Tantur Ecumenical Institute | University of Notre Dame Residential Doctoral Student Fellowships

Tantur Institute Jerusalem

About Tantur

The Tantur Ecumenical Institute is situated on a serene hill on the outskirts of Jerusalem, near Bethlehem. It serves as a welcoming place in the Holy Land and is an oasis of learning, community, and hospitality. After his historic meeting with Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in 1965, Pope Paul VI set out to create a center where Christian scholars and students could study the history of salvation in the Holy Land while exploring their own religious and social differences through personal contact, in a context of prayer and friendship.

Pope Paul VI ultimately entrusted the project to Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, then-President of the University of Notre Dame. The Holy See purchased the property where Tantur is located and leased it to Notre Dame in December, 1967. The venture itself was also under the guidance of an International Ecumenical Advisory Board. Fr. Hesburgh used his multiple talents to build Tantur from top to bottom including appealing to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. I.A. O’Shaughnessy of St. Paul, Minnesota without whose benefaction Tantur would not have been realized.

The Tantur Ecumenical Institute has continued to pursue its mission to quicken understanding and cooperation between religious believers, especially Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Since its founding, the Institute has hosted some of the world’s most accomplished scholars and pastoral leaders. Visitors have come from all over the world to explore the complex realities of the Holy Land and to live in Tantur's rich ecumenical environment. Today, Tantur includes a library with over 70,000 volumes, full dining facilities, a lecture hall, meeting and common rooms, a chapel, and rooms to house participants for all of its programs.

In order to facilitate further scholarly research, to support junior scholars, and to contribute to a culture of encounter amongst religious believers, the Tantur Ecumenical Institute has established a residential grad student fellowship which seeks to attract top-tier junior scholars. This fellowship will allow doctoral candidates to complete their dissertations and research fundamental and applied issues related to the ecumenical and inter-religious dimensions of theology. While an array of topics may be profitably pursued at Tantur, scholars interested in Sacred Scripture, Patristics, ecumenical and inter-religious understanding and relations, and religion in the Holy Land are particularly encouraged to apply.


Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, currently enrolled as a degree-seeking doctoral candidate at an accredited institution of higher education and must be in satisfactory academic standing with at least a 3.0 GPA. Only students with approved dissertation topics may apply, and applicants must have completed all pre-dissertation requirements (or be scheduled to complete them by the end of the academic year during which application is submitted). Preference will be given to dissertation projects that demonstrate relevance for ecumenical and/or inter-religious dialogue and have potential for significantly contributing to the scholarly discussion within their academic field. We are hoping to accept 4 fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Benefits for Residential Doctoral Student Fellows


  • Fellows will be provided full room and board at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute
  • If fellows have a spouse or families, they will also be offered room and board at
  • Tantur
  • $1,000 monthly stipend
  • One round-trip flight (coach class) between the United States and Tel Aviv Airport
  • Fellows will be provided access to the Tantur library, the online resources of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries, and other local libraries as provided by Notre Dame
  • Study space provided for writing
  • Fellows will be welcome to participate in excursions coordinated by Tantur staff


Fellowship recipients are expected to:

  • Reside at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for 9 months (approximately September to May)
  • Consideration may be given to applicants interested in a one-semester appointment
  • Participate actively in the Tantur community
  • Participate in a Fellows’ seminar (approximately twice per month)
  • Participate in a survey about the impact of the fellowship upon completion
  • Provide their own health insurance as well as proof of portability of health insurance for themselves as well as any dependents
  • If selected, your participation in the program is contingent on your ability to obtain an appropriate Israeli visa



  • Personal information application form
  • Dissertation Abstract (150 words)
  • Description of the project including a statement about any unique research materials that make Tantur especially attractive (1500 words)
  • A reflection indicating why it would be helpful for you to write at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute (1000 words)
  • A general description of the research resources you intend to access. Fellows will have access to the Tantur Ecumenical Institute library, as well as the libraries of the Ecole Biblique and the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research. Access to additional regional libraries may be arranged.
  • 2 Reference Letters from faculty members (may be submitted independently)
  • A letter from your Director of Graduate Studies stating that you are in good standing (may be submitted independently)
  • CV (4-page limit)


  • Furnished, en-suite rooms provided
  • All meals included on site at Tantur
  • Laundry machines available on site
  • Furnished apartments available as needed for fellows with families

Application Deadline

  • March 1, 2018 for fellowship beginning in September 2018
  • Applicants will be notified by April 15, 2018 if they are selected for a fellowship

Tantur Ecumenical Insitute Fellowship Application

Please send completed applications (either via USPS or email) to:

Marianne FitzGerald 
University of Notre Dame 
Mission Engagement & Church Affairs
408 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556