The Fellows Initiative
Four New Fellows Programs!
by Alaina Conley
The Fellows Initiative is pleased to introduce four new Fellows programs that will welcome their inaugural classes this fall (2023). These programs include Athens Fellows (GA), Davidson Fellows (NC), Louisville Bridge Fellows (KY), and Space Coast Fellows (FL). Uniting these programs together is their relationship with a single local church, offering fellows the opportunity to form deep relationships with church members across all generations.
Athens Fellows - Georgia
The Athens Fellows Program at St. Thomas Anglican Church in Athens, GA is kicking off this fall under the leadership of Joe Gunby. While studying at Duke University, Joe wrote a dissertation on the formation of young adults. After he was called to serve at St. Thomas, starting a fellows program was a clear choice as the church had been interested in forming and sending young adults since it was planted in 2017. One of the unique components of the program will be that, in addition to the theological education they undertake in a classroom setting, fellows will be given the freedom to study topics related to their vocational discernment alongside a mentor.
St. Thomas has a partnership with a local trust that provides the program with a historic house built in 1907 in downtown Athens. Up to eight fellows will live in this house in the heart of the historic Henderson District. Joe sees this as a remarkable component of the program as it will allow the fellows to learn to build Christian community together, live together, pray together, and eat meals together. Athens’ diversity, academics, and arts scene has historically drawn young adults, including many who also love the rootedness of St. Thomas’ rich liturgical tradition. The church has seen exceptional growth over the past few years and meets for service in The Day Chapel at the State Botanical Garden. The program leaders are excited to offer a service component of working with Jubilee Partners, a Christian community that assists refugees and asylum seekers as they resettle into the US – offering ESL classes, cultural education, and a community of Christian friends.
Davidson Fellows - North Carolina
The Davidson Fellows Program is launching in Davidson, NC, a college town located 25 minutes north of Charlotte. Much like the town of Davidson, Storyhill Church (EPC) has a close-knit, community-centered, and laid-back feel. Given its size, Davidson is home to many small to medium size companies, but is also within reach of Charlotte, allowing fellows to build networks connected to a major city center while enjoying a small-town community.
A few years ago, the church decided to develop a ministry training program designed for recent college graduates. This program had many similarities to a TFI Fellows program except that each young adult in the program was employed by the church. Gray Segars, the Davidson Fellows director, felt that a transition to a TFI Fellows program would open the door for investment in young adults who were not interested in vocational ministry. Gray also serves as the Associate Pastor at Storyhill Church and is looking forward to helping young adults develop spiritual rhythms and habits that will extend beyond the fellows year.
Louisville Bridge Fellows - Kentucky
After serving as the director of The Nashville Fellows Program for five years, Theresa Wilson and her husband, Clint, were called to St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY in February 2020. St. Francis had been looking to form a Fellows program that engaged with the church on a global scale, which led to Theresa becoming the founding director of The Louisville Bridge Fellows. One way the fellows will engage with the global church is through a trip to England to learn about church unity from Dr. Christopher Wells, the Director of Unity, Faith, and Order of the Anglican Communion. Theresa explained that although the church is Episcopalian, young adults should feel comfortable coming from all sorts of denominations, as the church is home to people who come from various traditions, including many from an evangelical background.
The fellows will take classes taught by St. Francis’ clergy and will also sit under teachers from a range of traditions. There are many reasons why Louisville is a great city for recent college graduates. There are tons of waterways with opportunities to go kayaking and paddle-boarding as well as spaces to explore caves and go climbing – the area is home to many who love the outdoors. It is also centrally located a couple of hours away from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Nashville. Over thirty local employers in a variety of industries have been well-informed about the Louisville Bridge Fellows program and are willing to offer employment to members of the incoming class. One of the most unique features of the program is that those who have completed an associate's or technical degree are eligible to be fellows. This opens up opportunities for many young adults who are looking to work in trades, engineering, and construction.
Space Coast Fellows - Florida
The Space Coast Fellows Program is the fourth program launching this fall. This program is located in Satellite Beach, FL, a seaside community. The program is affiliated with Trinity Wellsprings Church (ECO), a beachside church with a vibrant and intergenerational congregation. The church’s mission is to be and make fully-alive missional disciples of Jesus Christ who overflow into their community and world, and Space Coast Fellows is an avenue that the church will use to fulfill this mission.
Reverend Drew Elling is the program director and will draw from his experience working for CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) and pastoring churches for over 22 years. The Space Coast Fellows Program aims to challenge its fellows to invite Christ into every aspect of their lives, including the workplace during their three-day internships. Satellite Beach is roughly 25 miles from NASA and SpaceX, which makes it a prime networking location. The fellows will take classes that can be credited towards seminary degree programs after the program ends. In addition, the fellows will participate in multiple retreats, conferences, and a missions trip throughout their fellows year.
Want to Learn More?
Interested in learning more about our new programs? Visit Davidson Fellows, Louisville Bridge Fellows, Athens Fellows, Space Coast Fellows to gain a better understanding of what these programs are all about. And don’t forget to use the TFI Common Application when applying!
Join a TFI Fellows Program
If you are a college senior, recent graduate, or knows someone that is, please apply soon to be a fellow. You can apply to three programs at once with no application fee.
Being a fellow is an amazing way to launch your career after college! As a fellow you will have a paid job in your field of interest. You will take graduate courses in bible, theology, leadership, and cultural engagement. You will have many opportunities to use your gifts serving in the church and city. You will have a personal mentor.
We are now accepting applications all across the TFI network but some programs are beginning to fill up. Please apply as soon as you can! Click here to apply today!
Not sure which program to join? You can learn more about all of the TFI Fellows programs by clicking here.
You can also learn more by joining an upcoming informational webinar.
Help Advance TFI's Mission
TFI and the the Fellows Movement has been spreading across the United States for 16 years. There are now 34 TFI Fellows programs and more than 3,000 alumni!
Please consider partnering with TFI financially to help young Christian leaders find their place in the church, workplace, and society and to work toward the flourishing of the world.
With your financial partnership, together we can:
Expand the TFI network to more churches in more cities. Even though we are growing, there are still many areas of the country that do not currently have a TFI Fellows program.
Expand our reach to more young leaders graduating from more colleges and universities. There is room in our network for more young leaders to come and grow in Christ. Your support will help us fill every Fellows class across the country!
If you have been blessed by a TFI Fellows program or simply want to see this Kingdom ministry expand, please consider making a recurring donation or one-time gift to TFI. We have made it easy to give online or by check.
CLICK HERE to donate online. To give by check, please mail it to our NEW ADDRESS:
The Fellows Initiative
8227 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 320
Vienna, Virginia 22182
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