Announcing our 2017-18 Fellows Program!

The 2017-18 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program

Since 2013, the Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program has offered Christian students at the University of Minnesota the opportunity to explore why their faith matters for their studies and their future careers. It has brought rich community and fellowship, Christian formation, and theological resources to students at a public university, where few resources or incentives exist to help Christian students consider their academic studies in light of the gospel.

We’re pleased to announce that we’re taking applications for the 2017-18 fellows program! Apply here!

The Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program includes the following elements:

  1. Christian education
  2. regular meals and rich community
  3. academic fellowships
  4. partnered working groups
  5. an opportunity for residential community
  6. other significant benefits


1. Christian Education

As a fellow, you’ll be part of small cohort of around 12 fellows who meet every other week during the academic year for a guided dinner discussion. These dinners are more like conversations with good friends on topics that matter than they are like formal classes. Over a meal, you’ll discuss carefully selected short readings designed to help you understand and live well in your various God-given roles in life. These readings provide a grounding in the best of what the Christian tradition—the Bible, the early church fathers, and  more recent Christian writers–says about these various callings.

The cohorts are designed to build upon one another, so that you can continue in subsequent cohorts in future years. Fellows who complete all three cohorts of the program will be awarded a Certificate in Christian Studies, formally recognizing their training in the Christian tradition and exploration of Christian vocation. Each fellow will enter one of these cohorts based on their stage in academic career, prior preparation, and interests:

Cohort 1: The Good Story: Finding Your Part in God’s Plan

Discover how your purpose in life is found in God’s larger plan for the world. Over the year, we’ll read selections from the Bible, as well as other Christian writers, in order to see how Scripture provides a single story of God’s redemption of the world. As we seek to understand this grand story and our part in it, we’ll give special attention to what it means for how we live now in college.

Cohort 2: The Good Person: Becoming Fully Human

What does it mean to be fully human? We’ll explore what the Bible and the best of the Christian tradition teach us about what it means to be made in God’s image. The fall semester will consider what it means to be human: how we’re designed for worship, love, embodiment, freedom, and work. The spring semester will focus on what it means to be created for community and how to live well in all our of respective relationships.

Cohort 3: The Common Good: Christian Vocation in Public Life (for graduating seniors and grad/professional students only)

The Common Good is a year-long exploration of how the Christian faith guides and informs our academic interests and future vocations. In the fall semester, we’ll explore the challenges and opportunities for Christians studying at a public university and preparing for cultural leadership in a pluralistic world. We’ll consider how to begin reintegrating faith with learning and public vocation, as well as the biblical resources available for doing so. In the spring semester, fellows present their work-in-progress Faith & Learning Portfolios, which are in-depth original explorations of how a Christian perspective informs a particular field of study or vocational interest.

2. Meals and Community

MacLaurin Fellows is a community of students who are passionate about living out their Christian faith in all of life. The fellows program is an opportunity to develop close friendships with other UMN students who are seeking to understand and practice their college study and future careers in light of the good news of the Christian gospel. We’re a unique kind of Christian community on campus: “merely Christian,” in that we’re centered on core commitments to the Bible and the early Christian creeds, while taking seriously and learning from one another’s various Christian traditions–whether Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox.

In addition to the delicious cohort dinners mentioned in section 1, you’ll enjoy two all-expenses-paid retreats—one in the fall and one in the spring. You’ll also have additional opportunities to gather with the entire fellows community, Anselm House staff, Christian faculty from the U of M, and local Christian professionals—and to enjoy exclusive access to visiting Christian scholars.

3. Academic Fellowships

We recognize that bringing together faith and learning in a public university is, in many respects, swimming upstream against powerful currents. That’s why in addition to the many benefits of the program, as a fellow you’ll receive a scholarship to support your studies at the University of Minnesota ($250/year for undergraduates, $500/year for grad/professional students, paid in semesterly installments to your student account).

Additionally, each year we offer annual selective fellowships–Dr. Fred Smith Fellowships–to one undergraduate fellow and one grad/professional fellow. Recipients will be selected on the basis of academic achievement and leadership potential among our fellows applicants by a committee that includes Anselm House staff, trustees, and former fellows. These fellowships replace the normal fellows’ scholarship with a scholarship of $1500/year for a grad/professional student and $750/year for an undergraduate, and bring leadership opportunities for the year within the fellows community.

4. Working Group Partnerships

As a fellow you have the opportunity to join optional working groups with other fellows if you’re interested in either of the following areas:

Fellows from international backgrounds can choose to participate in the Wilberforce International Working Group. These fellows gather once a month during the program (on an off-week from the regular fellows meetings) for guided dinner conversations that help orient international students to study in the United States as well as apply the learning from the fellows program to contexts outside of the United States. Wilberforce Academy Fellows who are not active in the Colin MacLaurin Fellows program will also be invited to participate so as to add depth and diversity to the conversations.

  • Redemptive Urban Development Working Group, offered in partnership with Kappa Pi Alpha

The RUD Working Group aims to understand the nature of poverty, especially in urban settings, and the Christian calling to pursue the holistic flourishing of economically disadvantaged communities. This group meets once each month during the program (on an off-week from the regular fellows meetings) for hands-on workshops on topics such as asset-based community development, social entrepreneurship, and sustainable economic development.

5. An Opportunity for Residential Community

Christian formation is not just about learning: it’s about life together. That’s why we’re excited to offer our MacLaurin Fellows the possibility of residential life together through a partnership with Kappa Pi Alpha. Through shared rhythms of life—including meals, evening prayer, and hospitality and service—residential fellows will live the fellows experience as part of their daily life at the U of M. In the university’s terms, this is a Christian “living and learning community” that weaves together Christian formation, academic study, and daily life. Living in the KPA community, located above Bordertown Coffee on University Avenue and directly across the street from University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus, residential fellows will live together at the heart of campus. (Please note: space in this residential community is very limited, so please complete the residential application immediately and indicate on your application your intent to apply for the 2017-18 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program.)

6. Access to Other Anselm House Resources

As a fellow, you’ll have access to many other Anselm House resources, including:

  • Participation in our other Anselm House conversations–lectures, visiting scholars, and weekly student events
  • Leadership opportunities at Anselm House
  • Advising and mentorship from study center staff and our network of Christian faculty and local professionals
  • Membership in our growing MacLaurin Fellows Alumni Network
  • Access to the study center’s 3000-volume library


Our investment in our MacLaurin Fellows is significant: we estimate that it costs more than $1500 per year to support each fellow through this program. But thanks to a grant from the Lilly Endowment and other generous donors, we’re currently able to offer our fellows program free of charge to all fellows who are admitted for the 2017-18 academic year.

Application Details

To apply for our 2017-18 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program, you must be:

  • A University of Minnesota student (undergraduate or graduate), in any field or discipline, during the 2017-18 academic year
  • Willing to fully participate in all fellows events each semester, including:
    • regular (weekly or every other week) cohort dinner discussions on Monday evenings
    • one weekend retreat together at the start of each semester
    • occasional fellows social and service events


To apply for the 2017-18 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program, please complete our online application form. The priority deadline for applications is May 1, 2017. Please submit your application materials by this date to receive priority consideration.

Housing for residential fellows in the KPA community requires a separate application, which is available here.


If you have questions or want to discuss the fellows program further, please contact Andrew Hansen at 612.378.1935 or


Andrew Hansen

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