Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship 2023-2024

The Echo Program is pleased to once again open applications for its Hesburgh-McGrath Fellowship Program for highly-qualified junior candidates from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College. 

Now in its 20th 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 while growing as leaders in evangelization and catechesis.

This fellowship honors former Notre Dame President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, whose commitment to the Church led to Notre Dame’s expansion 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 22 (2025-2027) 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 2025.

Application Requirements & Information

Students must: 

  • Be a Junior during the 2023-2024 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

Application Timeline 

2023-2024 Fellows Application Cycle

Monday, Janaury 1st, 2024 Written Intent Statement (Final Deadline)

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Applications Due

February 13-February 16, 2024

Fellowship Interviews

Early March 2024

Decision Notification(s)

Late March 2024

Fellows Finalized



Interested Juniors should contact Echo’s Director of Recruitment & Outreach, 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:

  1. Write a 250-500 word Statement of Interest demonstrating their circumstances and advance interest in the Echo program and why they wish to make this commitment as a Hesburgh-McGrath Fellow.
  2. Students should also submit a letter of recommendation from someone who can attest to their suitability for advance admission. Letters of Recommendation can be submitted directly by the recommender to Scott at sboyle2@nd.edu.
  3. Students should send a copy of their unofficial transcript to Scott Boyle at sboyle2@nd.edu.

These steps should be completed no later than Monday, January 1st, 2024 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 Director of Recruitment and Outreach at sboyle2@nd.edu or call 574-631-0459.