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Welcome to the Saint John Paul II Scholarship Program Page


The Saint John Paul II Scholarship Fund of The Papal Foundation is a student support program that provides scholarships for priests, seminarians, religious and laity from developing nations where such resources are limited. Scholarship candidates are proposed by their local Ordinary or Major Superior to their Apostolic Nuncio for study at a Pontifical University in Rome. All applications are then reviewed by the Holy See, which in turn presents applicants’ names and academic needs to The Papal Foundation. The Foundation makes the final selection, awarding a maximum scholarship of €8,000 per student per academic year for tuition and room and board only.

These scholarships allow recipients to study in Rome and then return to their Dioceses, equipped to communicate the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium.


Steps in the Application and Award Process

All applicants, including those reapplying for an additional scholarship, must follow these steps:


First-Time Applicants

1.    An application form and instruction sheet are to be requested from the Apostolic Nunciature in the country where the applicant’s Ordinary (Bishop) and /or nearest Major Superior resides.

2.    The Ordinary and/or Major Superior must provide a letter of sponsorship, in English if possible, and include a statement of how the candidate’s studies will benefit the Church in one’s Arch/Diocese or religious community. Requests from lay applicants (non-seminarians) must also indicate that the candidates have agreed to place their studies at the service of the Diocese and must specify the modalities of that arrangement. Letters must be original and printed on official letterhead. No outdated forms, scans or photocopies will be accepted by the Nunciature.

3.    The applicant is to forward the completed form and required documentation to the Apostolic Nunciature. For security reasons, applicants are asked not to send copies of passports or other certificates of identity. Only the required documentation is to be included.

4.    The request will be evaluated and sent to the Office of the Assessor of the Vatican Secretariat of State, so that it arrives by the cut-off date of 1 March. Late applications will not be accepted.

5.    The Nunciature will inform the applicant date when the application was forwarded to the Secretariat of State.

6.    Between 1 June and 15 June, all applicants will be notified of the status of their request. Any other questions may be directed to: contact@thepapalfoundation.org.


Renewal Applicants

Those who are currently receiving a scholarship and who wish to receive additional funding must send the following:

1.    New application form, which they will receive by e-mail from the Scholarship office of The Papal Foundation in November.

2.    Transcript of courses and marks received – the most current available. This applies also to doctoral candidates, including those not currently attending courses.

3.    Original signed letter of endorsement on letterhead from the dean of the faculty where one is enrolled. No scan or photocopy will be accepted.

4.    Original photograph attached to the application. No scan or photocopy.


The completed application and required documentation must arrive in the Office of the Assessor no later than 1 March.