Baptist Center’s Heritage Fellows provide hope for tomorrow
(NOTE: APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 15)
(NOTE: OPPORTUNITY FOR BAPTIST COLLEGE STUDENTS - SEE FULL RULES)
Sometimes in Baptist life we ask the question, “Who will lead Baptists tomorrow?” It is the question driving the Heritage Fellows program of the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies.
The Heritage Fellows program was created to provide college sophomores and juniors with opportunities to learn about Baptist heritage, to meet outstanding Baptist leaders and to contribute to Baptist thought on a particular Baptist principle.
The process begins with each applicant completing an application of general information (name, address, school, major, etc.) but also answering questions like, “What would be lost if there were no Baptists?” or “What is the most important Baptist principle to you?” Once the applications are received, a selection committee reads and considers each one, and selects the Heritage Fellows for the new year.
Heritage Fellows attend a workshop in May where they meet Baptist historians, tour the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and talk with current Baptist leaders. During the retreat, the Fellows are introduced to the research topic and provide input as to the best approach for conducting the research. To help understand more about the topic, the Fellows meet with professionals serving in that area of Baptist life. By the end of the workshop, the Fellows are given their assignments and are on their own to research the topic.
Across the years, the Heritage Fellows have examined the following topics: Social Ministry; Missions Delivery; Baptist Polity or Church Governance; Christian Stewardship; Worship Styles; Partnership Missions; Compassionate Ministries; and Ethnic Diversity. Their papers have been published in booklets. The 2012 Heritage Fellows interviewed Baptists who have been engaged in "partnership missions" around the world and the results of their interviews was included in a new book on the history of partnership missions among Virginia Baptists. The Heritage Fellow for 2012-13 transcribed Civil War period sermons which have been published in a new book entitled Powerful Preachers available through the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The class of 2013-14 interviewed persons who have started new churches and gathered information on what is involved in new church starts. Their papers have been published in the current journal of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The present class of 2014-15 consists of one Fellow who is working on the history, present and possible futures of Baptist campus ministry in Virginia.
Heritage Fellows are awarded stipends of $3,000. They are recognized as members of the emerging generation to lead Baptists. And in the process they make their own contribution to understanding Baptist heritage and identity.
Heritage Fellows need to be Baptists in Virginia, students at a college or university in Virginia with an active Baptist collegiate ministry sponsored by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, active in a faith community, and exceptional students who are making a 3.0 grade average. They must be college sophomores or juniors for the academic term in which they will serve; therefore, a freshman may apply as long as he or she will be a sophomore in the new academic year beginning in the fall and a sophomore can apply for their sophomore or junior year. Heritage Fellows may be considered for a second year of appointment.
Since the program began, some 25 Heritage Fellows have been appointed from the following colleges and universities in Virginia: University of Richmond, Bluefield College, University of Virginia, Longwood University, College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, Lynchburg College, University of Mary Washington and Radford University. Ask your Baptist collegiate minister for further information or contact Fred Anderson at the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies at the University of Richmond (804)289-8434.