equipping recent college grads to launch into life and career following Jesus
Hope Fellows is a leadership program that pulls together recent college graduates in community to equip them for fruitful, Jesus-centered mission in all of their life. Fellows participate in an intentional 9-month journey that gives them spiritual and practical training to integrate their faith into their work, family, church, and culture.
Hope Fellows is a proud partner of the Fellows Initiative and is one of many Fellows Programs located throughout the United States.
"Fellow" is a title, borrowed from a segment of our culture, used to describe a select group of learned people, male or female, who are awarded the opportunity to work together as peers in the pursuit of special knowledge or practice. Some of our world’s most prestigious universities, like Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin have fellows programs. Hospitals have fellows. Businesses (IBM, Ford, Microsoft, Kellogs,) have fellows. The Supreme Court has a fellows program. Believe it or not, so does the White House.
In most cases, to be a Fellow is an honor. It is a special invitation to be part of a community, or fellowship, that is discovering new things and receiving special privileges. It is fitting that society’s most valuable institution, the Church, would have a Fellows program. The next generation needs a unique opportunity to discover Jesus and His call to live for the Glory of God in all things.
In a roundabout way, Jesus had a group of Fellows. But, he called them disciples; twelve people who were invited in on a special journey of discovery. This journey equipped and prepared them to live faithfully in all aspects of life. Our Fellows program aims to do the same.
Hope Fellows is a ministry of Hope Church in Mason, OH. This is the simple rationale behind attaching "Hope" to the Fellows name.
Although all Fellows Programs hold much in common, each program tends to have a unique DNA and guiding set of values. This DNA is often influenced by the location of the program, the passion and gifting of the program's leadership, or a specific target group the program is attempting to benefit.
We are hopeful that Hope Fellows is set up to equip and appeal to students from all walks of life with various callings, backgrounds, interests, and experiences. While we believe our program can meet anyone wherever they are at, we also foresee that our location and leadership will tend to attract graduates who are:
Business minded: Cincinnati is home to at least 10 fortune 500 companies. We are a prime location for those interested in pursuing a career in finance, marketing, consulting, sales, etc.
Family oriented: Cincinnati is a family city. Our Church is a family church. Both are not the ideal place for someone who plans to be a single professional for most or all of their life. Our program will most likely appeal to someone who sees marriage and parenting somewhere around the corner.
Relational: We are convinced that relationship, both to God & one another, matters most. We are people oriented and place deep value on intimate community. We appeal to those looking to really do life with others.
Missional: We embrace that our primary calling is to be agents of God's mission to the world. We are justice focused, kingdom oriented, and painfully aware that to be a Christian is to be a person of action. Those with a similar conviction will find themselves at home with us.
In addition to leading the Hope Fellows Program, Brian currently serves as a Pastor at Hope Church in Mason, OH. In this role, he oversees the staff team that shepherds the student ministry, serves on Hope’s leadership team, and preaches/teaches on a consistent basis. Brian graduated from Liberty University with a B.S in Religion. He is a proud husband and father of two beautiful girls. You will find in Brian a rare combination of passion for theology, the Church, and the arts. Some of Brian's favorite things are reading, skiing, making music, fantasy football, anything with buttons, hiking & camping. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon’s core passions are to love God and people and to see a world reached with the love of Jesus. This has taken him to students, executives, diplomats, politicians and athletes in countries like Canada, Kenya and South Africa. His focus has always been on empowering local leaders to lead. He presently works with Athletes In Action serving on the Global Leadership Council and as coordinator for Southern and Eastern Africa. He is involved in Hope Church as an elder and teaches in various Hope communities. He is married with four children. He enjoys spending significant time with his family, travel, reading, engaging in meaningful and lively discussions, sports, and music. Contact Gordon at email@example.com
Stephen is the senior shepherd of Hope Church and the one who initially broadcast the vision for Hope to host a Fellows Program. His former years as a Fellows Director served to convince him that Fellows is hugely profitable not only for the Fellows, but also for the hosting Church and ultimately for the Kingdom of God. Stephen received a B.A in religion from Grove City College a MDiv & ThM in Biblical Theology from Gordon-Conwell Seminary. He is passionate about teaching the Scriptures in a way that is transformative and engaging. Stephen teaches a course to the Fellows called "Toward a Biblical Theology." He is married and has seven kids. If he actually had free time, he would probably use it to golf or read. Contact Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope Church is a gathering of sinners rescued by God’s pursuing love; growing to love God, one another, and anyone who comes across our path. Hope's vision is to make disciples who are growing stronger in their devotion to God, closer in their love for one another, and further in their passion for the world. Hope Church is a member of the Evangelical Free Church of America. Check out Hope Church at www.hope-church.org.
