Guidelines for Academic Sabbatical Leave Application For Academic Year 2020-2021

Intent to Apply for Sabbatical Form

Sabbatical Application Form

Applications for sabbatical leaves will be accepted until 4 p.m., Friday, September 6, 2019. Please complete the sabbatical application form and upload your proposal as one PDF document using this link: Sabbatical Application Form.

Letters of support not included in the file can be emailed to Mary Jo Waggoner.

To be eligible to apply for sabbatical, a faculty member must have submitted the intent to apply form by May 13, 2019. Sabbatical proposals submitted by faculty members who did not file and Intent to Apply for Sabbatical by the deadline set by the FDRC will not be considered

[Faculty Handbook Application Policies and Procedures for Sabbatical Leaves. A faculty member intending to apply for sabbatical leave must provide advance notice of that intention. Because the department chair [and/or the dean of the School of Theology], in consultation with members of the department and the administration, must make plans to cover the responsibilities of faculty on sabbatcal leave, a faculty member anticipating a sabbatical should inform the chair [and/or dean of the School of Theology] as early as possible. In addition, a faculty member applying for sabbatical leave must inform the Faculty Development and Research Committee of his or her intention to apply by the notification deadling announced by the committee.]

Please strive for a clear and concise proposal rather than a lengthy one. Recent successful proposals have been typically 7-12 pages. We will accept proposals up to 15 pages. Supporting letters and CVs are not included in the 15-page limit.

Eligibility for Sabbatical

Eligibility for sabbatical leave entails fulfilling obligations for both teaching and service.

Because each faculty member has an "obligation to participate in governance and in other forms of service to the college [university]" (Section, faculty members are eligible to apply for a sabbatical leave only if they have fulfilled their obligations in both service to the department and service to the college [university] outside the department, as specified in Section

Service to the Department may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • ongoing service on departmental [and/or School of Theology] committees, effective participation in meetings and in decision-making, curriculum development, and assessment processes of the department;
  • similar service to departments and/or programs not in the faculty member's locus of appointment;
  • service as chair of a department or an academic program
  • service to a department or program as a liaison with an outside accrediting or credentialing agency.

Service to the College [University] may include, but is not necessarily limited to the following:

  • effective participation in faculty assemblies, on standing faculty committees, on JFS committees, on administrative committees, and on other faculty committees (e.g., for planning, assessment, accreditation);
  • leadership roles in governance, faculty development, curriculum design, and/or other activities of the college [university];
  • service as leader in other faculty, professional, or college [university] programs or associations; and/or
  • service as an on-site director of a Study Abroad program, and/or
  • representation of one or both institutions to the local, regional, national, or international community.

Application Materials

1) Cover Sheet: use the template provided below.

2) Table of Contents: Identify the page numbers of all of the bold headings below, beginning with "Goals."

3) Proposal: Include the following sections/items:

1. Title

2. Abstract: (100 word limit)

3. Intent and Plan: Articulate the focus, process, and outcomes of your project. Include a detailed explanation of your goals, purpose, and any research questions, if your project has a research focus. Describe your plan and explain what you intend to do. Include specific activities you plan to accomplish and when over the course of the sabbatical, when possible. Describe the project in specific terms intelligble to a non-specialist. Finally, include evidence that you are (or will be) prepared to complete this project.

Criteria for evaluation (Description of):

  • The goals of the proposed sabbatical
  • Any research objectives if the project has a research focus
  • Details of proposed activities and itineraries
  • Timelines/timetables
  • Design of the project related to applicant's abilies

4. Professional Development: Demonstrate how the project will make a significant contribution to your professional development.

Criteria for evaluation:

  • Extent to which project contributes to one or more of the following:
    • Enhancing the applicant's mastery of his or her field of expertise;
    • Improving the applicant's capabilities as a teacher;
    • Increasing the applicant's ability to fulfill responsibilities in areas other than teaching and research/creative work
  • Letters of support

5. Relevance to Mission: Demonstration the relevance of this project to the mission and goals of the department and college [university]

Criteria for evaluation:

  • the appropriateness of the project to the mission and goals of the department and the college [university]
  • Letters of support

6. Likelihood of Success: Summarize past accomplishments, including past sabbatical outcomes and/or other successful projects. Explain why this coming year is an especially advantageous time for your sabbatical leave. Indicate how you will demonstrate progress toward your project's goals (See the examples in the Faculty Handbook, Sections 2.5.1 and 2.5.2).

Criteria for evaluation:

  • Previous sabbaticals and outcomes achieved, if applicable
  • Other relevant accomplishments
  • Description of timing for this project
  • Evaluation plan for the project
  • Funding and other contingencies*
  • CV (appended and focused)
  • Letters of Support

*If the successful pursuit and completion of your project is contingent upon grant funding or approvals by any entity (archive, supervisory board, visitor program, FDRC, etc.) indicate how your project will be adjusted if the anticipated grant or approval is not extended (or is of reduced scope). Reminder this call is for the SABBATICAL APPLICATION ONLY> A positive recommendation from the FDRC for a sabbatical does NOT guarantee approval of a grant proposal to the FDRC for the project.

    Letters of Support: Three current letters of support must be submitted with the application, preferably in the same file. These will not count toward the 15-page limit.

    • Two letters should address the quality, contributions, timeliness, and likelihood of success of your project.
    • A third letter that, in addition, describes how the leave will affect the department and the department's course offerings, including an indication of how the department will manage the relevant staffing issues. This letter should be from your department chair, or if the chair is applying for sabbatical, then it should be another department member qualified to serve as chair during the sabbatical.
    • Please do not include additional letters beyond these three. (Exceptions: Including a letter verifying acceptance of a manuscript for publication from a publisher or a letter from the director of the Center for Global Education in support of development of a study abroad experience are appropriate and expected additional letters to include.)

    When you submit your application, you agree to these three conditions:

    • that you will make every reasonable effort to fulfill the terms of the sabbatical;
    • that you will return to the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University for the complete academic year following the academic year in which the sabbatical occurred; and
    • that you will submit a written report on the results of your project with the Provost within 30 days after the beginning of the semester following the sabbatical leave.

    FDRC Criteria and Process

    Using the criteria and process specified in the Faculty Handbook (, FDRC will evaluate the quality clarity, coherence, and prospects for successful completion of your project, as demonstrated in the proposal and letters of reference.

    Our process:

    • The FDRC, guided by the Faculty Handbook, will assess each application, paying special attention to the substance of the proposal and the letters of reference.
    • All FDRC committee members read and rank all of the proposals. Committee members with a conflict of interest will be absent from discussions of that proposals. Where necessary, the Committee may consult with the applicant's department chair (or dean of SOT).
    • The members will sort the applications into ranked categories. In the case of two proposals of equal merit, the person with more years since a previous sabbatical will be ranked higher.
    • The Committee forwards its ranking and recommendations (with explanations as appropriate) to the Provost.
    • The committee informs each applicant of the committee's recommendations.
    • The Provost, the Presidents and the Board of Regents/Trustees make funding decisions.
    • Please be certain that your proposal, including supporting letters, is complete by the due date. If a proposal is not complete, it may not be reviewed. The FDRC may track down the missing components if time permits. This is at the discretion of the FDRC.