The Kuyper Fellows Program
One of GCF’s newer offerings is a fellows program designed for University of Washington graduate students. It’s called the Kuyper Fellows Program, after the 19th century Dutch theologian, statesman and founder of the Free University of Amsterdam, Abraham Kuyper, who once wrote:
Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand – in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science – he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God. He has strictly to obey his God. And above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.
Because we believe that we are “employed in the service” of God and are called to always “aim at the glory” of God, we want to help students think well about what that looks like in the context of academia. This fellows program is designed to help students dig deeply into questions like the following:
What is the purpose of higher education?
What does it mean to be a Christian academic?
What are the justice issues involved in higher education?
How should my Christian faith affect my research and teaching?
How do I navigate university culture as a Christian?
The fellows program consists of monthly half-day gatherings in which we discuss previously assigned readings that focus on questions like those above. In addition, each student is matched with a faculty mentor who serves as a sounding board and guide through the year of the student’s involvement in the program. And finally, each student in the program is asked to produce a work (talk, written piece, or other medium) in which they reflect on the relationship between their faith and their academic work.
If this program sounds like it might be for you, keep reading to get more of the specifics and then fill out this application. This first year, we intend to accept up to six students into the program. Priority will be given to students who are further along in their graduate studies because we want as many students as possible to participate before they graduate. So, if you are not accepted this year, please apply again!
What sort of time commitment will the program require?
We are well aware that graduate students are busy people. For that reason, we intend to keep the reading list manageable. Students can expect to spend an hour or two each week on the readings, in addition to the once monthly half-day meeting.
Can I participate if I’m not a PhD track student?
The program is geared toward those students for whom a career in the academy is the goal. For that reason, we will give priority to PhD track students. However, if you’re pursuing another degree and are still interested in the program, please do apply.