Cincinnati is a fun, vibrant, family oriented city built upon a legacy of solid business. Named as one of 10 ‘best value’ cities for 2011, Cincinnati offers small town-affordability with big-city amenities. The Queen City is home to at least 10 fortune 500 companies and has plenty of opportunities for people in all walks of life. Nestled in the heart of America, Cincinnati is a colliding spot between the north, south, west, and the east. Therefore, it is a refreshing melting pot of cultures and people.
The Fellows Initiative (TFI) provides support to existing Fellows Programs and helps new programs to begin and flourish. Our goal is to establish excellent Fellows Programs, inspiring young postgraduate students all over the United States to live whole, Christ-centered lives. TFI is committed to fostering and encouraging locally run Fellows Programs that prepare tomorrow’s leaders to live faithfully and to be thoughtful agents of God’s goodness, beauty and truth in the Church and the world by:
Fellows programs are concerned with cultivating a person who is on a lifelong journey to live faithfully in the Church and in the world. Visit the Fellows Initiative website at www.thefellowsinitiative.com.
There is a never spoken lie that germinates in the hearts of most Christ followers. The subtle lie is this: when it comes to life, certain things matter to God more than others. This lie is often, unknowingly, affirmed by the way we think about, talk, practice, and live the Christian faith. This lie creates detrimental separations in the life of God’s people. We begin to believe that particular pursuits and deeply ingrained dreams are sub-par to God’s agenda. So we think, a real calling to ministry means we become pastors or missionaries; but, never businessmen or women. Or, that God cares more about what we do with our Sunday morning than how we spent our Friday night. Or, that giving 10% of our income to the Church means we can spend the other 90% however we want. These separations occur all over the place in art, work, relationships, ministry, medicine, recreation, etc.
Hope Fellows exists to raise high the banner that all of life matters to God. The Lord is extremely concerned about every nook & cranny of our lives and He is longing for every piece of us to be reconciled to Him. It is no easy task to live a holistic life that breaks down separations. It truly is a new way of being human. Hope Fellows is a discipleship initiative that attempts to steer young leaders into the world equipped with this new way of thinking, living, and being.
Hope Fellows emphasizes the sacredness of all work and believes that God has called each of us to serve him and our community through the vocations He has given us. Our heart is to hone within Fellows valuable skills for a future in the marketplace. Our program accomplishes this through:
Paid Internships: Our goal is for each fellow to participate in a 25 hour a week paid internship related to or within their desired vocational field. These internships take place in businesses and organizations in the city of Cincinnati. Hope Fellows is responsible for lining up these internships.
Hope Fellows witness the beauty behind a faithful marriage and discover the messy art of parenting. They learn that family is one of God’s primary metaphors for helping us understand His relationship to His people. Our program accomplishes this through:
Host Families: Fellows live in a host home alongside a family that is growing together in Christ. Here they witness and discover the beauty and brokenness that happens in the life of a family that is attempting to pursue Jesus.
Fellows are thrust into an experience where they grow together with a small group of peers. They unpack what it really means to “do life together”. Community is cultivated in our program through:
A Shared Journey: Fellows accomplish a sense of "communitas" as they join together in a similar mission of living for Christ in all things. The shared experience cultivates a deep sense of belonging in participants.
Life Together: A weekly time of connecting in the Mease home (Director of Hope Fellows). During the evening, Fellows prepare a meal to share with one another. Following the meal, Fellows share a time of laughter, prayer, play, and conversation.
