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Cardinal Quarter
Fellowship / internship

Spirituality, Service, and Social Change Fellowship 2020-2021

Quarter-long full-time
Arts & Media, 
Education & Youth Development, 
Environmental Sustainability, 
Human Rights, 
Socio-Economic Prosperity, 
Technology & Engineering, 
Law, Policy & Justice

If you are interested in this opportunity for the summer quarter, please apply here:

Haas Center Cardinal Quarter Fellowship Summer 2021

The Spirituality, Service and Social Change Fellowship integrates spiritual exploration with service to communities. Activities include direct service, selected readings and a weekly discussion seminar. Fellows may work in arenas such as health care, education, human rights, environmental justice, hunger and homelessness, youth empowerment, immigrant rights, and affordable housing. Fellows are not required to serve with religious organizations.

Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life, serves as the academic mentor to fellows. She meets with the fellows to determine academic preparation for summer service and post-service advising. Fellowship supporters are committed to helping students clarify individual personal beliefs that motivate their actions toward social justice. Through a variety of activities, the program provides a forum for students to question and examine the complementary connections between direct service and public policy.

Spirituality, Service, and Social Change fellows spend a quarter working full-time with a supervisor/mentor in a community organization of their choice and are required to attend weekly seminars sessions via Zoom during the fellowship to discuss readings and work experiences. 

Applicants propose their own placements with organizations with which they have corresponded before the application deadline and effectively demonstrate that their intended partner organization has the need, interest and capacity to work with a fellow and to support the proposed project/work plan. The Haas Center has many Resources for Fellowship Applicants,  including our list of Cardinal Quarter Connections of host organizations seeking to work with Stanford undergraduate students, and our Meet the Undergraduate Fellows page with information on previous fellows' community partners and projects.

Please review the program policies in their entirety before applying. 


Each Spirituality, Service and Social Change Fellow receives a base stipend of $5,500 to cover most of the essential costs associated with an unpaid service experience. Additional financial aid supplements are available to students who qualify.

Visit this page for information on previous fellows' community partners and projects.

Established nearly two decades ago for students considering careers in the ministry, the fellowship was reorganized in 2003 to attract students from diverse religious and spiritual traditions.The fellowship is made possible by the Office of Religious Life and Haas Center donors as part of the Cardinal Quarter program. .

Erica McDowell stands next to a large heart with "GLIDE"

"At Stanford, crying in front of your boss isn't something you do, but here, just feeling in front of others is commonplace."

Erica McDowell, '16, explored service through religion, an interest that grew with her increasing involvement in community work on campus as an ethnic theme assistant at Casa Zapata and as a core member of First Generation and/or Low Income Partnership (FLIP).

Erica McDowell, '16

Read this story



For complete eligibility requirements, please review our program policies in its entirety.

  • Students must have completed two full-time enrolled quarters this academic year by the time their opportunity begins.
  • Students can only participate by taking a Flex Term during their fellowship experience.

Undergraduates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply, and applicants may vary in academic interests, public service involvement, and experience. Priority will be given to students who have completed fewer than two previous Cardinal Quarter opportunities. Graduating seniors will have lower priority. Students who have begun their coterm programs are not eligible to apply.

Note: Students are only eligible for one Stanford-funded full-time experiential learning opportunity during the 2020-21 academic year (inclusive of summer).



Selected Spirituality, Service, and Social Change Fellows are expected to begin service following the conclusion of spring quarter classes and by July 6, 2021. All fellows are required to work with their community partners at least 35 hours/week for nine consecutive weeks at their placements. Fellows may be required to work remotely depending on forthcoming University policies. Fellows must have a designated full-time professional staff member on-site as their supervisor/mentor. Please review the complete program policies for additional requirements. Other commitments include the following:

Quarter before fellowship

  • Complete an online program orientation.
  • Complete Engaging in Ethical and Effective Service workshop or worksheet.
  • Identify and meet with academic mentor at least once. 
  • Design a personal learning plan and share the learning plan with site supervisor and academic mentor.

During the fellowship

  • Attend eight weekly seminar sessions via Zoom and complete assignments including a spiritual autobiography.  
  • Submit a brief preliminary report.
  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.

Quarter after fellowship

  • Meet with academic mentor at least once. 
  • Attend a de-briefing meeting for the purpose of reflecting upon and evaluating fellowship experiences.
  • Participate in outreach activities to share your experiences and help publicize the program.

Selection Process: 

For those who seek assistance, advising is offered at the Office of Religious Life and the Haas Center to help students develop their applications and/or to identify potential partner organizations.

Students are strongly encouraged to discuss ideas for placements with Office of Religious Life or Fellowships Program staff well before the application deadline to identify appropriate/relevant opportunities and prepare effective application materials. Developing a suitable fellowship placement takes time, so it is important to start the application process early and consult with professors, advisors, and community partners regularly. 

This fellowship is intended for individuals whose application, references, and interview demonstrate

  • an integration of the fellowship experience with applicant’s academic, personal and/or career goals
  • prior demonstrated interest or involvement in the subject area, including related coursework
  • a compelling match between applicant’s skills and interests and an organization’s work and needs
  • strong potential for the fellowship experience to enlarge a candidate’s understanding of an identified community issue or challenge

Complete applications are screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by a committee with the intention to award fellowships within six weeks of the application deadline. Applicants should respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to a fellowship offer, or the offer will be rescinded. Once an applicant accepts a fellowship offer, the student should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and to withdraw their candidacy.




United States


March 15, 2021 | 11:59 PM

Open To



Offered By

Office of Religious Life
Haas Center for Public Service
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