The best summer of my life.
That’s how I would sum up my time spent as a resident in the Christ College Residency Program last summer.
As part of the church’s goal to underpin discipleship efforts of the church through Christ College, Executive Pastor Scott Lees focused on the development of young leaders. His plan of action was to provide opportunities for internships in various parts of the church.
Dr. Jason Hood joined the team to develop this new initiative as Director of the Christ College Residency Program. He describes his goal as “to equip these young leaders to build the church in the 21st century,” and he says that there aren’t many programs like this one, that immerses its participants in the life of the church. Other programs that are more “parachurch” in their approach, according to Jason, “can be a little more pristine, removed from the warts and intergenerational opportunities and challenges that a church provides.” This is why the residents are directed “to participate in things like VBS,” and “to be exposed to older members with a life full of Christian discipleship behind them.”
The residency is open to those currently in college or graduate school or have recently finished school. I had just completed two years at Asbury Seminary with one more semester left to go when I participated as Lead Resident for the program. I helped organize the events, assignments and tasks among the 10 other residents, and cultivated a sense of community within the group as we went about our busy schedules.
A key portion of this was our time spent together two mornings a week in class led by Jason. The theme for the education aspect was an overview of the Bible’s narrative and theology with a special focus on the mission of God in the Christian’s life. Teachers from the Christ Church community were also brought in on occasion as well as guest speakers from area ministries.
Aside from our activities together, each resident spent the remainder of their time in the specific area of ministry for which they were selected (youth, college, local missions). My activities came under the umbrella of Community Life–teaching, serving and learning from some of Christ Church’s most influential leaders. It was my first real taste at would it be like to serve in ministry at a church such as this one, for the residents were not treated as just guests or students, but as genuine participants in the life of the church.
So I learned a ton and had a lot of fun while I was doing it. Yet the greatest benefit of my summer in the Residency Program was the friends I made and the relationship that developed with Christ Church. I officially joined the Christ Church family last fall and was recently hired to work with the new public media wing of the church, CC Global.
The 2012 Residency launched this week and continues to the end of July. “This year’s group brings lots of experience and maturity,” Jason said. ” I can’t wait to see what God does with them this summer and beyond. Our emphasis will be on discipleship as a broad category: worldview, mission, service, relationship with God and others.”
Joseph Amagliani – Youth Intern for 9th and 10th Grade Guys: Joseph is from Memphis and has grown up at Christ Church. He’s in college at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. This is the second time that he has served as a resident. “I am excited to be back again this summer!”
Michael Bowman – Youth Intern for 11th and 12th Grade Guys: Michael is from Memphis and has grown up at Christ Church. He is a junior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “This is my second year around as an intern and I still love Batman. Oh, and I play the banjo. GO GRIZZLIES!”
Morgan Cobbs – Worship Intern: Morgan is from Virginia and is a student at Visible Music College.
Reuel Edson – Developing Ministry to Muslim College Students: Reuel is a missionary kid and grew up overseas. He’s currently applying to long-term goal medical missions in the Islamic world.
Wyatt Harris – Lead Resident/Teaching Intern/College Guys Ministry: Wyatt is from Memphis and has grown up at Christ Church. This is his second turn at the residency, having participated last summer in the College Guys Ministry. He is a 2011 Old Miss graduate and is heading to Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL in the fall to begin work on a Master of Divinity. Wyatt is an artist, currently developing his skills in painting, writing, and music. Come see some of his paintings in 342 of the Dunnam building.
Audrey Hartley – Refugee Empowerment Program Intern: Audrey is currently at Mississippi State University, and getting married September 15th. Galatians 2:20: “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”
Andrew Puccio – Worship Intern: Andrew is from North Carolina. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Modern Music Ministry at Visible Music College. “Fake it till you make it.”
Will Rolfe – Discipleship Intern at Jacob’s Well: Will is from Monroe, Louisiana. He will be a Spanish teacher at Christian Brothers High School in the fall.
Emily Russell – Children’s Ministry Intern: Emily is from Eupora, MS. Her goal this summer is to work with children and work to be all that she can be. Proverbs 4:23.
Sara Ann Sanders – Youth Intern for 11th and 12th Grade Girls: Sara Ann is from Memphis and has grown up at Christ Church. She is a rising junior at the University of Memphis studying social work and non-profit management. In her free time, she enjoys weaving baskets underwater.
Courtney Seward – Youth Intern for 7th and 8th Grade Girls: Courtney is from Memphis. Her current goal is to finish school but is unsure what is to come after that. She’s looking forward to getting to know the girls and establish great relationships with them.
Hannah Whitsitt – Youth Intern for 9th and 10th Grade Girls: Hannah is a junior at Mississippi State University, studying Philosophy with a Pre-ministry/Religion concentration. Her goal is to pursue ministry, and she likes to rock climb when she has the free time to do so.
Andrew Whyte – Youth Intern for 7th and 8th Grade Guys: Andrew is from Southhaven, MS.
Participants in the Christ College Residency Program must go through an application process. If selected, the program provides books and supplies for class, a stipend for each resident and arranges housing if needed.
For more information, view the webpage or contact Dr. Jason Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org