How might Christians who are committed to the renewal of Greenville invest in the next generation?
How can we best impact our city’s culture and marketplace with the fullness of the Gospel?
In the summer of 2018, Leaf Institute was founded to create a new space for arts education, vocational learning and cultural events for the community of Greenville, South Carolina. After nine months of workshops and events, we have received feedback and confirmation that our city is in a unique place to benefit from thoughtful integration of faith and work.
One of the best ways we can make an impact in Greenville’s future is to cultivate leaders across the full range of vocational sectors. Beginning this fall, we are partnering with the Gotham Fellowship to provide an intensive, top tier training program in theological, spiritual and relational formation. Founded ten years ago by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, the Gotham program has invested in hundreds of early and mid-career leaders in New York, and is being launched in city contexts around the country, and globally around the world.
Our local expression of the Gotham program will be called Leaf Fellowship, taking a uniquely Greenville-focused perspective, with intentional connecting points to our city’s history, place and culture. Leaf Fellowship integrates three primary elements to further the social, cultural and spiritual renewal of our city:
At the core of our program is the commitment to consider how the gospel impacts every area of life. We develop a worldview that draws from the deep resources of classic theology, especially of the Reformed tradition, and is sufficiently robust to engage the questions that arise in a city like Greenville.
SPIRITUAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Leaf Fellowship fosters personal, spiritual, and professional development through daily devotions and relationships with local pastoral leaders and mentors.
Our fellows are a community of peers, from diverse backgrounds and vocations, who are committed to each others’ spiritual growth and calling to serve the common good of the city.
Program Details & Commitment
The Leaf Fellowship is a nine-month program (similar to an executive education program) for up to 34 adults who are employed full-time in Upstate South Carolina and have at least two years of working experience. Our typical class will comprise 50% men and 50% women working in fields including, but not limited to, law, finance, education, government, non-profit, design, medicine, and the arts.
The Fellowship begins in early September 2019 and finishes in May 2020. During these nine months, the Fellows meet two hours a week to discuss the extensive weekly reading of major texts from various eras of church history. Daily devotionals unite the group through guided scriptural and devotional readings. Monthly Saturday gatherings provide in-depth training, local guest speakers, and city excursions. Three retreats (fall, winter, and spring) focus on personal reflection and spiritual formation.
The Fellows tuition fee of $1,800 helps offset program expenses. Financial aid is available for applicants who are members of sponsoring churches (listed below) and applications for financial aid will be sent out after final acceptance letters are sent.
We are seeking donors who can enable us to provide financial aid, as needed. Applications will be accepted in the spring for cohorts beginning the following September. Fellows will be selected by an admissions committee from applicants who best demonstrate 1) commitment to the common good of Greenville, 2) spiritual maturity, and 3) ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the Program.
The $1,800 tuition for the program may be paid on an installment plan over the course of 12 months. Further payment details will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
Tuition covers the following:
Nine months of weekly class teachings
Three overnight retreats including lodging and some meals
Six Leaf Fellowship texts
Online access to a Pathwright learning portal
A Greenville food tour, history tour and other city excursions
Weekly coffee and snacks
Tuition does not include paperback or electronic books, which are purchased independently by each participant.
Join us for an upcoming informational meeting about Leaf Fellowship. Please register for one of the times below.
Our fellows will read from a wide range of classic theological books and chapter excerpts, as well as daily devotionals that encouarge prayerful reflection and growth in the gospel. We begin with summer pre-reading, including Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller & Katherine Leary Alsdorf. Throughout the program we move through the themes of Heart Renewal, Community Renewal, and Cultural Renewal, with readings from Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Leslie Newbigin, Albert Wolters, Vincent Bacote, Andy Crouch, and Abraham Kuyper, among others.
Each week Fellows will join one of two cohorts to discuss the week’s reading, share personal and professional updates, questions and struggles, and pray together. These weekly discussions last for two hours each, with about half of the time set aside for book discussion. Throughout the year, we will also take on several special projects: The Self-Counseling Project, The Redemptive Feedback Project, and The Cultural Renewal Project. Our plan is to offer two cohort meeting times: Fridays 7:15am–9:15am & Sundays 4pm–6pm. If neither of these times are possible, but you are still interested in joining the program, please let us know.
Once per month we will meet for 4-5 hours on a Saturday morning or afternoon to focus on one aspect of vocation or local culture. These may include history and food tours of Greenville, guest speakers from our city’s leadership, a special career and goal-setting workshop, visits to local art and history museums, and field trips to notable businesses. At least one weekend event will include an evening musical performance at Leaf Institute that will be free to Leaf Fellows and ticketed to the general public.
Leaf Fellowship kicks off with a weekend retreat in September, with one overnight stay within a short drive of Greenville. In January, we will begin the second half of the program with a weekend retreat at another location, and in May we will close out the year with a final retreat. The price of all three retreats (aside from some incidental meals) are covered within the tuition costs.
Grace & Peace Presbyterian Church
Downtown Presbyterian Church
The Village Church Anglican
Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church
Benefits to the Fellows
Increased gospel worldview depth and sustainability
Developing a defined sense of mission for early career and beyond
Career advice and counseling from successful leaders in their field
Developing a strategy for cultural renewal
Opportunity to learn from experienced christian leaders
Exposure to the arts, cultural events, mercy/justice outreach
Relationships with instructors, mentors, and speakers