Rathbun Fellowship for Religious Encounter

Academic Year 2016-2017

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.

This fellowship requires a full academic year commitment, and fellows must arrive on time and stay for the duration of our weekly meetings.

  • The fellows are required to meet every week on Wednesdays, from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm for six weeks/quarter throughout the academic year beginning in the second week of the quarter. Dinner will be provided. Fellows cannot miss more than one meeting per quarter.
  • The fellows will meet for an additional time each quarter to visit a religious community or worship opportunity.
  • The fellows will take part in a welcoming ritual at the Multifaith Celebration of Spiritual Life on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 10:00 am.
  • The fellows are required to participate in a retreat, which will take place on Sunday afternoon, October 9, 2016 from 12 noon to 6:00 pm.
  • The fellows are required to make two public presentations as a group to foster religious understanding across campus. One will occur in the Winter Quarter, and a second in the Spring Quarter.
  • The fellows will be expected to spend time together outside the regularly scheduled Wednesday meetings on a regular basis.
  • The fellows will attend a welcoming dinner with outgoing fellows on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 5:30 pm.
  • The fellows will each receive a stipend of $500 per academic year.

The Rathbun Fellowship for Religious Encounter is open to Stanford undergraduate or graduate 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 that have been represented in the fellowship include but are not limited to:

  • Atheist/Humanist/Agnostic
  • Bahá’i
  • Buddhist
  • Roman Catholic Christian
  • Evangelical Protestant Christian
  • Liberal Protestant Christian
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Mormon
  • Muslim
  • Sikh
  • 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 application form)
  • Fellowship Application Information (to complete on the online application 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
  • Résumé (to upload on the online application 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 application 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 application form)
    Individual interviews with Rabbi Karlin-Neumann and Rev. Joanne Sanders will be held.

Submit Your Application

Please submit all materials online by clicking the Click Here to Apply! button below.

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