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  • Writer's pictureThe Fellows Initiative

One Year Could Change Your Life: Introducing the Peninsula Fellows Program

by Ashton Braddock

The Peninsula Fellows program in Yorktown, Virginia is one of four new fellows programs to recently join TFI.  Spearheaded by Mark Shaw and Abby Grimes, the Peninsula Fellows program will begin its first season in the fall of 2019 in the historic Virginia triangle made up of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.

Like other programs in the TFI network, Peninsula Fellows will develop holistically by growing spiritually, culturally, socially, and intellectually. By living with host families from their partner church, Peninsula Community Chapel, and consistently meeting with mentors, fellows will have the opportunity to grow by learning from others who are further along in their Christian journey how to faithfully love and serve in a family, church, and community.

As they seek to connect their faith to the workplace, Peninsula Fellows will have opportunities to work in the professional fields of finance, health care, engineering, and marine sciences, among other industries.  Additionally, fellows will assist in the redevelopment of communities through Serve the City, a community service program bringing together dedicated citizens to improve local neighborhoods.

What Makes the Peninsula Fellows Unique?

In addition to the excellent opportunities for work in the Virginia Peninsula region, the program puts a special emphasis on graduate study.

The Fellows Initiative Network of Leadership and Vocational Development Programs
Mark Shaw, Director of the Peninsula Fellows Program

Fellows will take courses for credit through Reformed Theological Seminary. As an experienced educator with global experience, Mark Shaw, Director of the Peninsula Fellows, brings a distinctive approach to the Peninsula Fellows experience.

“We are committed to guiding the fellow through four graduate-level courses, all designed to make each fellow more relevant to God’s mission in the world,” he says.  The courses include the following:

  • Our Missional God - A survey of God and his mission throughout the Bible.

  • A Missional Lifestyle - An exploration of the topics of work, vocation, calling, time management, and work-life balance.

  • Missional Church - An opportunity to learn about being an agent of renewal and mission in a local church by examining the biblical doctrine of the Church.

  • Missional Engagement - An exploration of the tough intellectual and ethical challenges facing the Christian in the modern world and look at how they can engage creatively and effectively in evangelism, discipleship, and culture and creation care.

In addition to engaging with in-depth coursework, fellows will also complete student-designed learning contracts that will connect their academic assignments with their professional work.

“These learning contracts help the fellows integrate all that they are doing and provide flow and connection to the different parts of the fellows program,” Shaw explains, “Fellows meet with a mentor every other week to look at how the learning contract is progressing. The mentors will offer insight, analysis, and support as the fellows seek to reach their goals.”

The Fellows Initiative Leadership and Vocational Development Program
Abby Grimes, Assistant Director of the Peninsula Fellows Program

One Year Can Change Your Life

As the Peninsula Fellows progress through the year, they will learn how to be who God created them to be. With guidance from fellows leadership, spiritual and professional mentors, and their cohort community, fellows will gain a deeper understanding of how to connect their work to the eternal work of God. The different elements of the program are sure to aid in their spiritual development and assist with their entrance into young adulthood.

“One year can change your life”, the statement printed on the front of the Peninsula Fellows brochure, promises to be true.

One year filled with strong community, applicable work experience, Christian mentorship, and a broader network of people than you can imagine. Whether a recent graduate, potential employer, or financial supporter of the program, one year with the fellows is sure to change your life.

Interested in being part of something bigger than yourself? Consider joining the Peninsula Fellows in their quest to make a difference in the name of Christ. Visit to apply to be a Peninsula Fellow, support the program, or find out more information about their vision.


TFI News and Updates

  • There will be more than 240 fellows in the TFI network this fall! There are still 50+ slots available in programs across the country. Know a college senior that should be in a fellows program for the 2019-20 program year? Please let them know about these amazing opportunities. CLICK HERE to apply

  • TFI is growing! There are 27 programs, with more preparing to launch in the future. If you're interested in joining this incredible movement by starting a new fellows program in your church and city, please join us at 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.

  • Want to stay connected with TFI? Follow us on LinkedIn! If you want to follow TFI's news and announcements, follow the TFI company page on LinkedIn. If you're a TFI fellows program alumni, join the growing community in the TFI Alumni Group on LinkedIn.


You can be part of growing the network of TFI 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.

Our June 30th fundraising goal is $73,500. We're making good progress toward this goal, but we still need your help. Please consider making a recurring donation or a one-time gift. CLICK HERE to donate online. To give by check, please mail it to the address below. Thank you! TFI is a donor supported 501c3 nonprofit.


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