SLB APPLICATIONS ARE OUT! If you’re an Orthodox Christian looking to give back and serve your peers to help them grow closer to Christ, you are in the right spot. The SLB is a team of servant leaders that works to grow OCF for the benefit of our peers. We care deeply about all of our members and we choose to volunteer our time and talents in the best ways that we can.
Maybe you’re good at writing – publications might be for you. Maybe you’re good at public speaking – public relations might be for you. Maybe you’re a social media king or queen – media might be for you. Maybe you like to talk – podcasts might be for you. Maybe you love your OCF friends – regional leadership might be for you? Maybe you’re passionate about college conference – HM MAYBE THERE’S A COLLEGE CONFERENCE STUDENT LEADER?
Point of the matter is: there are places for you to invest your talents no matter what they are. So, apply. But don’t take JUST my advice, take the advice of some of the SLB leaders that work hard to make OCF shine.
This was their answer to the question, “Why apply to the SLB?”
Zoe Kanakis – Southwest Student Leader
You can serve Christ through leading others and providing resources to expand the faith.
You make long-lasting relationships with students from all across America; some of my greatest friendships are people from the SLB!
You can grow your own faith through serving others.
You get to meet a lot of priests that will rock your socks off with their wisdom.
As a regional leader, you are able to plan fun retreats and express your creativity in fellowship activities (ice breakers, bonfires, talent shows, etc).
You are able to travel to places that you would never have thought of and learn about other cultures.
6.75. I cannot stress enough how strong my friendships are with members of the SLB. Bonds that cannot be broken. SO APPLY YO!
Elizabeth Buck – South Student Leader
I applied to the SLB because I wanted to give back to the organization that has given me so much during my college career. The SLB has given me the opportunity to cultivate my authentic leadership style, take on new and exciting challenges, and learn from so many inspiring Orthodox Christian college students around the country. Finally, being a part of the SLB has increased my network of Orthodox Christian friends and has given me the dearest friendships of my young adult life.
Alex Lountzis – Southeast Student Leader
Applying to the SLB is one of the BEST decisions you could ever make! Being on the SLB is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you will meet some of the most inspiring, amazing, and dedicated Orthodox Christians. At the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), you will be equipped with so many amazing tools that will allow you to lead others and fulfill your role for OCF to the best of your God-given ability.
The friendships and relationships built through this amazing ministry are a blessing truly beyond words, and I highly recommend not passing up this opportunity to dedicate your own time and talent to such an amazing organization that impacts and changes so many lives!
Kristina Anastasiades – Northeast Student Leader
The Student Leadership Board is a group of Orthodox Christians who bring out Christ in each other and those around them. They can see Him inside of you even when you can’t see Him yourself. We hold each other accountable and pick up our crosses together, as we head towards a life in Christ, not in the future, but today. We are a part of the body of Christ, so let’s bring that to our peers through our service on the SLB!
Caroline Retzios – Great Lakes Student Leader
College for me has been a time for spiritual growth, and thanks to my friends in my local OCF chapter, I am constantly surrounded by others who strive to grown in the faith together. As I became more involved in OCF programs outside of weekly chapter meetings (College Conference, Real Break, District Retreats), I decided I wanted to serve my fellow college students by helping connect them with opportunities to explore their faith.
Now that I am on the SLB, I love every moment about it. I loved everything about SLI, helping at College Conference, leading and attending my first Regional Retreat, and all the people I have met who inspire me to live a more Christ-centered life every day! As a member of the SLB, I have grown SO MUCH in my faith.
I think the biggest thing I have gotten out of this opportunity has been learning to be a servant leader. Hearing leadership expressed in this way at SLI was definitely the most impactful part of that week and has guided my service to this ministry.
OCF gives us so many opportunities to grow in our faith. If you desire to grow closer to Christ through service to your peers, build life-long friendships, and learn more about your faith, apply!
Why I Applied: OCF isn’t just another school organization. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it a thousand times over. The opportunities provided by OCF are ones that teach, guide, encourage, and engage in ways I have never experienced in any other organization. There are things you learn in OCF that can be integrated into every aspect of your life. Having been challenged through so many different aspects of my faith alongside some of the best friends became one of the many reasons I applied to be on the SLB. I applied because I knew this would be one of the greatest decisions I would ever make (this has been proven true). In applying, I would be given one of the greatest opportunities in helping create events specifically catered to my OCF region. I knew OCF would always hold such a special place in my heart and now that I’ve had the blessing of serving on the SLB it’s more than integrated into everything I will ever do. To serve on this board has been one of my favorite adventures.
Favorite Moment: SLI, getting to help with College Conference, meeting new people at every event I’ve attended, and ultimately, gaining one of my best friends off of the SLB + so many more.
