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2014-15 MacLaurin Fellows on the front step

The 2014-15 Colin MacLaurin Fellows


The 2016-17 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 an expansion of our fellows program for the 2016-17 year, in order to achieve even deeper formation for students and to offer the fellows experience to more U of M students than ever before. Apply here!

The newly expanded Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program includes the following elements:

  1. Christian education
  2. regular meals and rich fellowship
  3. an opportunity for residential community
  4. other significant benefits


Fellows during a dinner discussion

Fellows during a dinner discussion

1. Christian Education

As a MacLaurin Fellow, you’ll be part of small cohort of fellows (no more than about 12) who meet regularly during the academic year for a dinner discussion with one of the directors of the fellows program. 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 together 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, as well as later Christian writers–says about these various callings.

The cohorts are designed to build upon one another, so that fellows can continue in subsequent cohorts in future years. For the academic year 2016-2017, each MacLaurin Fellow will enter one of the following cohorts based on their stage in academic career, prior preparation, and interests:

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

Directors: Matt Kaul (Communications Director, MacLaurinCSF); Josh Moon
Meets 12 weeks each semester, for 1.5 hour dinners

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.

Reading will be approximately 15-30 pages/dinner. Our readings will include selections from the following works: Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen, The Drama of Scripture; Irenaeus of Lyon, On the Apostolic Teaching; Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor; Dorothy Sayers, “Why Work?”; J.R.R Tolkien, “Leaf By Niggle.”

Cohort 2: The Good Person: Becoming Fully Human

Director: Dr. Bryan Bademan (Executive Director, MacLaurinCSF)
Meets 12 weeks each semester, for 1.5 hour dinners

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.

Reading will be approximately 15-30 pages/dinner. Our readings will include selections from the following works: Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation; Basil of Caeserea, On the Human Condition; the Rule of St. Benedict; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together; Wendell Berry, “Fidelity”; and Pope Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est.

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

Director: Dr. Andrew Hansen (Program Director, MacLaurinCSF)
Meets 8 weeks each semester, for 2.5 hour dinners

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, fellows 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.

Our readings will include selections from the following works: James Davison Hunter, To Change the World; George Marsden, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship; Robert Louis Wilken, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought; and Jay Green, An Invitation to Academic Studies.


The 2015-16 Colin MacLaurin Fellows

The 2015-16 Colin MacLaurin Fellows

2. Meals and Fellowship

In addition to the weekly cohort dinners, MacLaurin Fellows will enjoy together two all-expenses-paid retreats away—one in the fall and one in the spring. They’ll also have additional opportunities to gather with the entire fellows community, study center staff, Christian faculty from the U of M and local Christian professionals, and enjoy exclusive access to visiting Christian scholars.

3. An Opportunity for Residential Community

Christian formation is not just about learning: it’s about life together. That’s why we’re excited to announce the opportunity for MacLaurin Fellows to live together in a residential community right on the U of M campus. Through shared rhythms of life—including meals together, morning and evening prayer, and hospitality and service together—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 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program.)

4. Other Significant Benefits

We recognize that bringing together faith and learning in a secular university is, in many respects, swimming upstream against powerful currents. Thus, we offer MacLaurin Fellows significant benefits:

  • In addition to the other benefits, all fellows will receive a modest scholarship to respect their commitment to the program and to help offset the opportunity costs of participating in the program. The scholarship will be paid to your student account in semester installments.
  • Access to other study center resources:
    • lectures
    • advising from study center staff and U of M Christian faculty
    • 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 admitted for the 2016-17 academic year.

Our fall 2015 fellows retreat

Our fall 2015 fellows retreat




Another fellows dinner

A fellows dinner discussion.

Application Details

To apply for our 2016-17 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program, you must be:

  • A University of Minnesota student (undergraduate or graduate), in any field or discipline, during the 2016-17 academic year
  • Willing to fully participate in all fellows events each semester, including:
    • regular (weekly or every other week) cohort dinner discussions
    • one weekend retreat each semester
    • occasional fellows social or service events

To apply for the 2016-17 Colin MacLaurin Fellows Program, please complete our online application form. The priority deadline for applications is May 1, 2016. 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. Contact 2014-15 MacLaurin Fellow David Ingold for more information about the residential program.


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