Meaningful Experiences: The 9 month journey begins with a week-long adventure trip together. From here, Fellows go on to minister & serve together. They attend conferences together. They go on meaningful retreats. They attend classes. They laugh, cry, fight, celebrate, and share life with one another.
Fellows learn that the future of the Church relies not upon programs or structure, but upon our faithfulness to bring others up in the faith. Hope Fellows emphasizes the necessity of both being poured into and pouring into others. We accomplish this in our program through:
One On One Mentoring: Every Fellow is partnered with a personal mentor. This mentor meets consistently with the Fellow to encourage, challenge, and train them.
Student Ministry: Every Fellow is assigned a small group of students that they invest in for 9 months. Fellows discover the joys and challenges that come with raising up the future generation in Christ.
Families, businesses, churches, and cultures live or die on the backs of leaders. Hope Fellows is passionate about raising up a future generation of Godly, influential, and competent leaders. The entirety of our program aims at cultivating the leader within. One primary place this is accomplished is:
Round Table: Fellows sit down weekly to share a meal with influential leaders from Cincinnati and beyond. The time of listening, questioning, and discussing provides invaluable wisdom on leadership and life.
We are convinced that the Bible is absolutely necessary for framing the way we view and interact with the world. We have a deep conviction to teach the Scriptures in such a way that they make sense of life. The Bible informs all of what we do. One of the primary places this is stressed is:
Seminary: All Fellows take 2 accredited Seminary level classes through Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. These courses are taught by professors distinctly for Fellows. There is one course per semester. We are currently offering:
We embrace that our primary calling is to be agents of God’s mission to the world. We are justice focused, kingdom oriented, and painfully aware that to be a Christian is to be a person of action. One primary way we emphasize this is through:
Monthly Service: Fellows regularly participate in projects that serve the people of Cincinnati. We show up at food pantries, nursing homes, schools, homes, etc.
Fellows participate in the local church, learning that it is the embodiment and expression of the Gospel. The local church is the foundation of the Christian faith (the bride of Christ) and as such it provides the physical and spiritual sustenance for the individual and the communal Christian Life.
Fellows discover the beauty and challenges of the local church by fully participating in the life of Hope Church. They attend worship gatherings, cultivate meaningful relationships, and serve throughout the church.
I grew up in Greenville, SC and am the youngest of three siblings. I graduated from Clemson University in 2010 with a degree in History. I hope to attend medical school in the summer of 2013 to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and one day start a PT clinic of my own. I enjoy reading, watching movies, exercising, and anything involving sports. I joined the Hope Fellows to intentionally invest nine months towards growing both in my faith and as a person while being mentored and gaining experience in my intended career field. I am excited to meet new people in Cincinnati and experience living in the Midwest!
My name is Wesley Mills and I was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. This past May I graduated from the University of Tennessee majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media.
The next few years of my life will be crucial to me figuring out where God wants me to be. I’ve always loved writing and communicating with other people. Whether I use those skills in some sort of public ministry avenue, or a secular vocational job long term is still up in the air. I’m excited that Hope Fellows has come alongside me to provide some counsel as well as help bridge the gap from college to post-college years. I am thankful for their ministry and pumped to play a part. Hope Fellows caught my attention back in the spring when I talked to Brian Mease over the phone and heard his heartbeat and the heartbeat of the overall Initiative.
I have been privileged to grow up in a godly home with parents who have instilled biblical principles into me and siblings who have always been supportive and encouraging of me. I have two younger siblings: Alex, who’s about to start at UT, and Laura who’s about to start high school.
While at the University of Tennessee, I was big into sports. I played intramurals and I used my journalism experience to cover sports. Athletics is certainly a passion of mine and something that I see myself somehow involved with for the rest of my life.
Besides sports in general, I love all things Boy MeetsWorld, boating, and sweet tea.
I was raised in a Christian home with one younger brother, in a little town about 35 minutes off the coast of Maine. Although my family moved to North Carolina a few years ago, Maine, with its calming ocean, vibrant green landscapes, and many of my friends and extended family, still feels like home.
