The foundation of the program is the service placement. The 11-month internship provides participants with a vehicle for outward engagement with the world, for hands-on learning, and for service that makes a demonstrable impact in the community. The real-life experience gained through the service placement will provide the raw material for growth and reflection. Many of the placements will involve physically-challenging rebuilding work.
In addition to on-site supervision, participants will be matched with a local mentor with whom they will meet every 3-6 weeks. The mentor will serve as a sounding board for personal and professional growth, provide support and guidance to the intern in addressing any workplace challenges, as well as help the intern to identify and explore career and vocational options.
It is a core principle of the program that action must be balanced by reflection, and that personal and spiritual formation in turn prepares us for wiser, stronger, more effective and sustainable action in the world. Participants will be supported in individual and group reflection and formation through the following means:
- Journaling: Participants will be asked to keep a written and/or visual journal throughout the program.
- Spiritual advisement/direction: Participants will be matched with a spiritual director/advisor, with whom they will have the opportunity to meet monthly for support and guidance as they deepen their spiritual journey.
- Speakers, Presentations, and Trainings: A variety of topics and skills will be covered in the course of the program year to support the participants’ active engagement with the world; the content will be tailored to the needs and interests of the incoming group.
- Regular group discussions with local spiritual and community leaders will be an integral part of the program, and give participants the opportunity to be inspired and enlightened by the lives, work, and orientations of seasoned, authentic, spiritually mature community servants.
- Supported spiritual exploration and practice: Participants will be introduced to individual and corporate spiritual practices and traditions, as well as a variety of worshipping communities.
Participants will be supported to develop healthy, honest, mutually supportive relationships within their house community through the observance of a common “rule of life.” Broad parameters for the rule of life will be introduced at the beginning of the program, but it will be shaped by participants themselves as the year goes on. Weekly community meetings & discussions will also be held as part of weekly fellowship dinners among house residents; additional fellowship opportunities will also be created with other community groups.
Because affirmation of diversity is a core value of the program, participants will also be introduced to a variety of faith communities and other networks during the year, and encouraged to engage more deeply in the life of these communities.