A member recently asked about helping
him with finding and preparing public
relations documents for academic positions.
He seeks a position in physical or
In our initial interactions he sent me his
first draft CV and cover letter. He promised
to send me the current draft of a teaching
He also sent me an ad for a fine college
that has a religious affiliation. So, please
view the following emails…
DAN TO J =========================
Please find attached a quick review of the
cover letter which you kindly sent. I am sorry
to make so many comments. Hopefully, you
understand that the letter must reflect excellent
scholarship and a good match to the needs and
philosophy of the
Interestingly, I was taught by the same religious
order …years ago … So I am familiar with …the
history of the religious order.
J TO DAN ===========================
Dear Dr. Eustace,
Thanks a lot for the help! Thanks for the
corrections and directions. I really appreciate
your help! I checked the webpage of the school
and I will revise my cover letter…
Here is a general question I have for a long
time: What does a “religiously-affiliated”
school look like, Do they require a teacher
be in the same religion as they hold?
Some of the schools on my application list
are this kind of school. I have no idea about
Thanks again and best
The reply went deeply into the topic.
First we addressed the college that J was considering
to point out how this affiliation forms the basis of
the school’s formation and education of all members
of the institution.
Then, we broadened the discussion, pointing out:
Religious affiliation indicates that a group of people
who founded the institution were connected formally
with a religion. There are hundreds in the US,
including many of the initial colleges and
universities [not mentioning names, here].
They affirm in their purpose certain principles that
their students, methods, faculty and administration
must adhere and demonstrate. While, it is generally
illegal to ask questions of candidates about formal
affiliation, the information may be requested
in other ways. It should be important for the
candidate to display an awareness and admiration
for the principles [if they agree]. It would be
shallow of the candidate to do anything otherwise.
There are many faculty who are not formally affiliated
with a religious conviction who teach or lead
institutions that are religiously connected. It is
because these faculty behave with the same guiding
principles and observe with respect their traditions.
Here are some thoughts about
job applications and interviews: 1 2
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