Grants for Congregations in VocationCARE
If you are interested in learning about how your church institution can receive a grant to cultivate a new generation of Christian leaders, you're in the right place.
The Fund for Theological Education, through its Calling Congregations initiative, seeks to build the capacity of diverse, regional networks within Christian communities to cultivate a new generation of Christian leaders.
FTE will award three to five grants in the amount of $20,000-$25,000 during its Spring 2012 award cycle that show promise for engaging youth and young adults in the exploration of vocations in pastoral ministry and Christian leadership. Awards will be made in two disbursements over six months.
Awards will be given to diverse partners and church-related organizations residing in the United States and Canada that demonstrate an ability to work either regionally or within an affinity group (i.e. new church planters, faith-based volunteers, new models for church or intentional Christian communities, or college-age students) and with diverse racial and ecclesial partners and constituents.
Grant recipients will utilize FTE's VocationCARE approach as a process for developing and implementing initiatives during an 18-month period that build networks of diverse inter-generational communities who engage youth and young adults in the call to Christian leadership, especially to pastoral ministry, and as a call to change the world.
What is VocationCARE?
The VocationCARE approach is an inter-generational process for contemplative group reflection and action under the broad category of vocational discernment. When Christian communities create a safe environment for their constituents to explore who they are (their Christian identity) and their deep longings (their faith in action in the world), they are enacting VocationCARE. A communal caring for vocation is at the heart of forming Christian leaders and developing vital Christian institutions that make a difference in the world.
While the ways of practicing VocationCARE are as contextually diverse as the Christian communities that practice vocational development, we observe similar communal practices operable in these communities. FTE has fitted these practices together to develop a process for exploring and caring for vocation in and among communities, hence the name VocationCARE. The acronym for these four practices is CARE, which stands for:
C - Create a space to explore Christian vocation together;
A - Ask self-awakening questions together;
R - Reflect theologically on self and community; and
E - Enact the next faith step in cultivating a new generation of Christian leaders.
The VocationCARE approach is grounded in communal practices, which are reflective of a larger body of practical scholarship (www.practicingourfaith.org) that focuses on 12 Christian practices instrumental in shaping Christian life and leadership.
We do not award funds to support equipment, building renovation or personnel costs.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Reside in the United States or Canada
- Demonstrate availability and commitment to an initiative of 18 months
- Have prior experience of the VocationCARE approach through FTE events and training
- Have access to networks of at least 10-15 congregations, ministry contexts or other affinity groups (e.g. new church planters, faith-based volunteers, new models of church or intentional Christian communities, campus ministries, Lilly High School and/or College programs for theological exploration, or to College-age students)
- Have access to diverse ecclesial networks of Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Mainline leaders and/or networks within communities of color comprised of Latino/a, Asian and African-American church leaders and young people
- Demonstrate a commitment to work with a diverse ecclesial network and/or diverse racial-ethnic network
- Scale work regionally or within affinity groups
Project leaders of grant awards are ideally:
- In leadership positions that enable them to reach toward diverse regional constituencies or a single-focus but diverse constituency within an affinity group
- Willing to see this work as a significant portion of their ministry OR are showing a readiness and capacity through their existing organization to develop and implement this project
- Cultivating and organizing ecologies of vocational exploration in their region, city, or organization
Grants will NOT support:
- Stipends and operating expenses (including indirect costs exceeding 1.5%) beyond those specifically required by the proposed project
- Projects that depend primarily on "outside consultants"
- The costs of travel far from network location
Grant recipients are required:
- To attend a Grantees Meeting in Atlanta on July 19-20, 2012. This meeting consists of an introduction to and conversation with FTE Calling Congregations staff and other new grantees where a supportive, networked community of practice is formed
- To attend the Fall Calling Congregations gathering October 4-6, 2012 at their expense to share insights and learnings, and to connect with other colleagues and practitioners
- To spend no more than 45% of their awarded grant funds on networks and/or affinity groups that reflect only one cultural or theological orientation
A matching funds strategy is NOT required but is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for the sustainability of projects.
Those wishing to be considered for this grant are required to submit a letter of intent, providing a project overview. The grant cycle is now closed.
Letters of intent must be submitted online.
To submit your letter CLICK HERE.
Download FTE Guide to VocationCARE
Learn about this set of practices designed to help congregations become places where everyone hears and responds to God’s call in their lives.