The Vision

The Theological Horizons Fellows Program supports students as they wrestle with concepts of calling through constraints and commitments, reflecting Theological Horizons’ desire to discover Christ at the intersection of faith, thought, and life.  Fellows are selected through a competitive application process and, except for the Perkins Fellows, must be Fourth Years who will soon transition from college.  

Horizons Fellows: Vocational Discernment througH Relational Discipleship

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
— Annie Dillard

Horizons Fellows explore vocational discernment through relational discipleship, guided by mentors from varied careers, with a focus on developing a theologically rich understanding of personal calling to be pursued in all arenas of work and life.

Through a fall retreat, monthly discussions as a cohort of Fellows, individual meetings with mentors, and large group lectures and workshops, we guide them to sense the horizon where the limitless sky and the concrete earth meet.

  • 10-12 Horizons Fellows are paired with community mentors for monthly meetings

  • Reading: Let your Life Speak by Parker Palmer, The Stories we Live by Kathleen Cahalan, and various articles and essays.

  • Fall Retreat led by Rev. Bill Haley at Corhaven Farm, a retreat center in the Shenandoah Valley and home to Coracle, a foundation committed to “spiritual formation for Kingdom action”

  • Monthly discussions as a group facilitated by Christy Yates, often with guest speakers, to explore key themes and questions around Calling.

  • Fall Semester | Where am I called from? – experiencing the love and grace of God through sharing our stories, considering various views of calling through constraints, and issues of race and privilege. 

  • Spring Semester | Where am I called to? – loving our neighbors through place, loving our neighbors through deep difference and pluralism, and loving our neighbors in hope.

  • Participation in other events offered through Theological Horizons and our partners.

Perkins Fellows: Vocational Discernment through Community Engagement

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us walk together.
— Aboriginal activist sister

Perkins Fellows explore vocation through weekly community engagement. Named after the great Christian community development leader John M. Perkins, this program builds bridges between the University and the community through mutually-beneficial partnerships. Perkins Fellows are placed with a community partner to connect their learning through service and theological reflection. Fellows receive mentoring and training in cross-cultural engagement and community development, with an eye towards vocational discernment in these fields of work.

  • 5-7 Perkins Fellows are mentored by and work alongside Community Service Innovators

  • Scholarships available to attend the annual Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference and meet with John M. Perkins in Jackson, Mississippi.

  • Monthly conversations with Christy Yates and other Fellows to explore the theological and personal implications of their service experiences within the community

  • Reading: Welcoming Justice by Charles Marsh and John M. Perkins, The Justice Calling by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson, and Making Neighborhoods Whole, by Wayne Gordon,

  • Participation in a Charlottesville mini-plunge before the Fall Semester, a mini retreat in Richmond, VA before the spring semester and occasional other events related to Christian community development.


Participation in the Fellows is by application each spring. Deadline for 2018 is March 12th.

To learn more, email Christy Yates at

2017-8 Horizons Fellows

Ellie Wood (mentor: Robi Keyes)

Ben Noble (mentor: Seth Wispelwey)

Hannah Williams (mentor: Ginny Wardell)

Joanie Fasulo (mentor: Wendy Baucom)

Laura Eom (mentor: Dorothy Tullmann)

Logan Haley (mentor: Dr. Greg Gelburd)

Margaret Draper (mentor: Renee Ferguson)

Matthew Pilsch (mentor: Evan Hansen)

Megan Helbling (mentor: Debby Prum)

Sam Kesting (mentor: Frank Cox)

Sam McCorkle (mentor: Reggie Leonard)

SK Doyle (mentor: Pastor Liz Emrey)


2017-8 Perkins Fellows

Dominique DeBose (Community Partner: Seth Wispelway with Restoration Village Arts)

Ameenah Elam (Community Partner: Steve McNerney with The Haven)

Evan Heitman (Community Partner: Richard Feero with Abundant Life)

Isabella Hall (Community Partner: Maria Niechwiadowicz with Bread & Roses Food Justice Ministry)

Sade Akinbayo (Community Partner: Friendship Court community center)