Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship 2020-2021

Beginning in the 2020-2021 Academic Year, the Echo Program is offering a new fellowship program for highly qualified junior candidates from Notre Dame, St. Mary’s and Holy Cross. These students are invited to apply for the Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship Program sponsored by the nationally recognized Echo Program and the McGrath Institute for Church Life. 

Now in its 17th year, Echo offers students the opportunity to serve in a parish or school in one of the Echo partner dioceses located throughout the United States while earning a Master of Arts in Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Echo students benefit from a robust formation program that integrates their work, study and life of faith to serve the Church and explore a career in ministry and teaching theology. Students live, learn from and serve the catechetical mission of the Church.  

This fellowship honors Notre Dame President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, whose commitment to the Church led to the expansion of the University of Notre Dame as a force for good. This fellowship recognizes students who demonstrate theological knowledge and acumen, pastoral creativity and ministerial promise, deep faith and high moral character, and provides an opportunity for students to commit to post-graduate ministerial leadership and education as they prepare to enter their senior year.

 Those who are admitted to Echo and accept the Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship will receive: 

  • Early Admission and a spot in the Class of Echo 19 (2022-2024) which includes
    • a competitive stipend for on-site parish, diocesan or school service
    • a tuition-free graduate degree in theology (two year MA through Notre Dame’s Dept. of Theology)
    • diocesan housing and utilities at no cost
    • an educational allowance each summer
    • full summer meal plan and rent-free summer housing 
  • A paid internship (for the duration of Senior Year) through the McGrath Institute for Church Life 
    • Hesburgh-McGrath Fellows will work ~5-7 hours a week assisting in recruitment and special projects for Echo and the McGrath Institute. Fellows will advise and assist the Echo staff in a special way by developing new and innovative recruitment strategies with a special focus on the tri-campus community. They will assist in running recruitment events and programming, and will exert leadership as hosts during Echo Interview Weekend in February 2022.

Application Requirements & Information

Students must: 

  • Be a Junior during the 2020-2021 Academic Year
  • Demonstrate high academic aptitude
    • Have a 3.5 or higher overall GPA or in theology coursework
  • Have a demonstrated record of ministerial involvement and leadership
  • Have a desire to grow in personal, professional, intellectual and spiritual formation by serving the Church

Note: GRE General Test will be waived for candidates invited to apply as Hesburgh-McGrath Fellows.

Application Timeline 

2021 Fellows Application Cycle

February 1st 

Applications Due


Fellowship Interviews

Early March

Decision Notification(s)

Late March

Fellows Finalized



Interested Juniors should contact Echo’s Associate Director of Recruitment, Scott Boyle, at sboyle2@nd.edu to schedule a meeting to talk about the Echo Program and the Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship. Students should come prepared to talk about their interest in Echo and the Fellowship and should bring any questions they have about the application process or Echo in general. Students are more than welcome to schedule additional conversations before proceeding to Step 2. 


Interested candidates should then compose and submit a written statement (250 words maximum) detailing why he/she would like to apply as a Hesburgh-McGrath Fellow. Written responses should be submitted by email to Echo’s Associate Director of Recruitment Scott Boyle at sboyle2@nd.eduThis statement should be sent to Scott no later than January 5th, 2021 in order to submit the rest of the application.


In a week’s time, student will receive written correspondence from the Echo Program EITHER:

  • Inviting the student to apply for the Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship
  • Deferring the student to apply for Echo during their Senior Year

For more information about Echo, please follow this link. For other general inquiries about the Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship, please contact Scott Boyle, Echo’s Associate Director of Recruitment, at sboyle2@nd.edu or call 574-631-0459.