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.

For our first Colloquium of AY 2017-2018, we will address Aquinas and Economics under the direction of Collegium Theologian-in-Residence Mr. John Buchmann.  This discussion will start of year of exploration in Aquinas alongside developments in various fields.  This colloquium will take place Thursday, September 21st from 7:30pm-9:00pm.

For more information about the program or to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Feeney (

Previous Colloquia for Academic Year 2016-2017

Thurs, September 15th: Our First Colloquium featured Mother Teresa’s private letters, composed during her dark night of the soul, on the occasion of her canonization the same month and in preparation for our special event on a new biography of Francis of Assisi, that reflects upon the humanity of one of history’s greatest saints.

Thurs, October 20th: Our Second Colloquium included readings from the Bible and some of its leading commentators on Natural Law.  This colloquium anticipates our next special lecture, featuring panelists and co-authors reflecting on Natural Law and Interfaith Relations.

Thurs, November 17th: Our Third Colloquium featured select writings of Dorothy Day and from Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays.  This discussion on Christian social thought previewed the release of a PRRUCS report on Catholic Nonprofits in Philadelphia.

Thurs, January 19th: Our Fourth Colloquium featured short essays by Hans Urs von Blathasar and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for our discussion on Aesthetics: Beauty and Mystery in preparation for our special lecture and performance on Sacred Songs.

Thurs, February 16th: Our Fifth Colloquium featured excerpts from the writings of Pope Saint John Paul II and Blaise Pascal regarding the Catholic approach to Faith and Reason.  Our colloquium coincided with the Circle of St. Bede’s discussion on the same topic and foreshadows the themes of our summer graduate student seminars.

Thurs, March 16th: Our Sixth Colloquium will address Faith in Media? in preparation for the Penn’s Veritas Forum on the same question.  This colloquium featured several multi-media selections, including Vatican documents such as Inter Mirifica, Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk Alone Together, and articles from the “Lonely Hearts Club” blog.

Thurs, April 20th: Our Seventh and final Colloquium of AY 2016-2017 addressed Poetry and the Catholic Tradition featuring Dana Gioia’s Poetry as Enchantment and various poems.  This discussion and poetry recitation prepared for our Annual Humanities Symposium, Poetry as Enchantment.