Our flagship program for rising young leaders
The John Jay Fellows Program is our flagship program and constitutes a semester-long fellowship-in-residence at our campus in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Fellows grapple with readings and topics from interdisciplinary studies in theology, philosophy, ethics, history, politics, culture, and jurisprudence. The John Jay fellowship program is intended to prepare Fellows for careers in public service, whether they take shape in the public, non-profit, or for-profit spheres.
Fellows come to the John Jay Institute to develop a vision for flourishing human societies, and receive the intellectual, spiritual, and professional training to make them effective leaders for such societies. And they leave as members of a professional fraternity of alumni that facilitates their strategic placement, continued growth, and lasting impact on American culture. The results speak for themselves.
Location: Philadelphia Suburbs
Nestled in beautiful Langhorne, PA (Bucks County), the John Jay Institute calls Fairview Manor, a majestic Tudor-style home built in 1888, its home. With Philadelphia just a 30-minute drive or train ride away, there is no better location in the world to study the ideas and traits that shape great societies. From the beginning, fellows are immersed in one of the great political and cultural centers in world history. Our campus provides a tranquil spot in which to focus on personal development during the week.
To learn more about the program, scroll down. You can also find out more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions below.
How it Works
Phase I: Academic Residency
For four months, John Jay Fellows live together in Christian community at Fairview Manor, the John Jay house. The Fellowship is merit based, tuition free, and offers free housing for the duration of the program. Fellows also receive a monthly stipend (for four months) of $600 to cover food, community, and living expenses.
During their time there, Fellows fully experience the five main facets of the John Jay program, which include:
Living in Christian Community
A central aspect of the John Jay experience is living in Christian community. There is a uniqueness in the intentionality of the relationships and the recognition that we are all taking part in the fellowship experience together. Living together is truly formative for spiritual growth and character and enables a greater understanding of each other’s viewpoints and beliefs. The unique opportunity to share a home with others is critical “practice” for going out into the world in public service.
Fellows dedicate time every morning and evening to group prayer. Despite any differences in their church heritage, the discipline of prayer unites through a shared language of faith. Christians of every tradition can join without reservation in asking God’s forgiveness of our sins, worshiping Him through Psalms, and reading selections from the Old and New Testaments. Prayer at John Jay unites Christians from different faith traditions into a single mission: transforming culture through principled leadership. Just as the Book of Common Prayer sets the tone for each day during the program, this season of praying together informs attitudes towards faith and fellowship for the rest of our Fellows’ lives.
Each semester, John Jay and Saratoga Fellows engage numerous authors with the goal of gleaning new insights into the philosophical principles and historical events which have impacted our world. They read C.S. Lewis, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Russell Kirk, in addition to historical writers such as Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke. As the classical philosophers understood, reading without supplementary conversation and inquiry does little to develop one’s cognitive skills. With that in mind, our Fellows participate in three hours of seminar each Monday-Thursday, bringing the topics of our books into the realm of open debate. Due to its emphasis on learning, discussion, and communication, the John Jay Institute fulfills in every way the Biblical command in Isaiah 1:18 to “come and reason together.”
The Friday field study rounds out the week and balances the academic work of our Monday-Thursday seminars. Over the course of the semester, Fellows visit such iconic places as Valley Forge, Gettysburg, and Washington, D.C. and explore the unique contributions that Philadelphia has borne out as the first great American city. The historical component of the John Jay curriculum would be far diminished without the active nature of these weekly excursions. There’s something awe-inspiring about literally walking through history and forming tangible connections to the past.
Each Wednesday afternoon, John Jay Fellows host a formal tea where they open the doors of Fairview Manor to welcome visitors, friends, and clergy from the surrounding area and Cairn University for tea and cookies. During these events, the Fellows and their guests get to know each other personally and all enjoy a cultural presentation offered by one or more of the Fellows. These presentations range from poetry readings to musical performances. In addition, John Jay Fellows host a formal dinner each Thursday evening for one or more distinguished guests. Guests range from pastors to great thinkers in politics, economics, theology, and philosophy. These meals are prepared and served by the Fellows as a team, allowing them to gain experience in menu planning, cooking, serving, table etiquette, and the art of conversation.
Phase II: Externship
Following their four month residency in Langhorne, Fellows scatter across the country and the world, participating in a semester-long "externship" that is personally tailored to their vocational interests. Placements include many of the most coveted governmental, nongovernmental, cultural, and academic institutions in the world. During the externship, Fellows do not receive monies from the Institute. However, the Institute does its best to help Fellows find paid externship/employment positions. While the externship is not mandatory, Fellows are strongly encouraged to seek a position after leaving the Institute to round out their experience. See examples of where our alumni have been placed.
Phase III: Beyond
Upon successful completion of the program, fellows receive a lifelong membership in a professional fraternity that includes graduate school and job placement assistance, mentoring, career coaching, networking and continuing education opportunities - providing the foundation for a lifetime of service. See what our alumni are doing.