TEDS Student Jeb Ralston Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award

April 8, 2024

DEERFIELD, IL – Jeb Ralston, a current PhD student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has become a recipient of a Fulbright Open Study/Research grant. Through this award, he will spend one year in Switzerland to work with one of his advisors, Prof. Dr. Ueli Zahnd, at the Institute for Reformation History of the University of Geneva. This research will contribute to the interdisciplinary efforts of the “16th-Century Exegesis of Paul” project and will ultimately be incorporated into his PhD thesis.

“My dissertation examines the heated debates that occurred within the Reformation surrounding the doctrine of original sin,” said Jeb, “and the variegated ways in which Romans 5 was read and interpreted in over seventy different commentaries composed during the sixteenth century. This topic has an abiding theological relevance for the church today, and one of the great joys of this research project for me is getting to listen to and learn from some of the long-forgotten voices of our ecclesiastical past.”

The Fulbright application process is highly competitive. Jeb expressed his gratitude, saying, “I am so grateful for the help I received from so many individuals. My advisor, Dr. Scott Manetsch, not only offered 10+ revisions of each of my application essays but wrote me a wonderful recommendation letter and offered constant encouragement.”

Jeb also acknowledged the support of Stefan Krauter, Bruce Gordon, Anne Schreiber, and Martin Klauber, who went above and beyond to provide him with recommendation letters and language references. His friends and colleagues at TEDS have been cheering him on and praying for him throughout the past year.

Dr. John Woodbridge and I are deeply grateful for the remarkably gifted and godly group of MA and PhD students that God has brought to our department in recent years,” said Dr. Manetsch, professor of church history at TEDS, “And Jeb Ralston is certainly one of those very special students. We are especially excited for Jeb as he joins an elite company of scholars working at one of the premier centers for Reformation research in the world. This experience will no doubt shape Jeb as a Reformation scholar and as a faithful Christian disciple. We are so grateful to God for this wonderful commendation!”

The Fulbright Program, led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries, is dedicated to fostering mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. As the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program, Fulbright offers unparalleled opportunities for scholars to engage in cross-cultural research and collaboration. Fulbright alumni include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

“Jeb is another example of the kind of students TEDS has attracted and produced since our founding,” said Dean David Pao, “He is dedicated to not only upholding the highest academic standards but also writing for the benefit of God’s people in the appreciation of the power of Scripture throughout the history of the church.”

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