Rathbun Fellowship for Religious Encounter

Academic Year 2015-2016

Fellowship Description

The Office for Religious Life will offer up to 16 fellowships to engage students in sustained, meaningful religious encounter with one another.  They must be committed to brave, empathetic and respectful exploration of difference.  The fellows will be selected based on their experience and interest in religious, spiritual, and humanist traditions.  It is not expected that participants be adherents, scholars or experts in a tradition.

• The fellows are required to meet every week on Wednesdays, from 5:30-7 p.m. for six  weeks/quarter throughout the academic year beginning in the second week of the quarter.

• The fellows will meet for an additional time to visit a religious community or worship opportunity.

• The fellows are required to participate in a retreat, which will take place on Sunday afternoon, October 11 from noon to 8 p.m.

• The fellows are required to make two external presentations as a group to foster religious understanding on campus.  One will occur in the Winter Quarter, and a second in the Spring Quarter.

• The fellows are required to participate in a ritual celebration/commissioning event at the conclusion of the academic year.

• The fellows are required to participate in weekly one-on-one “buddy meetings” with other fellows throughout the academic year.

• The fellows will participate in an inaugural commissioning ritual.

• The fellows will each receive a stipend of $500 per academic year.

The Rathbun Fellowship for Religious Encounter is open to Stanford undergraduate, graduate or professional students from any academic discipline.  Students must have full-time status and be on campus for the entire academic year.  The fellowship is intended for students who demonstrate a genuine desire to explore religion and wisdom traditions in their lives and a willingness to listen to and learn from those with different backgrounds.

The  traditions we hope to have represented in the fellowship include but are not limited to:

• Atheist/Humanist/Agnostic

• Bahai

• Buddhist

• Roman Catholic Christian

• Evangelical Protestant Christian

• Liberal Protestant Christian

• Hindu

• Jewish

• Muslim

• Spiritual or Religious Seeker

Application Requirements

The checklist below outlines the requirements for the online application. Please read it carefully before starting the online form and uploading your documents.

• Applicant Personal Information (to complete on the online form)

• Fellowship Application Information (to complete on the online form)

• Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation should be from someone who knows you well in an academic context, a religious or spiritual context, or a work or service context (e.g. a previous internship, work, or service supervisor).  The letter can be written on the recommender’s letterhead and should address your commitment and engagement with others, as well as your interest in religious or spiritual dialogue across difference. The letter should be addressed to the “Fellowship for Religious Encounter Selection Committee.”

Your recommender must submit the letter by email (scan and attach as a PDF) to the Office for Religious Life at by the same deadline, Monday, May 4, 5:00 pm.

• Résumé (to upload on the online form)

Your résumé should provide a clear and concise outline of your education (including minors, specializations, or focus areas), work history, volunteer or public service experience, academic awards, honors and fellowships received. It should not exceed one page and be in PDF format.

• Personal Statement (to upload on the online form)

The Personal Statement should explain your prior experience with religious and inter-tradition  encounter, which religious and existential questions you hope to address with your peers, your interest in dialogue and your experience with those different from yourself.  Brevity and clarity are important in this section. It should be double-spaced, in 12-point font, not exceed 1500 words and be in PDF format.

• Personal Interview (indicate availability on the online form)

Individual interviews with Rabbi Karlin-Neumann and a current FRE student will take place at the CIRCLE (Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning and Experiences) on the 3rd floor of Old Union.

Submit Your Application

Please submit all materials online by clicking the Click Here to Apply! button below by Monday, May 4, 5:00 pm.

If you have questions regarding the fellowship please contact:
Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life,
Rev. Joanne Sanders, Associate Dean for Religious Life,

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Diane Abundabar, Rathbun Program Manager at