Fellowship has a long history of partnering with Western Theological Seminary through the Teaching Church Ministry. The mission of the Teaching Church Ministry is to provide a congregational context for students to discern their call, develop their gifts and grow as church leaders. Wide exposure to Fellowship's congregational life and multiple ministry opportunities are offered, however, the student's growth and development always remains the primary concern.
Each year, Fellowship takes on interns from WTS who take part in the Teaching Church Ministry. Typically, each student stays at Fellowship for all three years of their time at the Seminary with a different focus each year.
Year One - Formation for Church Leadership: The overall goal of the first year is to design a process that will enable the student to discover who she or he is within the Christian community and to begin to discern some possible dimensions of God's call. Fellowship's First-Year Intern is Nick Dorland.
Nick and Lindsey
Nick just started his second year at Western Theological Seminary and is in his first year interning at Fellowship. Lindsey and Nick have lived in Holland just over a year now, and are excited for the recent addition of their daughter (Alivia) into their lives which Nick says, “makes the idea of grace more profound.” Nick graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO in Dec. of 2011 with a B.A. in Christian Ministry Studies and looks forward to learning more about His call to pastoral ministry while at Fellowship. He enjoys helping people as well as reading, research, and photography; he is an amateur road cyclist, a musician, an Eagle Scout and a deep thinker.
Year Two - Cultivating a Vision for Church Leadership: The overall goal of the second year is to provide opportunities for the student to develop leadership skills in the area of caring, teaching and small group leadership, as well as to grow as a worship leader. Fellowship's Second-Year Interns are Kevin Slusher and Judy Nelson.
Kevin is in his second year at Western Theological and is excited to continue his journey at Fellowship Reformed. Kevin is a graduate of Hope College ‘10, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science and in Religion. He grew up in the rural south central Michigan community of Montgomery. Kevin is excited to share with people in God’s grand story – the story of God’s faithful and redemptive work! This story of God and God’s people is also our story! Kevin desires to proclaim the resurrected Christ, the present and the coming reign of the Kingdom! Kevin enjoys a good book, coffee, music and food. Some of his favorite things to do are to bake, cook, read, run, play and discuss sports, and write.
Judy and Chris
Judy is very grateful to be a second-year student at Western Seminary after retiring from the Saline Area Schools (outside Ann Arbor) and a 30 year teaching career in both regular and special education. While being active in many different kinds of ministries within her church, Judy sensed the call to seminary about 10 years ago. During the summer of 2010, she and her husband Chris realized that, having raised their four sons to adulthood, God was opening the door to pursue seminary and they moved to Holland in November 2010. Judy and Chris became members of Fellowship Church in September. She loves the outdoors, rollerblading, praying, music and reading and is excited to be serving at FRC.
Year Three - Acquiring the Skills for Church Leadership: The overall goal for this third year is to provide the student opportunities to further develop ministry skills in the areas of caring, teaching, small group leadership and worship leadership - as well as develop skills in preaching and leadership of the congregation as an organization.
Fellowship's Third-Year Interns are Dan and Grace Claus.
Dan is in his third year at Western Theological Seminary, and his third year interning at Fellowship. This past summer he and Grace went to Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island for an opportunity to intern on the West Coast. While there, Dan discovered more of a love for preaching and the life of a congregation. He and Grace also developed more of a sense of what it means for them to enter into ministry together. Dan enjoys a good book, a hot cup of coffee, and board games.
Grace is starting her third year at Western Seminary. Over the summer, she and her husband Dan interned at a church on Whidbey Island, Washington, where they marveled at and hiked mountains, caught and cooked crab, learned to play cribbage, and discovered more deeply their call to co-pastor. As a writer, Grace often considers how the vocations of writer and pastor overlap, what role words and stories play in our lives, and how our Christian imaginations are expanded by language. When she's not studying or reading, she's generally devouring food blogs, trying new recipes, gardening, running, or brushing her teeth.