In May I graduated from Cedarville University with a B.A. in Pre-Seminary Bible. I spent only two years at Cedarville, transferring from High Point University after my freshman year and completing my degree a year early; however, CU has been a place where I’ve grown tremendously and been greatly blessed. I’ve developed some of my deepest friendships there.
Right now, I’m excited about the Fellows program so that I can spend a year intentionally building relationships, being in Ohio, and getting a feel for what kind of work I want to do. I think Fellows will provide nine months of intentionally answering this question: how can I do something with my life that is significant for furthering God’s saving purposes in the world?
I love reading anything by C.S. Lewis, writing essays, studying theology, hiking, seeing the ocean, and playing with small children.
I recently graduated from Cedarville with a degree in Sociology and History. Being a fellow will help me transition into the next phase of my life with support and counsel from those who care about my success as an individual and as a follower of Christ. It is an opportunity to intentionally invest 9 months of my life, time that I can spend gaining valuable work experience and growing in my faith. I believe I will leave the Fellows program with a better understanding of how God has equipped me to serve him in my career and in my life. I was born and raised in Rochester, New York, where I enjoy the simple pleasures of freshly picked apples and lake effect snow. I am the youngest of three children. In my free time, I enjoy tennis, running, card games, the outdoors, and ice cream.
I grew up in the countries of Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia. Being a part of a missionary family and living amongst a variety of cultures has impressed me with a lasting appreciation for travel, languages and learning from different perspectives. I am the oldest of five and I am so thankful that my relationships with my family members are some of the best friendships I have. I am a graduate of Grove City College with a degree in Communication Studies. I am excited to be a part of the Hope Fellows program for the support and training it provides in numerous areas of life. I want to be a well-rounded, balanced person and I expect this program to help me grow in my work, faith, and character.
I am a native Ohioan but a Texan at heart. Born in 1991 to Michael and Tina Link in Cincinnati, I am two years younger than my sister, Victoria. I am excited to return to Cincinnati after living in Fort Worth, Texas for the last 9 years. I attended the University of Texas at Arlington where I briefly studied Architecture and graduated with a BBA in Finance. I am a brother of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity which I credit for my love of sand volleyball and my development as a leader. I hope the Fellows program will be a season of growth where God will provide vocational direction. I’m very excited to be plugged into a group of peers who are focused on Christ’s mercy and grace.
My hometown is St. Louis, Missouri. I grew up around a family business because my grandfather owned 13 roller skating rinks. I grew up helping my dad at one of the skating rinks that he managed. While there I learned about discipline, honesty, and how to interact with people. This great experience prompted me to attend Coastal Carolina University, where I graduated with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. I became a Hope Fellow because I appreciate the values of the program: discipleship, mentoring, leadership, and community. Along with growing up in a skating rink, I put on my first pair of roller skates at just 16 months old. Needless to say, I am a skilled roller skater. In my free time, among other things, I love to golf.
I remember reading years ago about the protestant reformers and their emphasis on vocational ministry. Since then, I've been interested in how I can bring the gospel to work and how I can glorify God through my work. I believe Hope Fellows will push me in that direction. I am thankful God has directed me to the program. I especially look forward to the seminary classes. I was born in Augusta, Georgia. I have an older half-sister. She's married and has two sons. And I have a younger brother who is a Corporal in the US Marine Corps. My mom still lives in Huntsville. In the future, I would like to go to graduate school to get a Masters or PhD. in Optical Engineering or Material Sciences. I enjoy fly-fishing, hiking, reading, and tennis.
Born and raised in upstate New York most of my life, I am the oldest of 4 children. My studies in economics have sparked an interest in the world of financial investments. My current goal is to immerse myself in what is known as Value Investing and learn as much as possible. I am the type of person that deeply desires to know “why” or “how” things work. From the smallest things in life, to the most complex, I have always looked to find Truth. I believe that I have found that Truth in Jesus Christ and therefore strive to live by only two simple statements. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore, in all my interests, whether I am playing sports, hiking, cycling, kayaking, or even reading sci-fi literature, I desire to do it all to the glory of God. In regards to Hope Fellows, I am most looking forward to being where I know I am supposed to be.
