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Woodstock > Programs > Student Fellowship


The John & Pat Figge
Woodstock Student Fellowship Program

photo2010-2011 Figge Fellows








In the 2009-2010 academic year, the Woodstock Theological Center launched its newest initiative, the John & Pat Figge Woodstock Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship. These Fellowships give several Georgetown University undergraduates an opportunity to do "theological reflection on the human problems of today" by working with Woodstock's Senior Research Fellows and programs during the course of the year, and engaging in special Student Fellows activities. In doing so, students develop a new lens and methodology with which to approach their studies and life experiences.

Now in its fourth year, the Program looks forward to opening up to another set of Student Fellows the opportunities and resources of the Woodstock Theological Center. The Student Fellowship Program team, along with the Center's Senior Fellows and staff, are excited to welcome a new group of students into the Woodstock community. With the support of Woodstock's benefactors, will be able to reach higher and grow larger, and offer exciting new activities for the Student Fellows across DC and the Northeast, and new opportunities with the latest multimedia production tools and research technologies.

The Student Fellows are selected through a competitive process, with a goal of bringing together students from a variety of majors and religious traditions who display a high level of academic aptitude, and a strong interest in how theological reflection can be applied to current issues and problems. Each Student Fellow receives a $500 stipend for completion of the Fellowship.

Woodstock Student Fellows have the opportunity to...

  • Create and present a miniature research project, with guidance from Woodstock's Senior Research Fellows and the Center's staff;
  • Maintain a collective blog to share the fruits of their reflections and activities;
  • Attend Woodstock's Forums and Brown Bag Lunch discussions with the Senior Research Fellows; and
  • Explore and reflect on the events and opportunities offered by Washington, D.C. as well as other locations around the northeast and mid-atlantic regions

This Fellowship reflects the Ignatian values of being contemplatives in action, integrating faith and justice, and fostering inter-religious understanding and cura personalis. It encourages the development of students as reflective decision-makers who will effectively research problems, seek solutions, enact change, and enable the best nature of their fellow human beings.

Interested in being a Figge Fellow in the 2012-2013 academic year?

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Frequently Asked Questions about being a Woodstock Student Fellow

1. Can I still be a Student Fellow if I'm traveling abroad for the year / a semester?

We are currently unable to offer the Figge Fellowship to students who are traveling abroad, simply because it is a full-year commitment that requires in-person participation. We strongly encourage any student considering the Fellowship to think about applying the year after their time abroad, if possible, and are welcome to incorporate their experiences abroad into the Fellowship.

2. When is the application available? What does the process entail?

The application will be available this summer. The application consists of one essay question about the applicant's interest in the Fellowship, tentative (though by no means committed) ideas for a research project, a resume, and an unofficial transcript. We do not require or accept recommendations.

3. Can I apply for the Fellowship even if I am not Catholic / would like to engage with other religious and spiritual traditions?

Yes! We strongly encourage students who come from or have interest in a wide variety of religious and spiritual traditions, and consider it an integral part of the Fellowship to have a group of students who can share new and different perspectives with one another.

Woodstock Student Fellowship Updates & Materials
John FiggeJohn Figge

Woodstock Names its Student Fellowship Program in Honor of John & Pat Figge

February, 2010. Woodstock's Board of Directors has announced that it is naming the Center's new Student Fellowship Program in honor of John and Pat Figge, who have each offered years of dedicated service to Woodstock, through their membership on its Board. Before he passed away in 2009, John was a leader in advancing Woodstock's efforts to reach out to young generations -- and in particular, college students -- and provide them with tools for theological reflection, to aid them in integrating their spiritual, academic, and professional lives.

In addition to being a much beloved Woodstock Board member, John was a vibrant member of the banking and business communities, and worked selflessly in support of a number of other religious, educational, and nonprofit organizations. Woodstock's Board is grateful that it is able to acknowledge John and Pat's commitment to young scholars, by naming this important new program in their honor.


Who Are the Woodstock Student Fellows?

Profiles of some of 2011 - 2012 Fellows!

Emma Green

Emma studied the relationship between religion and democracy through the lens of Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weber, and Jurgen Habermas.  After much reading and writing, she concluded that these three thinkers show a complementary relationship between the strength of democracy and religious belief and practice.  The Figge Fellowship helped her to complete her project with personal reflection on the topic, for which she is very grateful.

Andrew Schilling

“I’m spiritual, but not religious” has become the latest catch-phrase remarked by young adults who desire the feeling of supernatural experience without the seemingly unnecessary bonds that tie individuals to the institutional Church.  My Figge Fellowship project looks to explore this growing spiritual phenomenon within the context of the lives of young adult Catholics.  I hope to answer, or at least entertain, questions that are at the heart of my experience as a young adult Catholic coming of age in an increasingly pluralistic and individualistic society: What does it mean to be Catholic?  Is Catholicism a relative concept that can be interpreted according to the proclivities of each individual, or is there a single Catholic identity for which each person should yearn?  Has the Catholic Church lost its force to discern religious truth authoritatively?

Beata Fograsi

My project centered on music as tool of community formation and relationship-building. In the context of modern ecumenism, there is a need for methods of communication between different churches and between religious and lay people. The Taizé community of France is a fascinating example of the practical possibilities of Christian ecumenism today, and the music used by the community embodies the community's commitments to reconciliation and outreach to those in need of spiritual communion. 

Eileen McFarland

Eileen McFarland wrote a paper on Ireland’s immigration policy from the late 1980s to the modern day.  Eileen focused on how Ireland’s history as a nation of emigrants influenced its attitude toward immigrants in the nation’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ period.  An alumnae of La Casa de la Solidaridad, Eileen sought to communicate her passion for fostering solidarity and mutual respect between diverse groups.