The Fellowship is organised into four modules, which hold together different curriculum elements. These include residential life, classroom teaching, Venn Summer Conference, field trips and haerenga, work placements, and time for rest and reflection.
In Module I, incoming Fellows are introduced to the goals and big questions of the programme, welcomed into the rhythms of residential life, and inducted into the learning context. New friendships are formed around the dinner table and in the classroom as the new learning community is established. In these early weeks, the four initial teaching streams address the Christian faith, historic understandings of personhood and community, Aotearoa’s story, and Christian rhythms and practices. These work together to unearth key questions and concerns in pursuit of the wise life.
Beginning with Venn Summer Conference, Module II builds on the learning of Module I by considering the person and work of Jesus Christ, the nature and wellbeing of the political community, and further reflection on the rhythms and practices of the Christian life. In addition, Fellows continue to grow their understanding of Aotearoa’s story by visiting significant sites and considering what this means for our future.
During Module III, each Fellow spends nine weeks on a work placement, either on a project or within an organisation. This module provides Fellows with an opportunity to reflect on their learning from Modules I and II, develop an area of interest or explore a particular field, and develop their capacity for service. Once a week, Fellows gather in the classroom to explore a theology of work and what it means for their lives.
In Module IV, Fellows return to the classroom to grapple with what it means to live wisely within their families, workplaces, churches, and communities. Fellows are encouraged to reflect on the whole learning journey, how they have grown, and what this means for serving and leading in life beyond the Residential Fellowship.
The classroom teaching consists of different streams within the four modules. In these streams, Fellows engage with the disciplines of theology, biblical studies, history, political philosophy, public policy, literature, and the arts.
The teaching programme is nested within the wider setting of residential life and the rhythms and practices of the Venn community. Learning and personal formation happens within a highly relational context. The small classes of up to twelve Fellows allow for free enquiry, discussion, and creative expression. Learning is active. Fellows are encouraged to interact with teaching staff and with one another to form their own views.
The various curriculum elements help Fellows develop their own answer to the big question: How do I live wisely in twenty-first century Aotearoa, New Zealand?
The next Residential Fellowship intake will begin on Sunday, 12 November 2023 and will run through to 28 June 2024.
The programme is full-time and fully residential—Fellows live together, participating wholly in the day-to-day running of the homes. The programme consists of four modules plus Venn Summer Conference. Classes run from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. In addition, Monday and Thursday nights at the residences are reserved for hosting and evening discussions.
Several trips are also built into the Fellowship, including a retreat at the start of the programme, Summer Conference in early January, a haerenga to Waitangi, and a weekend retreat during Module III.
Our modular approach allows for some flexibility. While we strongly encourage applicants to do the full Fellowship—and we give preference to those who apply for the full eight-month programme—candidates who are unable to commit to the complete programme can apply to do Modules I and II only.
Please note, Module III placements are decided through a process of discussion between staff, Fellows, and placement providers.