Ascend Leadership Project
The “Ascend Leadership Program” takes its name from two places, the Ascension of Jesus, and the adventure that is the spiritual life.
After the Resurrection, Jesus led the disciples to a mountain just outside of Jerusalem. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us that He commanded them to go forth and make disciples of all nations and that He was carried up into heaven. The fully-human Christ was then seated at the right hand of God, charting the path of theosis (unification with God) for the spiritual life of every Christ-follower. Over the ten months of the project, Ascend interns climb a spiritual mountain of intentional community life, spiritual formation and leadership development. It’s a challenging and exciting adventure! Join us.
Interns in the Ascend Leadership Project (“ALPs”) live together in Ascension House, the rectory of Christ Church, during the project (Sept-June). The ALPs develop a Rule of Life, which is a type of covenant between them, giving some structure to their prayers, their meals, and their lives with one another. The eight ALPs find work independently from the project, Monday to Friday, 9-5, and they participate in special Ascend activities generally a couple evenings per week and one day on the weekends. The ALPs are also members of the Christ Church parish community during the course of the project, participating in, serving with, and being blessed by community life as much as possible.
Spiritual formation is an integral component of the Ascend Leadership Project. ALP interns (“ALPs”) develop a Rule of Life, which includes a commitment to prayer together. They also meet regularly for spiritual direction with one of the certified spiritual directors in the diocese. A variety of spiritual practices are introduced to them during the course of the project, and periodic workshops are held on a variety of spiritual topics. Last but not least, they are trained in various liturgical roles and learn some of the sacramental theology underlying these historic Christian practices. The goal is to give ALPs a broad spiritual experience over the course of the project to get to know the Body of Christ more intimately and know one’s place within it for the greater glory of God.
The Body of Christ never grows old. For this reason, the church believes in its young leaders and has developed this project to invest in those whom God is preparing. We are all called to “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33), therefore ALP interns (“ALPs”) are trained to be spiritual leaders, people who “Rejoice always, pray continually, [and] give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
They develop specific leadership skills through the mentorship of a gifted team of Christian leaders from both church and wider society. Learning takes place in weekly small group workshops where they can engage with the mentors personally. ALPs are also challenged with hands-on leadership tasks and delegated increased responsibility over the year in various mission tasks including ministries to youth, young adults and the economically disadvantaged.
For more information please visit the website.