The Fellows Initiative
Introducing the Muncie Fellows Program!
by Emilee Lamb
“If you dream of starting something or building something one day, Muncie is the place to do it.”
Darbi Strahle is doing just that. Alongside fellow executive director Jeff Eads, Darbi stands at the helm of one of The Fellows Initiative’s newest members of the family: The Muncie Fellows, which is preparing to launch its inaugural program year in the fall of 2019.
A Land of Opportunity
Despite a slump following the manufacturing industry decline felt in so many Rust Belt cities, Muncie, Indiana, Darbi says, is ripe with potential.
“It’s a town of rebirth. People are coming and opening up restaurants and breweries and cultural attractions and theaters.”
With that rebirth comes a new generation of young people filling the city with life and energy.
Darbi, herself a graduate of Muncie’s Ball State University, and Jeff, a career counselor for Ball State students, saw the opportunity to seize this sea of change and offer young people of faith the chance to be part of this revitalization.
When Jeff’s vision to help recent college grads connect their faith to their work met The Fellows Initiative’s same mission at a Come-and-See event in the spring of 2018, Muncie Fellows was born.
Time for a Revolution
The church the Muncie Fellows will call home is nestled in the heart of Ball State University’s campus. The congregation of The Revolution is teeming with college students and families.
The Revolution community is bursting at the seams with young adults, those wanting to put their faith into vocational action.
“We’re trying to craft the vision that all of your life is ministry,” she says. “We need doctors that are Christians, and teachers that are believers and lawyers that are believers.”
Darbi and Jeff brought the idea of a fellows program to their congregation last spring, and the community’s enthusiasm for ministering to young people and broadening their vision for Christian vocation has propelled the church forward to kick off its first class of fellows.
Muncie Fellows will spend their time engaging all parts of life – work, service, community fellowship and personal development – in close community with each other and host families from The Revolution’s congregation. Each week contains a variety of activities, including:
Paid internships - Fellows can expect work placements in industries like medicine, business, nonprofit, tech, service to youth and children, hospitality and event planning.
Service - Fellows will serve both in The Revolution church and in the broader Muncie community through activities like helping with a weekly meal served to residents of an under-resourced community or assisting in the weekly set-up and clean-up of The Revolution’s services on campus.
Seminary classes - Key course topics will include biblical thought, scripture and theology and theology of vocation as well as seminars looking at church history, leadership and vocation and the purpose of the local church, among others.
Roundtable - Fellows will share a weekly time of fellowship over a meal with discussion and reflection time to foster group connection.
Worship - Fellows will worship with the congregation of The Revolution each week, where they can be known and shepherded by the local church body.
A Hope and a Future - While the Muncie Fellows is a nine-month experience, its impact on graduates is intended to be lifelong.
Darbi hopes students who come to the Muncie Fellows program are inspired to see the community flourish and fulfill its potential, just as her time at Ball State shaped her own love for the city of Muncie.
But no matter their course upon graduation, this season of learning and growth is intended to set the table for a rich life of faith.
“We hope students develop a fully established understanding of the vocation of worship,” she says. “And ideally, someone goes through the Muncie Fellows program and looks back on their time five years down the road and thinks, ‘That was a gift and a privilege because it has changed the way I think about everything.’”
Want to get involved with the incredible work the Lord is doing in Muncie, Indiana?
Visit munciefellows.com to apply to be a Fellow, support the program or get more information on their ministry to recent college graduates.
TFI News and Updates
Know someone that should think about joining a fellows program for the 2019-20 program year? Applications remain open for fellows programs across the country! CLICK HERE to apply
Interested in starting a new Fellows program in your church and city? TFI is 27 programs strong with plenty of room for growth. We are hosting our semi-annual Come & See training event on April 4-5. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Are you an employer, graduate school or other organization that wants to meet fellows at the TFI National Fellows Conference in April? CLICK HERE to learn about sponsorship opportunities
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Let's launch more fellows programs!
With 27 fellows programs, 230 current fellows, and more than 1,700 alumni, The Fellows Initiative network is growing and impacting churches, cities, and young leaders across the United States. Please consider joining TFI in this important effort to inspire and equip the next generation of Christian leaders for the workplace, church, and society.
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