We are now accepting applications for the 2015 Class of Hope Fellows, which begins in August of 2014. We plan to have 8 – 10 men and women join us for this year's journey. The program does have a rolling admissions process, but applications received on or before January 1, 2014 will receive priority. We will fill up to 8 positions on a first come, first serve basis. We will accept applications until all positions are filled. Potential Fellows should meet the following requirements (some exceptions may apply):
Download the application below and submit it as soon as possible. The program has a rolling admissions policy and applications are considered on a first come, first serve basis. After we receive your application, Brian, will be in touch regarding next steps. Should you have any questions about the application process, or anything else regarding Hope Fellows, please contact Brian.
The primary reason a college graduate should participate in Hope Fellows is to be equipped for fruitful mission in all of life. But, here are some other reasons we highly suggest the Hope Fellows program to tomorrow’s leaders:
Gain work experience: Many college graduates find the assimilation into the workforce to be a very frustrating experience. Employers seem to want someone with “more experience.” Applicants are left wondering how you gain experience without ever getting opportunity. Fellows programs offer participants the opportunity to work 25 hours a week in their desired vocational field. This gives them needed experience in their field and a healthy foot in the door of the marketplace.
Prepare for life outside of college: College tends to prepare students for work. But, it does little to prepare them for life, particularly a life of honoring Christ. Many college graduates are ill equipped to deal with the challenges that come from relationships, finances, family, and culture. Fellows programs aim to help college graduates make a healthy transition into the next season of life. We try to draw a clear target for how to live a life that honors God in everything. Fellow’s graduates are sent into the world, well ahead of many of their peers, with a sense of purpose and clarity.
Wrestle with calling: Statistics show that a large percentage of college graduates are unsure of the trajectory of their lives. Many graduate with a particular degree but are unsure if they want to pursue that vocation professionally. Others are exploring if they want to proceed with further education. Fellows programs provide participants with an environment that is ideal for discerning and clarifying their future direction.
Be immersed in the life of a local Church: They say this about the upcoming generation: “They love Jesus, but not the Church.” Many young adults have little to no experience with a local church. If they do have some experience, it has typically left them a bit jaded and confused. The next generation needs to capture a more robust view of what the local Church can be. Hope Fellows is an opportunity to experience a local body of Christ in all of its beauty and pain.
Practice deep community: We were created to live life in deep community with others. However, relationships can get really messy. Many people graduate college already frustrated by the hardships that come from relating with others. Adulthood often compounds the challenges. Hope Fellows are given the training and experiences that are necessary to launch young adults into a life of relating healthily with others.
Discover family: At least half of all college students have come from broken homes. This means an entire generation is growing up with a limited understanding of what healthy marriage and parenting look like. Fellows are adopted into a Christ-exalting family for a 9-month period of time. This provides them with an incredible opportunity to learn the joys and hardships of honoring God in a family.
Hope Fellows has an estimated yearly cost of $6500 per participant. This yearly fee includes the cost of programing, seminary classes, trips, conferences, books, and housing. The living expenses of each fellow are further offset through income earned from their internships. It is possible for a Fellow to raise support to cover their tuition costs. A significant practical benefit is that fellows are classified as full time students and may be able to defer student loans and retain dependent health insurance status. Each fellow is responsible for his/her own transportation, auto & health insurance.
Hope Fellows is proud to partner with local companies in an effort to raise up a future generation of business leaders. We are currently seeking business partners to hire Hope Fellows for a 25 hour a week paid internship. In return, you will receive high quality, hard-working, & committed employees who will work to benefit your business. If you are a business leader and are interested in partnering with Hope Fellows, please contact Paul Carpenter (paul@theNTRgroup.com).
We would love to talk further with you regarding Hope Fellows.
For immediate assistance regarding Hope Fellows, you can reach our Director:
513-459-0800 ext. 319