A select group of seminaries and divinity schools has been chosen to participate in a fellowship program based on academic excellence, natural reputation and commitment to engaging in the world. Schools include: Wesley Theological Seminary, Candler School of Divinity, Columbia Theological Seminary, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Wake Forest Divinity School, Luther Theological Seminary, McAfee School of Theology and Princeton Theological Seminary.
Each participating institution is invited to select up to five Community Engagement Fellows from each class. Fellows will be selected on the bases of their previous commitment to community service and social justice and for their interest in continuing service and engagement while pursuing theological training.
All involved believe that students with strong service backgrounds will help shape and lead the church of the future. Participating schools have commifed significant funding to attract and support the type of student who might qualify for the Fellowship program. Fellows are expected to continue their service and to infuse their interests and passions into campus culture.
Schools have also committed to establish or expand their service initiatives and seek ways to support engagement through work-study programs and by seeking out work opportunities within local organizations.
What have we done?
Each of the schools that sponsor community engagement fellows have established a student-run website that lifts up the stories and activities of these current students. We believe that they are the face and the feet of the future of the church. Their role is not merely to get other students involved in their causes but also to reach out to their peers who are discerning their call and inviting them to consider joining them in seminary as well as the ministry.
Where are we headed?
We believe that these students are the face and the feet of the future of the church. Their role is not merely to get other students involved in their causes but also to reach out to their peers who are discerning their call and inviting them to consider joining them in seminary as well as the ministry.
As we recruit a new crop of individuals to attend seminary and pursue ministry, these current students and their stories of engagement will be perhaps the most compelling force in getting the attention of their peers. They will be demonstrating to their peers that a seminary experience is compelling, because the campuses have a new life and energy and excitement about them. Their stories will be featured on our website.
We are in the early stages of having some of these current fellows travel to different schools, camps and congregations to talk about their experience at seminary and to recruit students to consider following them in their path to ministry.