"FASPE showed me how complicit clergy were in the atrocities of the Holocaust -- a
fact that challenges me not to remain complicit in the atrocities of my own,
contemporary context. I must raise my voice and my hands against the present
violence and injustices executed and perpetuated within my own country."
(2013 Seminary Fellow)
"FASPE reminded me that as a campus minister I need to lead students not just into
discussions, but into the action." (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.
During the 12-day trip students examines topics such as:
- The fate of “God's image” in the shadow of the Holocaust;
- Christian churches and military chaplains in Nazi Germany;
- Post War reconciliation, apologies, and confessions;
- Religious faith, exclusivism, and temptations to prejudice and intolerance;
- Religous leaders and prophetic protest;
- Encouraging moral sensitivity
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.
We seek to bring together a diverse cohort that includes students who come from different religious communities and who represent a wide spectrum of perspectives. This is part of an effort help students conduct meaningful dialogue with those with whom they may not often have a chance to engage with, working to combat marginalization and misrepresentation of “the other.”
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 51 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