Community Engagement Fellows
Community Engagement Institute (CEI) Fellows program at Wesley Theological Seminary continues to be at the forefront of theological education, and at the heart of our theological education ethos. Through academic, theological, formational, and leadership development experiences inside and outside the classroom, CEI Fellows are equipped to serve as world-class community engagement leaders for the twenty-first century Church and world.
What sets Wesley’s CEI Fellows program apart from other institutions is our unique location in the nation’s capital and our ability to provide Fellows with distinct opportunities to deal with vital issues in the church and public arena. Fellows engage in innovative learning in the classroom while participating in transforming communities on the ground by innovating, integrating and initiating effective ministries.
As faith leaders who are theologically grounded, contextually nimble, and prophetically engaged in the church and world, Fellows learn and practice how to best engage in urban ministry, robust public witness, and missional work in ways that make the church a force to contend with in the public square.
In the classroom, our Fellows acquire theological and practical grounding and expertise in community engagement. In the world, we desire for our Fellows to live what they have learned in their communities as they develop innovative ministries and engage in theological reflection that informs their identity formation as bridge builders and border crossers engaged in transforming communities toward the shape of God’s reign.
Thus, experiential learning is a crucial part of the Fellows’ educational experience. It allows the Fellows to “brings to life in the community what is learned in the classroom.” It plays a critical role in preparing students to holistically engage the complex issues confronting urban environs with the love of Christ in a manner that promotes an empowered citizenry and communal flourishing.
In addition, Fellows move through the Community Engagement Institute curriculum as they engage readings and assignments in a scaffolding manner and build upon what they have learned and experienced in the previous year inside and outside the classroom. This strengthens their knowledge base and identity formation as a community engagement expert.
- Field Education: Community Engagement Fellows participate in a community based field education experience that allows them to undertake their self-designed community engagement project. The Community Engagement Institute works with Fellows to secure placement in an appropriate setting via their ministry and nonprofit database.
- Stipend: Community Engagement Fellows receive a stipend that helps to cover educational expenses and to engage in their community engagement ministry project.
- Requirements: Fellows must be a full-time M.Div. student taking a minimum of 9 credit hours each semester; meet in a weekly seminar to read and discuss the theology and practice of community engagement; and serve as a mutually supportive learning community.