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June 20, 2023 News

A New Vision for the Fellowship Partners Program Academic Track

In late 2021, the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) embarked on a discernment phase for the Academic Track of the Fellowship Partners Program. As ECF’s longest running program, the goals of the Fellowship Partners Program have shifted in tandem with the changing needs of the Church. The goal of this discernment was to evaluate the program based on what the Church needs for the future.

During this time, ECF has had numerous conversations with key stakeholders in the program and leaders in the Church. Throughout these conversations, we heard a deep appreciation for academic work and its vital role for the future of the Episcopal Church. As such, ECF will continue the Academic Track of the Fellowship Partners Program with a new vision.

The ECF Fellowship Partners Program will raise up and support scholars and ministry leaders who are seeking innovative ways to be the Church of the future. Those applying to the academic track must be engaged in or embarking on a course of study at the graduate level. Acceptable courses of study include doctoral level programs, as well as clinical study or training at the post-undergraduate level. However, ECF Fellowships will not support first professional degrees such as an M.Div., J.D. or M.D. Successful applications will demonstrate a capacity for practical theological implications. Degrees sought can be in any discipline that will support the future Church.

Demonstrated capacities of Academic Track applicants:

  • Clearly defined practical theological implications of project
  • Articulated vision of vocational objectives
  • Demonstrated excellence in field of study
  • Desire and ability to offer gifts and expertise to the wider Church

All projects should address one or more of the following areas of interest: inclusive leadership (lay and clergy partnerships), expansive community (beyond the church walls), racial justice and creation care.

ECF President Donald Romanik shared, “I am excited about the continuation of the Academic Track of the Fellowship Partners Program. The Church is changing, and no one knows what the future will bring. These new guidelines will enable us to support individuals with a bold vision for gathering the people of God moving forward.”

Applications for both the Academic and Ministry Tracks in the 2024 cycle will be made available in November 2023. Please direct any questions to Kjerstin Besser, Associate Program Director, at I.

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