Discipleship Year

One of The Festival Center‘s core programs, Discipleship Year is a year-long residential experience that actively engages volunteers with issues of social justice and servant leadership.

Volunteers will: 

  • live in intentional community in a Christian setting
  • enter into theological study and reflection through classes at the Servant Leadership School
  • work in one of the Church of the Saviour ministries or a similar organization

Work for Compassion and Justice

Discipleship Year places participants with organizations that have the pursuit of a more compassionate and just world at the core of their mission. A number of our placements provide direct service to low-income individuals and families, addressing inequities related to housing, health, education, and experiences of incarceration. Other placements focus on the ways that advocacy and organizing efforts can respond to issues such as global poverty and climate change. 

Classes at the Servant Leadership School

The classes at the Servant Leadership School provide a unique opportunity to integrate faith and life. Classes are designed to connect “heart” learning and “head” learning in a way that allows for a variety of theological perspectives to be shared. Class offerings are on topics such as prayer, call, power, justice, community, poverty, servant leadership, racism and scripture. Volunteers are required to take one class per term, a total of three classes during the program year. Volunteers are also welcome to attend special events offered by the Servant Leadership School.

Volunteer Support

Volunteers serve 35 hours per week with one organization (“placement”) during the program year. The placement covers the cost of housing in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood of DC and provides a personal stipend of $165 a month as well as an additional $110 monthly for food to be pooled with housemates. Additionally, the placements provide service-related transportation costs and health insurance to the participants.

Duration of the Program

Discipleship Year is an 11-1/2 month program (August to August) to which participants must commit for the entire year. Applications are available January through August.

Inclusivity Statement

Discipleship Year extends welcome to persons of all races, ages, sexual orientation, identities, physical or mental ability, economic status, religious orientation, culture and ethnicity. We affirm that every person has worth and is a bearer of God’s image. No matter who you love or how you look we welcome and affirm you in the full life of the church. Many people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and their families have been or are ostracized by their faith community. We believe that people who are LGBT are a gift from God and are fully embraced by our program. As Christians, we are called to unconditionally love everyone.  Also, in order to assist ourselves with breaking down the Race divisions of our time, we have a particular focus on Anti-Racism education.

A few limitations to the above statement are: We only accept people over the age of 21 who are single & with no children. Also the Volunteer House, where DY volunteers reside, isn’t wheelchair accessible.