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.

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

  • Reading: Leading Lives that Matter: What we should be and who we should be, ed. by Dorothy Bass and Mark Schwen, Let your Life Speak by Parker Palmer, Vintage Saints & Sinners by Karen Wright Marsh, 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, vocation and longing 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.

  • 8-12 Perkins Fellows are mentored by and work alongside Community Service Innovators

  • Scholarships available to attend the annual Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference or 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 books like: Welcoming Justice by Charles Marsh and John M. Perkins, The Justice Calling by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson, The Power of Proximity, by Michelle Ferrigno Warren, Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a world Made for Whiteness and Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life by Phileena Heuertz

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


Participation in the Fellows is by application each spring. Deadline for 2020-21 is March 16th.

To learn more, email Christy Yates at

2019-20 Horizons Fellows

Temi Akinola (mentor: Diamond Walton)

Isabelle Andrews (mentor: Debby Prum)

Brendan Berkel (mentor: Terrance Maynard)

Beatrix Castelly (mentor: Taylor Harris)

Clare Draper (mentor: Joey Pierce)

Callie Gaskins (mentor: Connally Gilliam)

Charlie Meyer (mentor: Dave Petty)

Emma Montgomery (mentor: Adriana Nicholson)

Celine Opoku (mentor: Brittany Fan)

Claire Stemann (mentor: Holly Vradenburgh)

Logan Tyree (mentor: Graham Scharf)

Sarah Woodard (mentor: Wendy Baucom)


2019-20 Perkins Fellows

Michelle Abban (Community Partner: Abundant Life)

Liv Brashears (Community Partner: Maria Niechwiadowicz, Bread & Roses Food Justice Ministry)

Katie Brown (Community Partner: The Haven)

Caroline Carr Grant (Community Partner: Abundant Life)

Hannah Gross (Community Partner: International Neighbors)

Anna Hickman (Community Partner: Maria Niechwiadowicz, Bread & Roses Food Justice Ministry)

Ololade Ihaza (Community Partner: Computers 4 Kids

Zoe Larmey (Community Partner: Maria Niechwiadowicz, Bread & Roses Food Justice Ministry)

Ezinne Ogbonna (Community Partner: Union, The Musical)