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Jubilee Fellows program empowers students interested in ministry

Photo courtesy Sarah Stripp
Photo courtesy Sarah Stripp

The Jubilee Fellows Program, an internship program designed for 12 rising seniors interested in ministry, is accepting applications now through Oct. 7.

The program includes a three-credit course taken during the spring semester of a student’s junior year, a 10-week ministry internship during the summer at various locations across the country and an on-campus service project during the fall of senior year.

Kary Bosma, program coordinator for the Jubilee Fellows, talked about the driving force behind the program.

“The Jubilee Fellows program provides a unique opportunity to learn about the church and appreciate why all of us, as Christians, are called to serve the church.”

She said the program aims to give students a better sense of their calling and provides them with a hands-on experience in a church to explore this calling more fully.

“That kind of experience is hard to find on your own,” said Bosma.

This exploration begins with a class that the Fellows take together during the spring semester.  Former Jubilee Fellow Nicole Schmitt said she enjoyed being around a group of like-minded people with similar interests and passions, which made it easier to connect and grow together as a group.

“It is a very intentional, community-oriented class,” said Schmitt, “and provides really good shepherding in areas that are hard to navigate as well as really good fellowship.”

Schmitt added that she appreciates the wisdom of the professors.

Senior Kellan Day, former Jubilee Fellow, also reflected on her summer internship experience.

“My summer as a whole was the best summer of my life,” Day said. She said she valued both the variety of experiences she got to have working in the church as well as finding community in the place she was working.

“My church community – Salem Lutheran [Spokane, Wash.] – not only enveloped me in hospitality and support, but truly poured themselves out in every way imaginable,” said Day.

Josiah Gorter also found his summer internship key in being able to discern his own calling.  Over the summer, he described how he began to see his place in church ministry.

“I grew more and more used to working in the church and I really liked the idea of doing that in the future,” Gorter said. His experiences in Sacramento, Calif. allowed him to meet new people, experience new ideas and learn about the church’s role in a community.

“I learned things I never would’ve otherwise learned,” said Gorter.

Todd Cioffi, director for the Jubilee Fellows program, spoke about the vision for the program.

“[It] provides those within the community a focus and a fine-point which allows them to pull things together about their own faith and development, their sense of interest in the church and service and in the the world and service.”

Cioffi added that this does not just benefit the 12 Fellows, but it impacts both their relationships with friends and fellow students at Calvin as well as the clubs, organizations or ministries in which they work.

“It re-energizes their way back in and impacts programs they start or get involved with; their passion spills out,” said Cioffi.

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