About The Discipleship Project

In the fall semester of 2012, CTS began offering 12 scholarships for full-time, residential M.Div. students, including tuition and a $12,000 annual stipend. In addition to their regular M.Div. coursework, each year’s cohort of scholars will meet regularly with two faculty mentors, engage outstanding community leaders, and visit vibrant congregations. Read on or apply now.

Intentional community and spiritual formation

The Discipleship Project is in part a response to the renaissance of interest across the country today in both new and traditional forms of intentional community and spiritual formation. “Christian ministry is a relational, community-based adventure,” said Scott Seay, CTS faculty member and interim director of The Discipleship Project. “And so we believe the most promising education for ministry will be likewise grounded in community life: concrete acts of love and justice on the one hand, and holistic formation through challenging spiritual practices – prayer, worship, scriptural study, and so on – on the other.”

But if the biblical and formational dimensions of the new program are fundamental to its design, so is its financial dimension. “We aim to recruit the most promising students in the country, and we don’t want financial means or student debt to hinder them as they follow God’s call,” said Boulton. “Again, our inspiration here is the early Christian movement: we want to help build a local and global network of excellence in ministry, all for the sake of God’s emerging realm of love and justice – what Jesus called ‘the kingdom of God.’”

Which degree programs are eligible?

For the program's initial phase, M.Div. degree applicants are eligible to participate. However, one of the key questions the CTS faculty will be exploring over the months and semesters ahead is whether the program can eventually be expanded to include other degree programs as well.

What is included in a Discipleship Project scholarship?

A Discipleship Project scholarship includes tuition; a stipend ($12K) for use on housing, books, and other living expenses; and participation in the experiential pedagogy outlined above. Each cohort of up to twelve scholars will meet as a group regularly with two faculty mentors, building relationships with colleagues that will last a lifetime—and meeting with community leaders, virtuoso practitioners, and other invited guests. Along the way, each cohort will collaboratively design a “rule of life”: a challenging set of spiritual practices, selected by the cohort itself with guidance from their faculty mentors, for engaging their ongoing process of spiritual formation. Once per semester, the cohort and mentors will go on an intensive, immersive site visit to a vibrant, excellent congregation: meeting with pastoral and lay leadership, attending worship and staff meetings, experiencing community ministries, and so on. And what’s more, for the two years following graduation, CTS will support the cohort in staying connected through online networks and periodic reunions.

First twelve TDPers launch new program at CTS

Mar 15, 2013 | The Discipleship Project


The first go at any new project is usually somewhat experimental. The first cohort selected for Christian Theological Seminary’s new Discipleship Project (they call themselves TDPers) is embracing the opportunity to test the project’s goals of community building and spiritual formation. 

The Discipleship Project offers 12 full-tuition scholarships plus stipend to 12 full-time residential M.Div. students. In addition to completing the M.Div. curriculum, the students meet with faculty mentors Profs. Bill Kincaid and Wilma Bailey, as well as local church and community leaders for an immersive experience in academic preparation, spiritual formation, community outreach, and church ministry.

At their gathering retreat in August 2012 at St. Meinrad’s center in southern Indiana, the TDPers covenanted to share spiritual disciplines, meet weekly, and support each other in their seminary studies. Additionally, the students engage seminary-wide activities and foster a rich community life throughout the school. The group is learning as they go about building trust, accountability, respecting each other’s traditions and backgrounds, and growing into a faithful expression of the body of Christ.

The students selected as the first cohort include Annettia Brookes-Rankin, Baptist, from Indiana; Daniel Dempsey, UCC, from Indiana; Elizabeth Diop, Disciples, from Kentucky; Michael Dodds, Disciples, from Indiana; Claressa Ford, Non-denominational, from Indiana; Sarah Frische-Mouri, UCC, from Indiana; Nick Green, Disciples, from Idaho; Eddie Journey, Baptist, from Indiana; Maggie May, Disciples, from North Carolina; Paula Niebert, Disciples, from Indiana; Faith Peterson, Non-denominational, from Georgia; and Derrick Williams, Missionary Baptist, from Indiana.

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