John Jay Fellows Program


The John Jay Fellows Program is a post-undergraduate educational and professional experience for men and women aspiring to public stations in society and the church. Tailored for college graduates with academic interests in theology, culture and society, politics and law, the Fellows Program is especially suited for career aspirants in the fields of religion, law, politics, public and international affairs, issue advocacy, social service, journalism, and education.

Program Description

The John Jay Institute believes that leaders are made, not born. Consequently, its Fellows Program is designed to inspire men and women with a vision for human flourishing in the good society and to equip them with the spiritual, intellectual, and professional disciplines necessary for effective faith-informed public service. The Fellows Program begins with an intensive semester-long academic residency in the cradle of American liberty – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A semester-long “externship” follows the residency with placement in a national or international governmental agency or non-governmental organization.



Academic Residency and Curriculum

In order to develop leaders with the spiritual, intellectual, and professional fortitude for public service, the academic residency consists of a core curriculum of interdisciplinary studies in theology, philosophy, ethics, history, politics, and jurisprudence. The Institute uses a “block course” system with 3-week long sequential courses that build upon one another. Thus students are able to focus their attention on one course at a time. Classes are conducted Monday through Thursday in the Socratic teaching method. Each class day is framed by morning and evening chapel services that encourage common prayer, Scripture meditation, spiritual reflection, and service. Fridays typically involve field studies in Philadelphia. America’s birthplace is our campus and there is no better location in the world to study America’s founding ideas, ideals and institutions. From America’s “Great Hall of Independence” to the First Bank of the United States, from Congress Hall to the Carpenters’ Hall, Philadelphia has it all.


Following the academic residency in Philadelphia John Jay Fellows participate in a semester-long externship that is personally tailored to each fellow’s vocational interests. Placements vary widely and have included: the U.S. Congress, U.S. State Department, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Alliance Defense Fund, Americans United for Life, Institute on Religion and Democracy, International Justice Mission, Opportunity International, CARE in London, England, and many others.

Stipend and Housing

Like similar prestigious post-undergraduate programs, the Fellows Program is merit-based, tuition free, and offers a stipend of $2,400 and a free housing benefit during its academic residency.


Applicants compete for limited seats each fall and spring semester. Criteria for selection are based upon demonstrated Christian commitment and leadership potential. Candidates for admission should be well-rounded in general knowledge and experience, have completed college, have maintained a 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average, and have abilities in oral and written communication.

Professional Fraternity

Upon successful completion of the Fellows Programs or Executive Seminars, the Institute offers life-long membership in a professional fraternity that includes graduate school and job placement assistance, mentoring, career coaching, networking and continuing education opportunities.

I cannot begin to express how refreshing and rejuvenating it has been for me, as a European, to have been immersed in the much more generous, positive, hopeful, virtuous and friendly American public spirit and to have met such quality peopleā€¦. May God bless the John Jay Institute, its leadership and its donors richly and refresh them as they have refreshed me. My deep gratitude goes towards everyone who has made it possible for me to be a John Jay Fellow! Thank you!"
Emilie Noteboom
LL.M. Utrecht University, The Netherlands