Catholic Social & Political Thought Fellows Program

"This program helped me learn about the rich intellectual Catholic tradition that has influenced modern thought—from 19th century encyclicals on economics and sociology, to the contemporary role of the Catholic Church in Uganda!"

Marco Izzia, 2022-23 CSPT Fellow & Sociology Ph.D. candidate

Are you interested in learning about the Catholic Tradition? Want to know more about Catholic contributions to civilization in philosophy, political thought, literature, and law?

Apply here to become a member of the Catholic Social and Political Thought Initiative’s Student Fellowship Program, and participate in the full range of CSPT programming! This program offers a unique opportunity for students to pursue academic interests related to knowledge and appreciation of Catholic heritage, including the exploration of Catholic social and political thought, history, law, religion, architecture, art, music, and literature. The program will allow students to conjoin their UW-Madison academic experience and career paths with Catholicism’s rich intellectual, moral and cultural heritage.

Each year we select up to twelve CSPT Fellows to participate in the program, which offers a range of learning opportunities, including:

UW Courses
Public lecture series
Research opportunities
Reading groups
Academic seminars
Catholic cultural encounter trips

Student fellows will have the opportunity to converse with each other, and to engage with scholars, intellectuals, and public figures studying and working in the Catholic tradition. Throughout the year, fellows are invited to participate in events designed to promote their understanding of different aspects of the Catholic tradition and heritage. Over the course of the year, fellows are expected to complete two short papers, reflecting on readings, lectures, or other program events. These writing projects may be featured on the Center’s webpage or included in Center newsletters or other materials. Based on participation in CSPT events, fellows may be eligible for scholarships of up to $1500 at the end of the academic year.

Apply by Sept. 30 for a 2023-24 fellowship. All current UW-Madison undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students in any program of study, from any religious or non-religious tradition are invited to apply. Please direct questions to Professor Cecelia Klingele at

Fellows and all interested students are invited to participate in the CSPT Reading Group, which meets at the Meiklejohn House every other Tuesday each semester from 6:30-8 p.m.  The theme for Fall 2023 is Freedom and Identity: Catholic Understandings of Person, State, and Society. Meetings will be held on 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/7, 11/21, and 12/5.