I’m excited to share with you about several big changes coming for Brazos Fellows and for the Gutacker family.
Back in 2018, Paige and I, along with a team of supporters and friends, launched Brazos Fellows. We hoped to create a rich experience of study, prayer, and discernment that would be fruitful for young adults looking to grow in their Christian life. Thanks to your generous support, since 2019, seventeen women and men have graduated from the fellowship. Here’s what alumni say about their time as a Fellow:
Brazos Fellows was the most formative year of my life to date. The program equipped me with a spiritual foundation that will last long beyond the nine months in Waco.Jessica Schurz (2018-2019)
Brazos Fellows provided the structure, time, and guidance to build virtue and practice spiritual disciplines. I learned to live liturgically, shaping my life as one belonging to God and not to myself.Emily Engelhardt (2019-2020)
I loved being drawn into the life of this local church. Congregational singing of hymns, meeting for morning prayer, being welcomed into family’s living rooms and to their tables, walking through the church calendar—I really fell in love with Christ Church Waco and being with this local body of Christians.Mitchell Elequin (2020-2021)
This success has encouraged us to take Brazos Fellows to the next level.
To this point, the fellowship has relied on volunteer and part-time work. To make ends meet, over the last few years I’ve taught full time at Baylor University—while also directing the fellowship and leading the Course of Study. This arrangement has significantly limited how much I could give to recruiting and developing the program.
Now, at the encouragement of our advisory board, we’ve begun a new phase in Brazos Fellows. We’ve begun a new fundraising campaign that will help us partner with foundations and individuals who want to contribute to high quality Christian discipleship initiatives. This additional funding will allow us to pursue three goals:
- Grow the fellowship: We will expand our recruiting efforts to grow the cohort from an average of four fellows per year to eight – ten, including several scholarship spots. This will increase our investment in Christian men and women who will go on to serve and lead in the academy, the church, the workplace, and ministry of all kinds.
- Train future professors: We will develop a robust mentorship program for our tutors (Baylor graduate students), equipping them with training and experience that will make them even more skillful, thoughtful Christian teachers as they begin their careers.
- Cultivate theological thinking: We will develop new programming that will invite the Baylor and Waco communities into robust theological conversations on teaching and learning, worship, and the Christian life.
This next phase also means a significant change for our family.
In August, I will step down from my role as full-time instructor at Baylor to focus solely on working as Executive Director of Brazos Fellows. As we commit to Brazos Fellows, Paige and I are very excited to see what this next chapter will look like—to do this work in a way that is more focused and more sustainable both for the fellowship and for our family.Continue reading “Director’s Update: Changes Coming for Fellows and Family”