The original Christian community was formed within the matrix of shared life—both in its mission, worship, fellowship and persecution. People continue to hunger for such community. Many look to the church to satisfy that hunger. What are the skills sets and culture that contribute to Christian community?
Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary has been awarded a grant from the Lilly Endowment to explore community life and its formation:
This grant provides the opportunity to increase the capacity of students in
the pastoral work of community-building. To this end, we will establish an experimental student learning community of up to 8 students each year who will be awarded these fellowships and live together and use their experience of community living as a laboratory for reflection on the nature and community and its formation so that when they move into the ministerial workplace they can be more effective community leaders. Our program draws on the 1,500-year Benedictine practice of coming together in community to seek God and live as disciples. The results of this work will translate that practice to life outside the monastery, whether it be in parishes, small groups, intentional communities, virtual communities, or new communities outside existing structures.
What defines community? How is it different from random associations?
What can I expect of the community? What can the community expect of me?
Interviews dates will be scheduled on a weekly basis until all fellowship positions are filled.
A $2,500 living stipend is included in the fellowships to offset the cost of on-campus housing. The Lilly Community Fellows will reside together as neighbors in community in Saint Francis House on the Saint John's University campus. Saint Francis house is next to The Liturgical Press and near Emmaus Hall, the main building of Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary. This residence is equipped with its own laundry facilities, kitchen and common space, and its own private chapel.
Each Lilly Community Fellowship is awarded for one year. Students may apply for a scholarship and financial aid award package for the remainder of the program of study.