Biggest Takeaway: God’s love, grace, and kindness that radiates through the amazing people OCF has brought me whom I’ll be carrying with me through life.
Why Apply? Why not apply?
Anna Sobchak, Real Break Student Leader
Why I Applied: I really wanted to experience more of OCF at the national level because my favorite parts of OCF had been their national programs, most notably Real Break, as my current role may imply. Plus, as a senior I felt like it was my time to give back to this organization.
Favorite Moment: My favorite part of the SLB has definitely been SLI (the Summer Leadership Institute). It’s rare that you find a group of strangers from all over the continent that you instantly click with, and yet within mere days, I was absolutely in love.
Biggest Takeaway: My biggest takeaway…serving on the SLB has added depth to my faith. I joined the SLB because I felt like it was time for me to give back to the organization that had given so much to me already, but being a part of this ministry has taught me to be more intentional about my faith, to refocus and prioritize my life, and to appreciate just how rewarding serving in this ministry is.
Why Apply? Apply to the SLB because its just simply awesome.
Markayla Stroubakis, Southwest Student Leader
Why’d I Applied: I initially applied with some prodding and encouragement from the RSL before me. I figured it would be a cool opportunity, and just went for it, and here I am 3 years later!
Favorite Moment: In all 3 years I’ve had lots of favorite moments. But one of them has to be a rather humbling one. I planned a retreat and somehow on the day of, nobody showed up except me and the priest. I was pretty upset at first, and wanted to cancel it when I got the last text from a registrant saying they couldn’t come. But the priest told me we had to have the retreat, so when people asked, we could tell them how great it was. It was such a wonderful afternoon exploring my faith practically one-on-one with a priest. I learned so much about myself that day and it truly reinforced to me to always trust in God’s plan.
Biggest Takeaway: My biggest takeaway from OCF has been that this program truly changes you. Before I joined OCF, I was good about going to church and chanting and it was really nice. But that was it, just nice. Joining OCF has changed my attitude from feeling obliged to going to church to actually wanting to go to church. I read Orthodox books because I want to. I participate in and lead retreats and discussions not because I feel like I know the most about the Faith or the Church Fathers’ sayings, but because I want to learn from others and be that person who brings everyone together.
Why Apply: READ ABOVE ANSWER! Let yourself be open to having these experiences. If you’re on the fence, apply anyway because you truly will not know the difference that OCF will have on your life until you’re thrown into this position. You don’t have to be champion of Bible Bowl or chanter extraordinaire. Just be you. You’ll come out of this with a heightened sense of yourself as a college student, yourself as a leader, and yourself as an Orthodox Christian.
Quinn Marquardt, Mountain Student Leader
Why I Applied: I wanted to grow my region, grow my own chapter, and be able to make a difference on the lives of others.
Favorite Memory: I would say my favorite moment would just be SLI. Meeting the 17-18 board and opening it up to everyone was amazing. I met so many new people and made new lifelong friends.
Biggest Takeaway: I think my biggest takeaway would be that everyone is different. When I first joined the board, I was so shy and didn’t know what I would be doing. After being on the board, I have learned that everyone is different and when you reach out to someone, that can make all the difference.
Why Apply: Being on the board has changed my life for the better. I have made so many new friends, met new people, been able to get chapters up and running, and have had so many amazing experiences. If you apply, I know all of these will happen to you and hopefully even more. The SLB is such a wonderful thing and I know from experience, it will have a large impact on your life.
Spyridoula Fotinis, Public Relations Student Leader
Why I Applied: I re-applied because I just love the ministry of OCF so much and could not imagine transferring to a new school without a strong presence of OCF and the support of my fellow SLBers and well as all wonderful OCF peeps around North America.
Favorite Moment: Photo ops at SLI – We are totally weird and it’s great. Weird Orthodox SLBers.
Biggest Takeaway: Christ is Everything, and we need a strong community of peers to remind us of this and help us in our ministry to Christ in OCF and just in general, being strengthened by the wonderful people I serve with in all moments of life. They’re always only a phone call away.
Why Apply? There’s never a better time to serve Christ and His Church and your peers across North American than RIGHT NOW!! This present moment is incredibly important! It will be such a blessing in everything you do, and it’s always awesome how each new person brings so much to OCF. Just apply and trust in God! It’s gonna be great 🙂
Anastasia Lysack, Podcast Student Leader
Why I Applied: I applied because I wanted to serve the people who served me. I would not be the person I am today without my experiences in OCF, and I felt it was time to give back. Also, I had been involved with OCF for a while and loved the leadership position I already had in my chapter, so I felt that joining the SLB was the next logical step in my OCF involvement.
