The opportunity to travel and build friendships with such a diverse group of
passionate and committed individuals was truly a gift; it brought to life the possibility
and strength of joining hands across faith traditions and professions to confront
the ethical issues we face in our time. (Elizabeth Andrasi, 2015 Seminary Fellow)
FASPE made me realize that silence and inaction are simply no longer an option for
me, and as a Muslim and a future religious leader it is my duty to do all I can in the
long, long battle to eradicate injustice. (Anne Myers, 2014 Seminary Fellow)
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. (Adeel Zeb, 2013 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 87 Catholic, Jewish, Protestant (liberal and evangelical) and Muslim students have participated in the FASPE Seminary program. Responses from Seminary Fellows have included:
“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
Lead support for FASPE Seminary is provided by C. David Goldman, Frederick and Margaret Marino, and the Eder Family Foundation. FASPE Seminaryis also supported by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and other generous donors.