The EVM program is designed for students considering a form of professional ministry in their vocational pursuits. While many students in the program anticipate entering seminary education following their time at Furman, other students explore theological reflection while planning to live out their faith-based vocation in another area or discipline. Thus, the Exploration of Vocation and Ministry program is expected to be diverse.Some examples of those who may wish to consider this program include:
- A student who plans to enter seminary/divinity school after graduation from Furman;
- A student in the process of discerning her/his vocation and considering a form of faith-based ministry looking for a place to ask theological questions related to calling;
- A pre-med. student who plans to enroll in medical school after graduation but desires to put her/his training to work in conjunction with a faith-based program;
- A music student interested in how to apply his/her craft in the field of ministry, whether as a music minister in a church or as a performer;
- Any student wondering whether professional ministry in any form is their call.
EVM allows students to explore ministry, learn skills to enhance their ability to serve others, deepen their understanding of the Bible and theology, and to mature their ability to reflect on the intersection of academic work and God’s presence in life. Students interested in EVM should read through this description and contact Susan Bennett (email@example.com) to apply for 2011-2012 or to ask further questions about the program.
The Structure of the Program
First-year EVM students participate in an orientation seminar that meets every Wednesday afternoon, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. The seminar offers opportunities for students to explore their call to ministry as well as engage in discussions related to ministry in the postmodern context.
Along with assigned readings, writings, and classroom presentations, first-year students will plan and lead Furman’s University Worship held each Sunday (5:00 pm) during academic terms.All Exploration of Vocation and Ministry students meet weekly on Tuesday evening (6:30-7:30 pm) for fellowship and sessions related to the call and practice of ministry. Readings, discussions, guest speakers, and other avenues of learning are typical in these common sessions.
Students in the second, third, and fourth years of the program engage in supervised ministry internships off-campus. The selection of an internship site happens in consultation with the chaplain. Internships focus the student’s personal and professional goals but also expose the student to a variety of ministry settings.
All Exploration of Vocation and Ministry students will meet with one of the chaplains in the spring term to discuss internship placements for the following year.
Students enrolled in the Exploration of Vocation and Ministry program are asked to commit themselves to the following guidelines:
- First year students agree to participate in weekly classroom sessions led by the chaplains. Students agree to plan and participate in University Worship during their first year in the program. Please note: one absence per term is permitted;
- All students agree to model a life of faith through appropriate lifestyle choices;
- All students agree to participate in weekly gatherings of the Exploration of Vocation and Ministry program;
- Upon successful completion of a year of orientation, students agree to participate in annual approved internships in the areas of urban ministry, hospital chaplaincy, congregational ministry, or other setting (at the approval of the chaplains). In order to expose the student to a variety of settings, internships will change at least annually. Students are expected to devote five hours per week to these internships;
- Students agree to actively participate in a community of faith, on and/or off campus;
- Students commit themselves to satisfactory academic performance.
How to Apply
Applying is easy. Fill out the application (pdf) listed under the link on the left hand side of this page. Include in your application the two requested essays and send your materials to Susan Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information call the Chaplain’s Office at 864.294.2133.
EVM accepts applications annually from incoming freshmen, transfers, and upperclassmen students.
What Students Say About EVM
"EVM is simultaneously the most nurturing and the most challenging community I've been part of at Furman. In the EVM program, friends and mentors have pushed me to explore the shape my ministry could take but have also constantly affirmed me just as I am. EVM is a place where we can have difficult--but essential--conversations about what matters most, secure in the knowledge of the mutual love and respect foundational to our relationships with one another. Through my participation in the program, I've gained confidence and skills I'll need to accompany God's people in their life's journey.
Susannah Morris ('12)
"Community is a rare thing. When I say this, I don't mean that "Christian community" is necessarily rare. I mean that "intentional community" is rare. Being in the Exploration of Vocational Ministries program at Furman is like being in an intentional community. We're all over the board, a true example of the different flavors and colors God creates. We don't agree on everything. We don't all want to be pastors or youth directors (some prefer medicine, psychology, law, teaching, etc.). But we all know God has called us to do something with our lives. We come together, regardless of differences, to critique, challenge, and discuss topics of ministry in ways that help us become the changes we wish to see. We care for one another when schoolwork and life experiences become unbearable. We talk to people in our community about how they view their respective ministries, and we test those out as well. Not all communities will show this type of love. The people in this program are some of my best friends. They have helped me grow emotionally and spiritually in ways I could not have imagined. I cannot imagine my 4 years of college without this program."
Hillary Taylor ('12)
"EVM has provided me with many answers to dozens of questions that I feel most people my age ask. At the same time, it has forced me to ask myself some of the tougher questions within my faith. I can say without a doubt that this one year in EVM has been a really great growing experience for me! EVM has been a great place to engage in intelligent conversations with other people going through similar experiences as myself. One of my favorite parts of EVM has been family groups. Every couple weeks we break up into smaller groups of four or five and have great discussion about faith, our lives, and anything in between. Overall, I am really looking forward to this next year because I will be volunteering at an off campus ministry site, which will give me the chance to explore the wider range of vocational ministry."
Josh Whiffen ('12)