What is the Battle Fellows Program?
The NC Study Center’s Battle Fellows Program offers: 1) biblical and theological education, 2) 1-on-1 mentorship, 3) intentional community, and 4) formational experiences to students at a public university where few resources and incentives exist to help Christian students pursue their academic studies and future callings in light of the gospel.
Fellows meet every other Tuesday evening from 5:15 to 7 p.m. during the fall and spring. Following a family-style meal prepared by wonderful Study Center volunteers, there is a time of teaching (by Study Center staff and visiting seminary professors) and reading review. Fellows then split up into their cohorts – set groups of up to 12 – for further discussion.
Scriptural and theological education
Meals and community
Faith-based vocational mentoring and academic advising
Access to research/mentorship awards
1. Scriptural and theological education
"The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home."
– St. Augustine of Hippo
Fellows will take a course together (Scripture 101: The Good Story) which will be led by staff and visiting seminary professors. This is the core of the Battle Fellows program and is designed to be similar to an introductory Bible course at a Christian college or seminary. It will provide deep immersion in Scripture as we trace the arc of the biblical story from creation in Genesis all the way to new creation in Revelation. You will consider how all parts of Scripture are connected to one another in the unfolding of God’s purposes and you will explore how your own purpose in life is found in God’s larger plans for the world. As we seek to understand God’s story and our specific place in it, we’ll give special attention to what this means for how we live now as students.
Over the year, fellows are strongly encouraged to follow a daily Bible reading plan together. Fellows will also complete short readings in advance of the dinner discussions from The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story by Dr. Craig Bartholomew and Dr. Craig Goheen. This book is a classic and is used in many introductory Bible courses at both Christian colleges and seminaries.
2. Meals and community
“Through our daily meals He is calling us to rejoice, to keep holiday in the midst of our working day.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
Dinners provide a time for intentional conversation with friends on topics that matter: life, Scripture, culture, the joys and pressures of college, etc. As you enjoy a home cooked meal together, you’ll discuss these topics and short readings with Study Center staff, local pastors, and visiting Christian scholars.
These dinner discussions and the Drama of Scripture readings will offer a foundation in the best of what the Christian tradition—the Bible, the early church fathers, and contemporary Christian writers–says about what it means to follow Christ with our whole lives.
Battle Fellows is a community of students who are passionate about living out their Christian faith in all areas of life. It provides an opportunity to develop close friendships with other UNC students from different denominations and backgrounds. The Battle Fellows Program is different than belonging to a campus ministry or fellowship group (which we encourage fellows to also pursue). This program is intended to equip you with biblical wisdom, theological tools, and opportunities for discernment that will serve you in all of your commitments at UNC, including your membership in a campus ministry.
3. Faith-based vocational mentoring and academic advising
"The hope is to equip people to distinctively work for God’s glory in whatever context God has called us to.,,I think God wants us out there because he has a picture of what our society could be and should be that is so much more glorious than what we experience on a day to day basis."
– Katharine Leary Alsdorf, Co-Author of the book Every Good Endeavor with Tim Keller
Each fellow will meet at least twice each semester with a staff member or a trusted friend of the Study Center for one-on-one mentorship. These meetings are designed to help you discern where and what God is calling you to in life, as well as to advise you on vocational decisions, class registration, internships, unique travel and scholarship opportunities, and to connect you with Christian resources in your field.
4. Access to research and mentorship awards
"The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, and beautiful."
– Francis Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
We know firsthand how difficult it can be for your studies and your faith to be aligned with one another. That’s why in addition to the many benefits of the program, each year we offer annual research and academic travel awards. As a fellow, you can apply for these awards to support research, attending a conference at the intersection of faith and your studies, etc. –up to $300 per year. Email email@example.com for more details.
Taking into account the meals, the visiting scholars brought in, the books gifted to each Fellow, etc. our investment in this program is significant. Thanks to the generosity of Study Center supporters, we’re very glad to be able to offer this program at no cost to up to 24 students each year. Space is limited due to space/food/mentor limits, so apply soon!
Our hope is for the Battle Fellows program to build momentum and to continue in 2019-2020 and beyond. In other words, we hope to offer a follow-up group for this year's Fellows in 2019-2020 that builds on the community and content from this year while focusing on another core theme. As the program grows, we hope to develop a structured curriculum that mirrors, in some small way, the type of education available at a Christian college.
To apply for the Battle Fellows Program, you must be:
A UNC student (undergraduate or graduate), in any field or discipline, during the 2018-19 academic year.
Committed to spiritual growth and participation in Christian community.
Committed to fully participate in all fellows events each semester, including: regular (every other Tuesday) cohort dinner discussions on Tuesday evenings, meeting at least once-per-semester with a Study Center staff member for mentorship and occasional other fellows service and/or social events.
If you have questions or want to discuss the fellows program further,
please contact Matt Hoehn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 488-6749.