Saratoga Fellows Program


The Saratoga Fellows Program is a post-undergraduate educational and professional experience for military and naval officers. The program is designed to prepare officers with the formation necessary to be principled leaders in the Armed Forces of the United States. It aims to address the central need for military leaders to understand our civilization’s intellectual and moral tradition and to thoughtfully engage in public discourse with a civil, reasoned and principled manner that underlies the officer’s calling to public service and the profession of arms.

Program Description

The John Jay Institute believes that leaders are made, not born. Consequently, its Saratoga Fellows Program seeks to inspire military officers with a vision for human flourishing in the good society. Named for the famous New York State battle and strategic turning point in America’s War for Independence (1777), the Saratoga Fellows Program is intended to prepare and equip young military leaders with the spiritual, intellectual, and professional fortitude for faith-informed military and public service.

The Saratoga Fellows Program challenges officers to think more critically and deeply about the good society and the civic and martial virtues necessary for sustaining the American republic that they are sworn to defend. Our proven method of text-based Socratic dialogue offers participants a forum in which to reflect upon the classical and Christian virtues, cultivate a deeper understanding of the human condition, and be equipped to provide the moral and intellectual leadership requisite of the modern professional warrior. Saratoga Fellows emerge from this program professionally focused and inspired to lead in their respective service branches of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard as they confront the significant challenges of our ever-changing world.

Academic Residency and Curriculum

Designed as a six week long intensive academic residency that is tailored to be completed shortly after commissioning and prior to one’s first duty station, the Saratoga Fellows Program consists of a core curriculum of interdisciplinary studies in theology, philosophy, ethics, history, politics, and jurisprudence. The residency is in the cradle of American liberty – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In a setting conducive to personal reflection and fellowship, each class cohort convenes a diverse group of officers for lively, intensive roundtable discussions led by skilled moderators. Classic and contemporary texts covering the breadth of the American order from its roots in Western Civilization to the present form the starting points of a rich conversation in which the questions posed and explored help to exposit the timeless wisdom of the texts. This Fellowship is designed to leave the participant personally and professionally invigorated, more skilled in making decisions, and spiritually and intellectually transformed by their knowledge and experience.

Costs and Housing

Like similar prestigious post-undergraduate programs, the Saratoga Fellows Program is merit-based, tuition free, and offers a free housing benefit for its academic residency.


Applicants must be active duty or reserve commissioned officers in the armed services. 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.


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I wish I had the chance to talk for hours to donors and supporters of the Institute so that they might know what is in my heart; that my time here, in truth, has been the richest of my life."
Melissa Beckett
B.A. Wake Forest University