Graduate Fellows Program

The Graduate Fellows Program was founded in 2013 by graduate and professional students throughout the University of Pennsylvania, all of whom were united by an interest in bringing their respective disciplines into dialogue with the humanistic and Christian intellectual traditions.  The principal features of the program are as follows:

1) Monthly Reading Colloquia

In the spirit of the Catholic intellectual tradition, the monthly reading colloquia cultivate an ongoing conversation about the Christian tradition and modern scholarship at Penn. They present opportunities for graduate students to delve together into foundational, canonical texts, which in turn are harmonized with various disciplines of the modern academy in order to facilitate a fellow’s deeper engagement with them. Graduate Fellows will have opportunities to facilitate one colloquium per year and are invited to other colloquia and lectures.

For a look at recent colloquia topics, visit this link.

2) Professional Development Workshops

The Collegium Institute will make professional development opportunities available to the Graduate Fellows. There will be 2-3 workshops per semester on topics relating to religious identity and the academic profession, facilitated by the Collegium Faculty Fellows and professional mentors at other universities. The workshops offer a rich, if rare, space for the formation of young academics and professionals.

3) Research and Travel Grants

Each Graduate Fellow is eligible to apply for a limited number of travel and research grants available each year, and awardees will be determined by a Collegium faculty selection committee.

This academic year, 2017-2018, we will be reading in Aquinas and Modern Scholarship.

Our third Colloquium of AY 2017-2018 will address Aquinas and Modern Science in preparation for Prof. Kenneth Miller’s visit to Penn to discuss faith in relation to evolution for the Magi Project‘s fall lecture.  This discussion is part of year of exploration in Aquinas alongside developments in various fields.  These discussions take place Thursday night from 7:30-9:00 pm.

For more information about the program or to RSVP, please contact Katie Becker (

Previous Colloquia for Academic Year 2016-2017

Thurs, September 21st: Our First Colloquium addressed Aquinas and Economics, under the direction of Collegium’s Theologian-in-Residence, Mr. John Buchmann.  Fellows discussed Aquinas’s statements on “just price” in relation to the writings of contemporary Harvard economist, Deirdre McCloskey.

Thurs, October 19th: Our Second Colloquium addressed Aquinas and Religious Studies, putting Aquinas in conversation with the modern academic discipline of Religious Studies.  This topic prepared for several keynote lectures, including The Legacy of the Reformation at 500 and Yoga & Catholic Novels: How to Make Sense of Religion in the Modern Era.

Thurs, November 9th: Our Third Colloquium addressed Aquinas and Modern Science, with a selection of readings from “On the Eternity of the World” by Thomas Aquinas and “Choosing Our Universe”, a chapter from The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.  This conversation prepared for the Magi Project’s fall lecture with Prof. Ken Miller, Darwin, God, and the Cosmos: Is Faith Still Relevant in a Scientific World?