The Border Crossing Project, an initiative of the Divinity School, is designed to bring students preparing for ministry, students preparing to teach, and congregations together to help all the participants better understand their vocations and commitments. One aspect of this initiative allows M.Div. and M.A. or Ph.D. students the opportunity to team up as theologians in residence for a congregation. With their different experiences and vocational goals, these resident teams will have rich and complementary perspectives that together could help a religious community understand itself and its faith tradition better. The theologians-in-residence program invites students to propose a project they would pursue together with the clergy and lay leadership of a religious community in the Chicago area during the current academic year.
Visit the archive for a list of past theologians-in-residence teams.
Goal: Through this program one Ph.D. or M.A. student, one ministry student, and a congregation would work together over an extended period of time to address a topic of interest to both the students and the congregation. This collaboration would allow the congregation to benefit from the differing perspectives of the students, and help the students learn how to create resources for congregations both from their different academic and vocational experiences and from the rich wealth of congregational experience and theological reflection.
Possible projects: The students would pursue a project related to their studies but meeting the needs of a particular congregation. Examples include:
• Working with clergy and lay leaders to create new worship materials
• Organizing a series of meetings in the congregation to reflect on a challenge facing the congregation
• Creating an adult education series on a topic of shared interest
The proposal should be specific about the project, while recognizing that the project may change as the students get to know the congregation, its needs, and its resources.
Outcome: The project of the theologians-in-residence should result in a product or process that is both theologically sound and demonstrates that the resident team has deeply engaged the uniqueness of the congregation they are serving. Its impact would be evaluated by the congregation’s leadership and the Border Crossing Project’s staff.
Time frame: We anticipate that the students would work with the congregation over the course of approximately three months, with possible preparation and follow-up time.
Finances: The two students will receive stipends of $750 each. Together they will also have up to $250 for travel expenses and $250 for materials or other resources.
How to apply: Interested students should submit a proposal for their project, including:
• A description of a possible project, including a description of the congregation, an outline of the project (class, process, etc.), and how that project would meet the congregation’s needs
• A letter of support from the congregation’s leadership
• Description of the qualifications of the two participating students
• Names of one faculty reference for each students
Successful proposals will be:
• Focused on the congregation’s needs
• Specific about the project’s events
• Clear about the project’s desired outcomes
Proposals and questions can be sent to Kevin Boyd at email@example.com. He can also comment on draft proposals and help think about connections with congregations or other students. Proposals are due no later than December 10, 2010. The successful proposal(s) will be chosen by the beginning of the Winter quarter 2011.