Dickinson Fellow Program

The Dickinson Advanced Seminar is a unique opportunity for students to focus on the work of a distinguished scholar who has made a significant impact upon the study of religion. The Religion faculty designs the course annually and invites the scholar to visit the Dartmouth campus to engage the students, critique their papers, and present a public lecture to the community.


The Religion Department inaugurated on an experimental basis the Visiting Scholar Seminar program in 1972. A seminar in the Religion Department curriculum is devoted to reading and analyzing the works of a scholar in the field of the study of religion who has made a significant impact upon a particular area of study. Near the end of the term, this scholar is then brought to Dartmouth; and the seminar concludes with several days of intense meetings, during the course of which the visiting scholar reads and responds to students' critiques of his or her own work.

Although this experimental program had proven extremely successful, and those students who participated in the program unanimously expressed their wish that it be continued and expanded, the Religion Department did not have sufficient funds to conduct the program in a way which responds adequately to the demand.

In 1982, the Dickinson Fellow Program was created by a generous gift from Frances Ann & Charles C. Dickinson Jr., Dartmouth class of 1928. The Dickinson Fund provides an extraordinary opportunity for the Religion Department to improve its teaching and research programs; and the members of the Religion Department are very grateful to the Dickinson family and to (then) President David T. McLaughlin, (then) Dean of the Faculty Dwight Lahr, and others for making this fund available to us.

Many Departmental "Visiting Scholar Seminars" and, subsequently in the Dickinson Fellow Program, the "Dickinson Distinguished Visitor Advanced Seminars in Religion," have been offered by the Religion Department since 1972. The Dickinson Distinguished Visitor Advanced Seminars in the Dickinson Fellow Program continue to remain among the most successful of the course offerings in the Religion Department.