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Applications closed June 15th. Check back next spring for the 2024-2025 application.

The Harvard Catholic Forum offers non-credit courses, public lectures, reading groups, summer seminars, and other programs in which the Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition engages the academy, the professions, and the arts. Student Fellows have a special involvement in the Forum: they join a lively intellectual community, undertake educational projects with the Forum’s support, and are invited to smaller, informal gatherings with Catholic scholars and scientists.

Most Fellows are current students at Harvard (College, FAS, or the professional schools), but current students from other area universities are welcome to apply. Fellows are Catholic or seriously considering becoming Catholic, for example by joining RCIA. The target number of Fellows is twelve, although there may be somewhat more or less. 



  • Invitations to two Fellows Dinners toward the end of each semester, with program speakers and other faculty.

  • Invitations to periodic Fellows-only lunches or brunches.

  • Regular communications from the Executive Director or Program Director with early notice of opportunities from the Forum and other institutes offering programs in the Catholic tradition.

  • Occasional invitations to lunches and dinners with speakers and instructors.

Fellows commit to undertake at least one project, sketched out in the application, consistent with their fields of interest, talents, and goals, as well as with the Forum’s mission. Projects are of two types:

  1. AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM, for which the Forum provides venue, announcements, meals/receptions, registration, and books/ honoraria as applicable. Examples:

    • A reading group, typically meeting 4-7 times; 10-15 participants read and discuss a work or possibly selections (recently, Waugh, Brideshead Revisited; Augustine, Confessions; Taylor, A Secular Age; Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy: MacIntyre, After Virtue).

    • Planning and organizational support for an invited speaker in a field of interest to the Fellow, usually including a lunch/dinner and reception (recently, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda).

    • Instruction in an area where the Fellow has competence (recently, a full-year Introduction to Christian Latin).

    • Presentation of research/thesis that engages the Catholic tradition, typically one session with talk, Q&A/conversation, and refreshments.

      ​Fellows are welcome to propose other programs in a variety of formats touching on dimensions of the Catholic tradition, e.g. in science, philosophy, literature and the arts, music, history, medicine and psychology, law, or public policy.

      Fellows work out in advance with the Forum the criteria for participation in the Fellow’s program, which may be student-only, undergraduate-only, or general audience. Fellows may and indeed are encouraged to propose programs co-sponsored with other organizations such as university chaplaincies and related groups, departments/institutes, or student clubs/groups of various kinds.

  2. STRUCTURED OUTREACH TO A PARTICULAR AUDIENCE. This role supports the Forum’s mission through organizational efforts and outreach: to an existing Catholic student organization; or to students/faculty, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, within a university interest group (as in area studies, music, or the arts) or in one of the graduate or professional schools. The Fellow would expand and deepen the Forum’s presence with this audience, and draw participants to Forum events, by some combination that may include emailing to a particular list, social media, postering, announcement at meetings and/or liturgies, having the group co-sponsor events with the Forum, and word of mouth.



The Fellows are a diverse group in their interests and disciplines. They are a mix of undergraduate and graduate students. As a target, three or four may be committed primarily to an outreach project; the remaining eight or nine are mainly committed to an educational project. Fellows are welcome to propose both kinds of projects if they are able and willing to do so.

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