The John Jay Institute’s Saratoga Fellows Program is the leadership “topoff” that best prepares young military officers to live out their faith in a thoughtful, compelling and winsome way while serving their country in uniform. For those officers wanting to positively influence military culture for the good of the nation, this program is an unparalleled experience.
The Saratoga Fellows Program is an intensive intellectual, moral, and spiritual training program for any junior officer in the Armed Forces, designed to prepare them to be exceptional leaders in today’s military and civilian ranks. In today’s increasingly complex world, it is vital that our young military officers have a strong moral fiber and a keen understanding of what just and moral warfare looks like. Adept military leadership requires more than simply the rigorous technical training they receive; it also requires the continued cultivation of knowledge, wisdom, and judgment steeped in rich educational experiences. This program borrows some of its curriculum from the John Jay Fellowship, but is geared toward the specific needs, career, and scheduling complexities that a career in the military demands. Our Saratoga fellows study the intersections of morality, religion, leadership, and military service to better equip them to serve our country as leaders and officers. The results speak for themselves.
Saratoga Fellows learn with people who redefine “best.” Each class of Saratoga Fellows consists of active duty or reserve commissioned officers in the armed services. These are men and women who have completed college with a high GPA, have strong abilities in oral and written communication, and have demonstrated leadership potential. They also share a strong commitment to the Christian faith.
Saratoga Fellows spend a six-week intensive residency, tailored to be completed shortly after commissioning and prior to one’s first duty station. Saratoga Fellows learn to bring the same rigor to their character and leadership that they bring to their military duties. Like similar prestigious post-undergraduate programs, the Saratoga Fellows Program is merit based, tuition free, and offers a free room and board benefit for the duration of the program. The five basic tenets of the Saratoga Fellows Program 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.
Fellows read some of the great texts on wartime ethics, theology, history, politics, and law. They spend time in class discussion daily, critically engaging the ideas that shape great societies and their military leaders. 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.
Application Deadline: May 15, 2021