questions: matthew.tapie@saintleo.edu. Students will be notified of a decision as soon as possible.