Erin Blasko | February 20, 2018
University of Notre Dame alumnus Rev. Stephen “Chase” Pepper, C.S.C., has been selected for the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge in England.
Father Pepper is one of 35 winners of the award from across the United States, representing 39 universities and 19 States.
Established by a $210 million gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship recognizes students from outside the United Kingdom who demonstrate outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others.
The award covers tuition, a maintenance allowance for a single student, airfare at the beginning and end of the course, inbound visa costs, health care costs and other related costs on a discretionary basis.
Father Pepper, who received his Master of Divinity from Notre Dame in 2014, plans to pursue a doctorate in theology and religious studies at Cambridge.
A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Father Pepper is a graduate of Seton Hall University, where he earned a degree in political science before working with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at Temple University in Philadelphia.
He entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2009 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2015. He spent the past three years in the departments of Campus Ministry, Residence Life and Theology at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He currently is in-residence in Dillon Hall.
Father Pepper’s research at Cambridge will focus on “the intersection of systematic theology and Dante studies,” a subject that has fascinated him for many years, from his experience in seminary to his time at King’s College, where in addition to teaching he volunteered at the local prison in northeastern Pennsylvania.