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Echo 20 Application Instructions

Apply to Echo today

Join a competitive pool of applications for the upcoming Echo class. We are looking for outstanding college graduates who have a strong interest in putting their love of theology in service to the Church and world.

Hear advice from our current students, Julia and Claire, about the admissions process:

Important dates to know

Early application deadline: December 1
Regular deadline: January 10 
Applicant interviews: mid-to-late February
Rolling admissions decisions: March and April

Before you apply

Prospective applicants should contact Scott Boyle before applying to the program.

Are you currently a Notre Dame/St. Mary's/Holy Cross College junior? Learn more about the opportunity to apply early to Echo as a Hesburgh-McGrath Fellow!

Application Qualifications & Requirements

Echo looks for candidates who meet the following requirements.

  • Receive a bachelor’s degree by June 1.
  • Complete 6.0 prerequisite credits in theology or religious studies by June 1. Applicants seeking options to fulfill this prerequisite are invited to consider registering for 1.0 credit online courses through STEP in the McGrath Institute for Church Life. (Contact Geoff Burdell if you plan to pursue a STEP course for credit.)
  • Earn at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in your undergraduate degree.
  • Be a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church, having received all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation).
  • OPTIONAL (Applicants for the class of Echo 20 are not required to submit GRE scores):
    • If you are going to submit your GRE scores, we do recommend intentional and thoughtful preparation for the exam. Echo's admitted candidates typically achieve at least 153 out of 170 in the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections and 4.0 out of 6.0 on the Analytic Writing sections.
      • For candidates who may need extra accommodation when taking the test, you must be in contact with Educational Testing Services approximately 6 weeks in advance. More information can be found here.

In addition to the above requirements, Echo looks for applicants who:

  • Have reasonable expectations of the support a graduate service and formation program can and cannot provide to its participants; 
  • Demonstrate the necessary maturity and personal initiative for leadership formation in parish ministry or teaching theology; 
  • Express willingness to serve in an assigned partner diocese that is host to a small group of other Echo apprentices and/or theology teachers;
  • Commit to two years of service under the direction of an experienced, diocesan-approved parish catechetical leader or Catholic school educator; and
  • Are single (unmarried), lay persons committed to living in an intentional faith community with other community members.

We consider the entire application in our admissions decisions (GPA/transcript, ministry/work experience, resume, essays, recommendation letters, in-person interviews), and pay special attention to the essays, interview, and recommendation letters to get a sense of personal character, aptitude for rigorous academic work, and suitability for catechetical ministry. If you have concerns about meeting any of the above requirements, please talk with the Echo staff.