Learn more about the Jubilee Fellows program
The Jubilee Fellows program combines classroom learning and discussion with mentoring and hands-on ministry experience to help you explore your call to Christian ministry.
What is a Jubilee Fellow?
Jubilee Fellows are students who have been accepted into the Jubilee Fellow Program. This program is designed for twelve promising students who are strongly inclined toward Christian leadership and church ministry, and it aims to foster the next generation of church leaders. Students sometimes have a sense that God is calling them to ministry, but they aren't sure what "job" they should pursue or what steps they should take after graduating from Calvin. Others may already have a sense that God is calling them to continue their studies in seminary, or pursue a particular job in church ministry. In either case, the Jubilee Fellows program seeks to help these students explore their vocational calling through interdisciplinary learning, mentoring, and ministry experience.
"Without this experience, I don't know when I would have figured out that I have a desire to be a pastor," commented Kellan Day, a 2013 Jubilee Fellow. "I think I will definitely pursue seminary a year after I graduate."
What does a Jubilee Fellow do?
Jubilee Fellows participate in a lively program. During the spring semester of their junior year, they take a seminar course which studies the vision, lives, and theologies of those who have made great contributions to the Christian church through the centuries. They learn about spiritual disciplines, such as personal and communal prayer, and reading and memorizing scripture. They read a variety of books, both historical and contemporary, listen to guest speakers, and do a bit of personal research on a Christian leader of their choosing. The semester-long course meets weekly over dinner to foster fellowship and a sense of community among the Jubilee Fellows and the course instructors.
Following the course, Jubilee Fellows set out on ten-week summer internships in congregations throughout North America. This component of the program is often the highlight for students, providing them with first-hand experience in the day to day life of a church. "I feel more passionate, committed, focused, and refreshed to serve others," says 2013 Jubilee Fellow Josh Song. "This internship served as a reawakening of passion for the work of the Kingdom of God in my life."
We also pair Fellows with strong mentors on the pastoral staff of the internship churches. The mentors will walk alongside the Fellows, not only providing them with work to do, but also with honest feedback on their peformance, spiritual direction and encouragement, and the opportunity to learn from someone working daily in church ministry.
Former Jubilee Fellow Nicole Veenkamp recently wrote an article reflecting on "finding home" in her summer internship. Her comments are reflective of how many of our Jubilee Fellows feel before and after their summer experiences.
Upon returning, Jubilee Fellows contribute to Calvin College community life through a ministry-related service component their senior year. Students take what they have learned from their internships and find creative ways to use their gifts at Calvin, whether it's helping Calvin students participate in church life in Grand Rapids, leading a small group, or working with existing programs on campus.
How are Jubilee Fellows selected?
Students are selected based on their academic achievement, service and leadership within the Christian community, written application, and interview. Applicants must be of junior standing to take part in the program.
Applications are available in September of each year. Interviews are held and the final selections are made in October, before fall academic advising.
Will I receive a stipend as a Jubilee Fellow?
Jubilee Fellows receive a $4,000 fellowship, paid throughout the summer and fall of their service. They are also reimbursed for their summer living expenses and any expenses incurred traveling to and from their summer internship sites.
Do my other campus leadership positions disqualify me from Jubilee Fellows?
Other leadership opportunities do not disqualify you, but a careful consultation with the Jubilee Fellows Director or Program Coordinator will help determine whether time and opportunity permit you to serve in multiple roles. The Program Requirements outline all of the mandatory dates and commitments for the Jubilee Fellows Program. It is assumed that these important components will be prioritized over other commitments.