Study-Service Theology Term (SSTT) takes 20 high school students to the Central American country of Guatemala each summer for a two-week study pilgrimage. Following the Guatemalan sojourn, students are encouraged to do an internship in their home congregations or in a religiously-based organization in their home communities.
Through the program, high school students will earn 1 college credit toward a bachelor’s degree. Faculty from Goshen College’s Bible and Religion Department will accompany participants to Guatemala and lead their exploration in thinking carefully about Jesus’ core ministries and message, and thinking about making peace and seeking justice in that context.
Program participants will be drawn primarily from African-American and Latino communities through a competitive application process, and will represent diverse faith traditions. Thanks to a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., participants’ costs for the program will be only a $100 deposit to secure their position in the group. Travel and other on-site costs will be covered by Goshen College and the Lilly grant.
Why should I choose SSTT?
SSTT will provide young people like you with the opportunity to explore your understandings of Jesus’ life and mission in light of contemporary challenges and your own sense of calling.
When does it start?
The first three SSTTs were in June of 2017, 2018 and 2019, and the fourth will be in June 2022. The world-wide pandemic necessitated cancelling the program in 2020 and 2021. Applications for the summer 2022 program should be submitted by October 31, 2021. Students should have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year by June 2022. The program will run from June 8 through June 28, 2022, including orientation and reorientation on Goshen’s campus and two weeks in Guatemala. Upon completion of the SSTT program, participants will receive academic credit in religion at Goshen College.
• June 8-10, 2022: Orientation on Goshen College’s campus
• June 11-25, 2022: Guatemala Sojourn
• June 26-28, 2022: Reorientation on Goshen College’s campus
Features of the program:
- Several days of orientation to Guatemala and theological study on Goshen College’s campus
- Two weeks of academic study and visiting religious and historical sites in Guatemala, based on the campus of Seminario Anabautista Latinoamericano (SEMILLA)
- Regular times of worship and discussion led by students or faculty
- Reorientation at Goshen College upon returning to the U.S.
- In the months after the Guatemala study, a recommended-but-not-required 40-hour internship working in the student’s home congregation or another church-based organization
- Completion of a capstone project, such as a sermon, public presentation, video, musical composition or other artistic representation.
- grow in faith, spirituality and Christian discipleship
- learn how to reflect theologically
- critically analyze situations, needs and challenges of international contexts and your own home settings
- increase understanding of the role that Christian faith plays in promoting peace, justice and life in the world and gain a greater sense of what it means to serve others
- Press release: First Study-Service Theology Term participants reflect on future of church in Guatemala, July 21, 2017
- Press release: Goshen College accepting applications from high school students for new Study-Service Theology Term, Aug. 2, 2016 (en Español)
- Brochure (PDF): in English | en Español
Goshen College’s SSTT is part of Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore their religious beliefs and their concerns about contemporary challenges by studying theology and examining how faith calls them to lives of service.