By BJC Staff Reports
In late July, the inaugural class of BJC Fellows gathered in Colonial Williamsburg for an intensive three-day seminar on religious liberty. The group of young professionals from across the country came together to deepen their historical, theological and legal understanding of religious liberty, as well as develop skills to advocate for the cause throughout their careers.
In addition to participating in workshops led by BJC staff, the Fellows toured the historic grounds at Colonial Williamsburg, met with interpreters of historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Gowan Pamphlet, and engaged with church-state historian (and 2014 Shurden Lecturer) Michael I. Meyerson, an author and professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
BJC Fellow Alyssa Aldape said the classroom sessions were key, but conversations with others in the class also created educational moments. “There is the need for cross-cultural relationships in the religious liberty arena,” Aldape said. “We need each other to gain a more inclusive perspective on what religious liberty can be.”
When applying for the program, the individuals committed to being advocates for religious liberty in their houses of worship and communities. In the past months, Fellows have demonstrated their commitment by preaching sermons on religious liberty, teaching religious liberty lessons to youth groups and writing articles for publication about lessons learned from the experience.
From the September/October 2015 Report from the Capital. Click here to read reflections from two of the Fellows in the next story.