Summer Internship Stories: Putting my theology degree into action!

The Centre for Theology & Community l and tagged , , l

969196_10200126123056055_285313070_nIn this final in our series of blogs by our summer interns, Zoe Mathias writes about what she’s learned…

HOW THEN SHALL I LIVE? – By the end of my second year of university studying theology this question weighed heavily on my mind. I had many eloquent ideas about how the world should be and had repeatedly seen the stark contrast. It was this tension and the pressing question of how I should respond to it that drew me towards this internship.

The internship started with three days of training by Citizens UK. During this time we were presented the fundamentals of community organising. I then started my placement with St James Clapton. I spent my time doing a ‘listening campaign’ with the congregation and the surrounding institutions. My goal was to find themes that consistently angered groups of people and think about how the church could act together to solve them with its neighbours. I liked the freedom I was given in my placement to structure my own time and follow my gut instinct.


CTC has worked closely with St James’ Clapton on a number of projects

Being thrown straight into the intensity of community organising after three days of training was a steep learning curve! I found the days at CTC provided a structured time of reflection on the activity I was doing my church placement. We had a Bible study one morning and spent another full day with CTC every week. The interns were from many different Christian traditions and I enjoyed the ecumenical tone that was taken. The theme of the month was ‘vocation’ and we talked about the importance of ‘being-over-doing.’ This was a wonderful complement to work I was doing in my church placement.

I won’t deny that I was busy during my internship. But I was also given time to think and was treated as if I was an end in myself. I valued that, and I think we should try to have more of it in our society. I am leaving this internship feeling more integrated. I say that I am living with integrity if a person can look at my life and work out what I believe.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Matthew 22: 36-38)

The mixture theory and practice that was offered by this internship has taught me new ways of expressing these two commandments. It was a month well spent.

To find out more about our Urban Leadership School, click here.



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