Learning to be Lonely

Editor’s note: we’re glad to share another post by Brazos Fellow Jess Schurz.

I am not sure I ever learned how to be lonely. By that, I do not mean that I’ve never experienced it. In fact, quite the opposite: loneliness loitered like a shadow for much of my time in college. Somewhat ironically, this seems to be a prevalent issue, at least in the West. Social isolation, in the words of Professor James K.A. Smith, is a “quiet epidemic,” what social scientist Robert Putnam named Bowling Alone. Poet Franz Wright laments this sentiment in his poem “Flight,” written to his absentee father: “Since you left me at eight I have always been lonely / star-far from the person right next to me.” Although written about something foreign (I hope) to most of us, this ‘star-far-ness’ seems to be a familiar feeling to many. Continue reading “Learning to be Lonely”


Apply now for the 2019-2020 cohort

We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications to the 2019-2020 cohort! Brazos Fellows invites college graduates to apply to this nine-month, part-time program centered on theological training, spiritual disciplines, vocational discernment, and life together.

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Brazos Fellows, our program prospectus can be downloaded here (for high-resolution viewing) and here (for emailing). We would also be glad to mail you the prospectus–email your address to director (at) brazosfellows.com.

Continue reading “Apply now for the 2019-2020 cohort”

Oliver O’Donovan Shares in the “Common Good” with Brazos Fellows

Editor’s note: readers will enjoy this guest post written by one of our Brazos Fellows, Kelsey Collister.

This August, I moved from the metro-Detroit area to Waco, Texas to join the Brazos Fellows at Christ Church. After working in the advertising industry for six years, I was exhausted from the transitions of life, job searching, navigating friend groups and trying to figure out where I belonged in the church. As Catholic social rights activist Dorothy Day put it, “we have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.” Sometimes the loneliness part is a little too close to home for twenty-somethings, though.

A month into the fellowship, I heard that Oliver O’Donovan, Professor Emeritus of Christian Theology at the University of Edinburgh, was speaking at Baylor University on the topic of “The Common Good.” So I biked across town and found a seat in back of Elliston Chapel.

Continue reading “Oliver O’Donovan Shares in the “Common Good” with Brazos Fellows”

Forming Communities of Practice

One of the questions I’ve returned to over the last several years is how the Church ought to educate her young adults.  Over at Living Church, I reflect on several of the thinkers who have most shaped my thinking on this question, especially James K.A. Smith and Etienne Wenger:

Education theorist Etienne Wenger argues that genuine learning takes place in “communities of practice” in which people learn through active participation rather than a passive reception of information. For Wenger, education looks less like finding an answer on Google and more like apprenticeship in a craft, less like memorizing a formula and more like learning to play a new instrument.

The question then becomes “how can the church form genuine communities of practice”? You can read the rest here.