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Mev Puleo Scholarship

The Mev Puleo Scholarship combines formal study and experiential learning to foster awareness and understanding of the people, religion and culture of Latin American countries.

A summer immersion program in Nicaragua is one component of the Puleo scholarship. It is open only to recipients of the scholarship.

Application Process

Who May Apply

Graduate or undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Theological Studies at Saint Louis University can apply for the Mev Puleo Scholarship. Applicants must:

  • Demonstrate significant academic achievement by having achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to social justice and service to the poor by having completed more than 50 hours of community service.
  • Be able to show how participation in the immersion experience relates to their vocational goals.
  • Have basic competence in Spanish language or be willing to take a Spanish course in the spring semester prior to the immersion experience.
  • Articulate the maturity needed for a rigorous immersion experience, as well as a commitment to being part of a community of students who will travel, learn and process their experience together.

Key Dates and Deadlines

September 19: Applications are available in the Department of Theological Studies.

December 1: Applications, including the form, essay and two letters of recommendation, are due. Recommendation letters can be submitted electronically or in a signed and sealed envelope.

December 5-6: Applicant interviews are held with the Puleo Scholarship Committee.

December 13: Scholarship recipients are notified via email.

Apply for the Scholarship

For questions, please contact Rubén Rosario Rodriguez, program director, at rosarir@slu.edu.

Immersion Experience

For 10 weeks in the summer, Mev Puleo scholarship recipients will live with poor families in the city of Managua, Nicaragua. During your stay in Nicaragua, you will be exposed to leaders in many different sectors of Nicaraguan society including Church leaders, small Church community organizers, grassroots activists, social workers, politicians, student activists, medical workers and farm workers.

Special emphasis is paid to understanding the situation of women and children. The hope is that you will return with a theology deepened and changed by your encounters with the poor in Latin America.

Program Timeline

Spring Semester: Preparation 

  • Spring weekend retreat
  • Commissioning service

Summer: Immersion Experience in Nicaragua

The 10-week program includes:

  • Visits to Christian base communities, churches, grassroots organizations, political organizers, and more.
  • Classes in Spanish two times a week for two weeks
  • Coursework in theology two times a week for eight weeks
  • Volunteer work at service sites three times a week
  • Theological reflection once a week
  • Weekend trips to Leon, Matagalpa and other locations

Fall Semester: Evaluation and Processing

  • Fall theology course (3 Credit Hours)
  • Weekly one-hour class meetings
  • Two public presentations (Puleo presentations/spring ATLAS panel)
  • Visits to local Catholic schools to promote the program at SLU
  • Final 15-page paper

College Credit

Three hours of theology credit will be given for successful completion of the immersion program. The course will be recorded in the fall semester upon completion of the requirements.

Some students also arrange to get Spanish credit.  

Academic Requirements

  •  Assigned reading before, during and after the trip
  • Attendance at pre-trip retreat and post-trip coursework
  • Participation in theological reflection meetings in Nicaragua
  • Summer journaling assignment
  • Final draft of research paper due at end of fall semester

Program Coordinators

Faculty and staff from SLU’s Department of Theological Studies will coordinate the program. A department faculty member will lead the preparatory retreat, evaluate papers and teach a post-trip course. A guide in Nicaragua will coordinate the program and lead theological reflections in coordination with the host program director.

Partner Agencies

Centro Intereclesial de Estudios Teologicos y Sociales (CIEETS)

Centro Intereclesial de Estudios Teologicos y Sociales is an ecumenical institution working in partnership with churches, social justice agencies and agrarian cooperatives to provide theological and pastoral formation for those working with the most vulnerable communities in Nicaragua. CIEETS, in conjunction with SLU theology faculty, develop the curriculum for six-to-eight weeks of classroom theology courses in liberation theology.

Escuela AKF (Escuela Asociación Kairós para la Formación)

Escuela AKF, our host agency, is a school born to contribute to the building of a world of justice and love. Escuela AKF coordinates service-learning experiences, Spanish-language classes, home stays in Ciudad Sandino, as well as field trips and spiritual retreats for the summer immersion.