Pursue your sacred calling in a faith-based organization; Apply now for Sacred Sector Fellowship 2020.

Sacred Sector Fellowship equips you with skills and experience to be an emerging leader in the faith-based nonprofit sector. As a current or recently-graduated seminarian, you want to engage in innovative work in the faith-based sector and gain organizational leadership skills, but you may not know where to start. Sacred Sector helps seminarians discern their vocational calling and equips them for service inside the church and in the public square.

A few 2019 Fellows enjoying a shared dinner.

A few 2019 Fellows enjoying a shared dinner.

Fellows will be equipped with a framework for understanding how public policy and cultural trends affect faith-based organizations. Through a unique learning cohort, seminarians will facilitate organizational growth while learning to value the work faith communities are already doing. The fellowship begins with a five-day immersive learning experience to explore important topics that uniquely impact faith-based nonprofits. From there, Sacred Sector will partner each fellow with a faith-based nonprofit in the Western US where they will serve as an implementation coach over a period of nine weeks. This will allow participants to gain hands-on experience in developing and applying the skills and knowledge they have acquired. Each Fellow will receive $5000 for their participation in the ten-week program.

My main takeaway from this Fellowship was that the ability of an organization to state its mission is important, but the tougher part is an organization living out its values through policy […]. We should be asking how our policies meet the needs of the community or population served.”
— Desiree, 2019 Fellow

Application Guidelines

2020 Fellowship Program Dates: June 8, 2020 - August 14, 2020

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020

Application Submission: Submit online application and email Virginia.Creasy[AT]CPJustice.org with your most recent academic transcript, resume, and contact information for three references. References can be academic, employment or ministry related. At least one reference should be able to speak to your spiritual commitments.

You are welcome to download and share the Fellowship Overview and Fellowship Program Description.

Program Curriculum

Fellows will identify how faith-based organizations can live into their strengths and address areas that could benefit from better mission alignment. They will gain leadership skills for the faith-based nonprofit sector, and will benefit from discussion with a diverse group of peers, together considering how theology informs their work. At the end of the program, Fellows will be able to:


Engage in Public Policy: Understand how faith-based organizations can fully live out their faith-based identities by understanding public policies that impact their work on a local, state and federal level.


Adopt Organizational Best Practices: Gain the knowledge and tools necessary to equip faith-based organizations to adopt organizational best practices in every area of their organizational lives — from human resources, to fundraising, to cultivating a positive culture.  


Develop Strategic Public Positioning: Learn how to equip faith-based organizations to communicate strategically and intentionally to diverse communities about how everything they do is an expression of their faith-based missions.

Fellows will learn from the Sacred Sector Toolboxes, which take a deep-dive on topics that include religious staffing, government partnerships, positive engagement in the public square, nondiscrimination laws, advocacy and lobbying, and family-supportive workplaces. Fellows will also benefit from access to Standards for Excellence® resources, which describe how nonprofits should act to be ethical and accountable in their program operations, governance, human resources, financial management and fundraising.

Program Requirements

  • Attend a one-week intensive training (June 8-12, 2020), participate in weekly virtual sessions throughout the program, and attend final two-day capstone (August 13-14, 2020).

  • Commit 40 hours per week to Sacred Sector Fellowship (June 13-August 14, 2020); This includes on-site work hours at host site placement, completion of Sacred Sector assignments and weekly virtual sessions with Sacred Sector staff.

  • Participate in all Sacred Sector Fellowship activities.

  • Comply with program guidelines and personal conduct standards outlined in Sacred Sector Fellowship Manual.

  • Receive $5000 for participation in ten-week program.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be currently pursuing one of the following degrees, or within 2 years of degree completion: M.Div, D.Div, M.A. in Ministry, Theology, Biblical Studies, or other relevant ministry-related degrees. Preference is given to those pursuing a degree at a seminary.

  • Applicants must be located in or willing to relocate to the Western United States during the program dates (applicant’s academic institution can be located anywhere in North America).

  • High academic achievement (preference of 3.0 GPA or higher).

  • Demonstrated interest in the faith-based nonprofit sector, missional integrity, and faith-motivated practices.

  • Superior oral and written communication skills; Desire to learn; Commitment to excellence and stewardship of work.

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, asylees, or individuals who are lawfully authorized to work full-time without restriction for any U.S. employer and who, at the time of application, possess lawful evidence of employment authorization. NOTE: Individuals who are seeking OPT (Optional Practical Training) status may apply and should alert program staff to unique needs.

  • Women, people of color, applicants with disabilities, and those who identify with other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Selection Process

The selection process is competitive. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee composed of program alumni, Sacred Sector Advisory Council and Sacred Sector staff. Eligible candidates receive an invitation to interview virtually, based on the quality of their application and demonstrated interest in the faith-based nonprofit sector. Each year, 12 Fellows are accepted into the cohort.

Sacred Sector Fellowship Application

The Summer 2020 Fellowship will take place in the Western US. Each fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend. All current students and recent graduates of seminaries and divinity schools are eligible to apply. In addition to the application, please submit your resume, three references and official transcript to Virginia.Creasy[AT]CPJustice.org

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