"FASPE reminded me that as a campus minister I need to lead students not just into
discussions, but into the action." (2012 Seminary Fellow)
"Part of what I take away from the trip is the willingness to talk about tough stuff.
We need to talk about things that are painful and hard. As religious leaders who
seek justice, we are called to do this. (2012 Seminary Fellow)
FASPE Seminary is an intensive two-week fellowship program that examines the roles played by clergy in Nazi Germany and during the Holocaust. This historical examination is used as the foundation from which to discuss the moral codes that inform and guide human action, and to consider the fundamental ethical issues facing the clergy today. FASPE’s integrated approach includes historical, theological, philosophical, and literary sources; survivor testimony; and on-site workshops in Berlin and Auschwitz.
The FASPE Seminary Program examines the following topics, among others:
- The fate of “God's image” in the shadow of the Holocaust;
- Christian churches and military chaplains in Nazi Germany;
- Pope John Paul II and the encyclicals;
- Post War reconciliation, apologies, and confessions;
- Religious faith, exclusivism, and temptations to prejudice and intolerance;
- Dealing with authoritarianism in religion and society.
The goal of FASPE is to provide students, through the exploration of these issues and visits to Holocaust sites, with new insights that will help them tackle problems of moral reasoning in their future careers.
Interreligious dialogue is a central component of the FASPE Seminary program, and students from all religious faiths are encouraged to apply. FASPE will make every effort to accommodate diverse religious and dietary needs.
The FASPE Seminary curriculum was designed by a committee including professors, and rabbis; scholars from Georgetown University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; staff of the Museum of Jewish Heritage; and other theologians. Piloted in 2010, a total of 37 Catholic, Jewish, Protestant (liberal and evangelical) and Muslim students have participated in the FASPE Seminary program. Responses from Seminary Fellows include:
“FASPE broke more of my personal ‘boxes’ by talking, sharing and living with other seminarians and rabbinical students and throwing stereotypes out the window.” – Marie Butson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Having been in a place where such evil occurred has changed my outlook towards the rabbinate.” – Sara Metz, American Jewish University – Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
“Due to its evil mark on history, no one who enters through the gates of Auschwitz exits unchanged; for a Muslim prison chaplain, this Fellowship was professionally transformative and spiritually enriching.” – Bilal Ansari, Hartford University
“I left not only with colleagues I admire and respect but with dear friends. Truly, the relationships that developed were holy. Listening to the concerns, fears, dreams and hopes of my new friends; feeling brave enough to share some of my beliefs with them about certain political or social issues; and sharing openly with one another in a spirit of conciliation were signs of hope.” – Meghan Roth, Wesley Theological Seminary