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.

Alan Crippen has been one of the pivotal influences in my life. During my undergraduate career, he directed me to professors at the University of Notre Dame who became crucial in my intellectual and spiritual formation. During a grace-filled summer in Washington D.C., he provided me and a devoted cadre of young students with a singular discipleship in the intellectually rigorous and faithful pursuit of Truth. During my discernment of where to attend law school, he gave wise Christian counsel that turned out to be decisive. Mr. Crippen is a man who knows his vocation and lives it with verve. Thankfully for all of those who have had the benefit of his tutelage, that vocation centers on the preparation of young Christians for an uncompromised Christian life that retreats neither from orthodoxy nor the intellectual challenges posed by a secular age. In my view, a residential fellowship at the John Jay Institute is among the best training available for a young Christian committed to truly engaging our culture with a vibrant and compelling Christian witness. To a young person presented with the opportunity to participate in such a fellowship, my unqualified advice is: seize it!"
Brandon M.G. Williams, Esq
J.D. University of Virginia School of Law
Attorny, Downey Brand Attorneys, LLP