Where will the next generation of Radical Christian leaders and community theologians come from and how we will make sure that—as God calls them—we encourage and equip them?
At UTU we think that a Summer Internship may be part of the answer.
When I was seventeen I was fortunate to spend five months in India with Oasis Trust. I had to raise a significant amount of money to do this and by the time of the training I still had not met my target. As the training started I heard wonderful stories from the other recruits of how they had prayed in faith and God had given them the money with great ease.
The costs were real and needed to be met but the challenge of how we help those less able to pay remains vital. This time with Oasis completely changed my life and made me the activist and theologian I try to be today.
How many other young people over the years have nearly taken a year out for their discipleship but could not quite afford this life-changing opportunity, I wonder?
We are grateful in the UK for our radical community theologians, such as Kenneth Leach, Barbara Glasson, and Ann Morisy, and John Vincent but are we watching out for who else God might be calling into to bring our urban theology and ministry to new depths?
UTU, based in Sheffield, has been pioneering community ministry training and contextual urban theology for nearly fifty years.
From 1972 to 1998 we trained around 200 community theologians who received a Diploma in Theology and Mission through our Study Year.
Founded by John Vincent, UTU is a member-led organization of nearly 200 leaders in urban ministry. While some of these are emerging leaders many have decades of experience of urban ministry and theological reflection to offer a new generation.
Our new Summer Internship will see an annual team of 18-30 year-olds spending half the week at UTU and half the week in placement on an integrated programme of reflection and action.
Each week of the programme will begin with skills-based seminars and the interns will go on to a tightly pre-organized programme on placement for the second part of the week.
Interns will learn how to organize, how to lead, how to think theological—how to be a disciple in an urban context.
See our Summer Internship page to find out how you can support this important initiative.
We think it’s important to prioritise equipping young people from estate and city-centre neighbourhoods and will prioritise applicants who have the wisdom that comes with direct and personal experience of economic struggle.
This means we need to set up a generous fund that will subsidise those least able to pay.
If you also believe that God is not done with our urban communities and is in fact speaking to and through our ex-mining towns, our city tower-block households, and our estate neighbourhoods then please give generously to our fund to make more opportunities available to those who have so much wisdom in their struggle that the Church needs to here.
UTU will launch it’s first cohort in June 2018—just a few months away—so prayerfully consider and act today.