• The Fellows Initiative

Elevating Young Leaders: Introducing First Pres Fellows of Colorado Springs

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

by Annie Monson

First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs will welcome their first group of fellows this fall. The church sits in downtown Colorado Springs, and has grown up with the city, truly earning its name “First” Pres. The city was founded in 1871; First Pres was founded in 1872.

Seeking the Welfare of Colorado Springs

The church’s history with the city resounds with Jeremiah 29: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” The church has long been invested in numerous initiatives with Colorado Springs, allowing the fellows an opportunity to dive in and serve the city to which they’ve been sent.

Not only does First Pres offer unique opportunities to the new fellows, but Colorado Springs as a locale has its own appeal. The First Pres Fellows will have ten-minute access to a 14,000 ft mountain , and all of the activities associated with it: rock climbing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and more. Wilderness leadership training and team building will even be a part of the program’s curriculum.

Colorado Springs is also home to a distinct variety of industries, offering the fellows excellent internship opportunities. The U.S. Olympic Committee and Training Center, many environmental agencies, institutes, and advocacy groups, three military bases and the Air Force Academy (therefore multiple military consultants and contracting companies), and some of the largest national and global Christian non-profits such as Compassion International, Focus on the Family, Navigators, and Young Life, all call Colorado Springs home.

Floyd Sebald is the program’s director, and recently returned from twenty-two years in Mongolia launching a Campus Crusade ministry. Floyd has an entrepreneurial spirit and is passionate about developing young leaders; in Mongolia he worked with graduates and young professionals, training them to minster in their professions. Now back in the states starting and leading the First Pres Fellows program, these threads of Floyd’s vocation are extending and taking new shape.

Seeking Community - and Those Who Don’t Know Christ

The First Pres Fellows program will have a structure similar to other TFI programs, with a few variations.

The fellows will take theology courses through Denver Seminary, live with host families from the church, serve in youth and children’s ministries at the church, and work as interns in their fields of interest. The fellows will also be mentored, but will have to find their own mentor in the church.

Mission will also be a strong emphasis of the program, both in the philosophy and practice of the program. Mission-thinking will be a common thread throughout the theology courses, Bible study, and discussion through the year. The Fellows will discuss relational approaches to mission, and how community service and their industry vocations are platforms for stepping into non-Christians’ lives.