Following a successful first tour, Goshen College’s Study-Service Theology Term (SSTT) is currently seeking high school applicants for a two-week study experience in Guatemala in June 2018. Students will be provided with the opportunity to explore their understandings of Jesus’ life and mission in light of contemporary challenges and their own sense of calling.
“Faith perspectives are often developed in contexts that take us out of our comfort zones and raise new challenges,” said Keith Graber Miller, professor of Bible, religion and philosophy at Goshen College and SSTT program director.
Participants are selected through a competitive application process and will be drawn from students from any Christian denominational group in the United States who have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year by June 2018, with priority given to students of color. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., SSTT participants’ costs for the program will only be a $100 deposit, which secures their position in the group.
The program will include orientation and study on Goshen College’s campus and two weeks of academic study and field trips in Guatemala, followed by a 40-hour internship in the student’s home congregation or another religiously-based organization, and journal submissions and reflection.
“One of the things that we tell the students from the beginning is that this is not a missions or service trip,” Graber Miller said. “This is about them learning in a cross-cultural context.”
Upon completion of the SSTT program, students will receive academic credit in religion through Goshen College.
“We hope young people in the program are able to think about the decisions, choices and commitments Jesus made during his brief life — commitments to the oppressed, to social justice, and to caring for those on society’s margins — and then apply those learnings to their own faith and life,” said Graber Miller.
Last June, a group of 20 high school students from Mennonite, Catholic, Baptist and nondenominational backgrounds and from across the country completed the first SSTT tour in Guatemala.
“This was such an amazing experience,” said Diana Baena, a recent high school graduate from Elkhart, Indiana. “I wish people would know more about it and go for it.”
To apply, go to goshen.edu/SSTT. If you have questions, contact Graber Miller at email@example.com or 574.535.7436.