The Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice
Spirituality Scholars Program
(formerly Wesley Scholars and Mahle Scholars programs)
2013-14 Application Information
2013-2014 Theme: Nourishing Our Lives and Others
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
--Mary Oliver “The Summer Day”
The 2013-2014 Program Description:
For this coming year, the Spirituality Scholars is a newly designed program weaving together the former Wesley Scholars and Mahle Scholars. The new program invites undergraduate students to explore the connections in their lives between spirituality, vocation and identity in an interfaith group context. We will ask big questions, deep questions, and personal questions. The program is designed to offer an intentional, more reflective, inner exploration for students seeking to deepen their values and/or spirituality, explore diverse spiritual authors, discern passionate pathways and identities in their lives, and try out new daily practices.
A revival of interest in ancient spiritual practices plus evidence from contemporary studies in neuroscience show that daily centering or meditative practices can contribute to an individual’s emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, as well as ground one’s life in resiliency, serenity, creativity and the confidence to take risks and experience personal transformation. Daily spiritual practices also have been formative in the lives of leaders of movements for social justice, service and nonviolence.
Thus, the theme for this coming year’s Spirituality Scholars is “Nourishing Our Lives and Others”. Interfaith practices include journaling, reflection, breath meditation, centering prayer, eating, labyrinth walking, yoga, poetry, chanting, creativity and taking a fall overnight retreat. Each week, we will build community together, share a light meal, talk about the readings and our journals, reflect on our practices, welcome guest speakers and develop a personal project reflective of one’s own passions and learnings. To borrow an image from Elizabeth O’Conner, this will be a journey inward, and a journey outward.
The Spirituality Scholars Program exists in the Wesley Center through a generous gift from Stephen and Kathi Austin Mahle called the Mahle Endowed Fund for Progressive Christian Thought. The goal of the Spirituality Scholars Program is to create an open, diverse and supportive learning community that will enhance understanding, spiritual practice and ethical leadership across multiple identities and vocations of students (and as they become alums, for life-long learning).
Learning outcomes aligned with the Wesley Center and Hamline University include the following:
--spiritual/cultural self-awareness and growth
--empathy and compassion
--engagement with spirituality for commitment to the common good
--interfaith literacy and cooperation
--leadership, scholarship and service
Scholars will need to commit to the entire academic year (fall and spring semesters). They will receive a stipend from the Mahle Endowment of $2000 for the year to be distributed 4 times (2X a semester). As in a job, if meetings are missed repeatedly, the stipend will need to be adjusted to reflect the missing hours/weeks.
There is limited space in the program, thus, the application includes an interview with the program leaders who will discern the good fit of the program with the applicant.
Criteria for Selection:
- Commitment to exploring new connections between personal identity, spirituality and vocational discernment.
- A sense of right fit between the student’s Hamline experience, where a student is in one’s academic and co-curricular pathways, one’s openness to learning, and personal development.
- Evidence of leadership experience on campus and/or in the community.
- Good academic and judicial standing at Hamline University.
- Openness to explorations of diverse traditions and identities.
- Completed application form and résumé by the application date.
- Completed nomination form from a Hamline faculty or staff member.
- Commitment to exploring your personal identity and vocation in an interfaith
learning community that is open, diverse and mutually respectful.
- Read short articles or chapters in books or materials that will be provided. Weekly
journaling and short practice exercises will also be involved.
- Commit to two hours per week in the group meeting, which including the outside
preparation time, will amount to about 8 hours a week over the course of the
- Participate in the overnight fall retreat and the final public, project presentation
luncheon on Tuesday, May 6st, with guests invited of one’s choice.
- Collaborate with other Spirituality Scholars and the program leaders toward
developing a unique individual project that expresses the themes and
personal explorations of the program, to be presented to the group, and in a
public setting as well.
- Welcome the 2014 Mahle Lecturer in Residence to campus and host the visit of this
scholar at several events during the lecturer’s visit.
Program Leaders: The Spirituality Scholars Program will be led by Chaplain Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, Director of the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice, in collaboration with Rabbi Esther Adler, the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life.
Program Time: Weekly on Wednesdays, 4:10pm to 6:00pm (including light meal) beginning September 11, 2013, through the week of May 6th, 2014. (We are off for Jterm.) We will also have an overnight Fri-Sat retreat in early October (TBA).
Applications will be accepted starting now and through April 26th, 2013. Return the online application form along with the requested attachments to the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice by 4pm on April 26th, 2013.
Short Letter of Reference:
Please ask a Hamline faculty or staff member to write a short letter of reference that can be sent by email (or by campus mail) to Chaplain Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, email@example.com
, 318 ANDC. The faculty or staff member should address the subject of support for the applicant's participation in the program as well as the understanding of why this program will be of interest and benefit to the applicant.
Campus mail: The Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice, MS-A1735
US mail: The Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice, Hamline University MS-A1735, 1536 Hewitt Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284
In person: 318 Anderson Center (third floor)
The submission deadline for all application materials is 4:00 p.m., April 26th.
Interviews will take place during the first two weeks of May, 2013.
Acceptance emails will be sent the following week.
Contact: Chaplain Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, Director of the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice, Ph: 651-523-2750, firstname.lastname@example.org