His vocational interests span the academic and business worlds, with a particular focus on the ways in which they can intersect to address the important questions of social life. Currently at Solve, a data platform for eCommerce brands, Zach heads up the strategy & analytics function. Here, Zach shares about the impact the Residential Fellowship had on his life of work and faith.
My introduction to Venn came through family friends, whose recommendation to attend Summer Conference (echoed by my father and later by my pastor) sparked some interest. However, it wasn’t until several years later that I came across, and began to seriously consider attending, the Residential Fellowship.
While I had no strong connection to Venn, I was quickly taken by the description of the programme––an opportunity, as I saw it, to finish off my education and cement my faith before beginning the next season of my life. It came as a surprise, then, that the Fellowship would respond significantly to deeply held desires while taking a form that I hadn’t entirely expected.
I often describe the Fellowship as an eight-month long sunrise: gradually revealing the assumptions and contours of my being-in-the-world, exploring their sources, and ultimately evaluating them against the reality of the gospel. In particular, I found myself drawn to the invitation of Christian tradition. Significant shifts in my understanding of myself and of God can be traced to quiet moments accompanied by pen and tract—the author obscure, dead or both. These words repeatedly managed to both speak directly to me and to ground me in connection to a long line of Christian thinkers. So too, the Fellowship precipitated a significant maturation of my faith. Best described as a “de-centering”, the boundless nature of Christ came into greater focus at the same time as I was able to better locate myself—my created, limited self—by my relationship to Him.
I was fortunate to be able to complete work placements at a technology startup and a management consulting firm. Through the course of many in-depth reflections and conversations, I left these placements with a strong sense of the formational realities of our working environments, as well as the opportunities they provide for us to partner with Christ in the redemption of all things.
Shortly after completing the Fellowship my work took me to New York. It is difficult to articulate how grateful I am to have been able to participate in the Venn community prior to this change. God has done a good work, equipping me with an expansive yet concrete sense of His reality. As I explore upcoming opportunities in work and further study, I am able to see my vocation not solely as a career, but as my expression of the Christian life. So too, I have been placed in a rich and faithful community of people, living and dead, alongside whom I can concretely live out my faith.