Favorite Moment: It’s so hard to pick one! That being said, one moment that is really sticking out to me as I write this happened last summer at the Summer Leadership Institute. The SLB had just spent an amazing two days getting to know one another and preparing for the upcoming school year, and now it was time for the other SLI participants to join us for the next several days. As many smiling faces trickled into the St. Iakovos Retreat Center, I was so impressed, not only by how joy-filled this group was, but how incomplete SLI was with only the Student Leadership Board present. Each member of OCF that I meet, whether they’re in a leadership position or not, inspires me in so many ways. It was then that I suddenly remembered that this was the reason I decided to apply for the SLB in the first place, and it helped me to see the rest of the Summer Leadership Institute in a different light than I did when I arrived there. Biggest Takeaway: It’s true that OCF needs students to help run its regional retreats, Real Break, College Conference, public relations, podcast, blog, and social media accounts (this isn’t even everything the SLB does!), but I don’t think I realized when I first sent out my application how much I needed the SLB. College is a time when we are encouraged to focus on our personal goals, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it is all too easy to put your own needs before anything else (and yes, you can be doing this while still going to church on a weekly basis and never missing an OCF meeting). Being on the SLB taught me that, if I can take several hours out of my already busy week to serve the Church during college, then I honestly have no excuse not to dedicate that same amount of time to the Church once I’ve graduated. After all, the ultimate goal of OCF isn’t to create students that are really great OCF students — it is to encourage students in their walk with God and their service to the Church. While it’s completely true that there are many ways to serve the Church (different people are called on different paths — and that’s perfectly okay), I would encourage you to get in contact with an SLB member if you’re interested in applying. We would be more than happy to answer your questions.
Why Apply? Make new friends! Gain experiences that your college isn’t going to give you! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to serve the Church!
Fevronia Koufogazos, Southeast Student Leader
Why I applied: I saw the impact that the SLB had on OCF when I went to my first regional retreat and that was definitely something I wanted to be a part of. As much as I loved being just a member of OCF, I knew there was so much more that I could do to contribute to helping other college students grow in their faith.
Favorite moment: Reading Ben’s notes after each conference call (yes? no? maybe?). SLI for sure. Spending a week at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center with an awesome bunch of people was the best way to end summer break.
Biggest takeaway: I’ve always wanted to serve our faith and our Church in some way and being a part of the SLB has definitely allowed me to accomplish that. This experience will prepare me for after college graduation when I want to continue my involvement in church ministries.
Why apply: Be a part of something bigger than yourself!! It is our job as Orthodox Christians to bring others closer to Christ, and being on the SLB is a perfect way to do that. Also, automatically having a group of 18 friends is pretty cool too.
Mark Saber, Media Student Leader
Why I Applied: Shoutout to Christina Andresen and Kathrine Sackllah for encouraging me to apply. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had friends who were on the leadership board, and it seemed fun.
Favorite Moment: My favorite moments were definitely all of leadership training and college conference — since I got to meet some of the coolest people EVER.
Biggest Takeaway: My biggest takeaway from the SLB has been the friendships I’ve formed with people I’ve met through OCF.
Why Apply? Ya got nothing to lose my friend. If you like meeting awesome people, being in charge of stuff, and going to OCF events, then go! Apply like the wind! Still undecided? Please refer to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXsQAXx_ao0
David Munkres, Northwest Student Leader
Why I Applied: I wanted to be able to provide the students of the Northwest Region with a space to grow in Christ! OCF has made me own my Orthodox Faith and has been one of the biggest blessings God has bestowed on me. I wanted to share that joy with others!
Favorite Moment: My favorite moment of my two years on the OCF board was attending College Conference (West and Midwest). I had a great time at both conferences meeting people from all over the nation!
Biggest Takeaway: I came away from the SLB is friends from all over the nation who I call brothers and sisters! The people really made the experience!
Why Apply? Apply because you want to have the experience of your life through OCF! OCF will give you what you put into it. Give it your all and OCF will change your life!
Student Leadership Board applications just opened, and we hope you are thinking about applying. Every year, we get lots of questions about the SLB, so we thought we’d help you out as you’re making your decision to apply (but really, you should).
What does the SLB do?
The students who serve on the SLB are the eyes, ears, hands, and feet of the ministry of OCF. You will get an opportunity to improve existing and develop new projects and programs that will impact your peers throughout the year. Ever used There’s a Saint for That? That’s the SLB. Been to a retreat, a College Conference, or a Real Break? The SLB had their hands in that, too. What about Orthodox Awareness Month, the OCF blog, the OCF podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, our social media accounts? Yep, you guessed it. SLB. You can read more specifically about each role on the applications here.
Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. What’s the time commitment?
While we do expect that SLBers will treat their role in OCF similar to an internship, most roles require 1-5 hours per week. There are times during the year when the time commitment is less and a few times when it might be more (especially leading up to or during an event), but this is a general guideline.
So, the SLB just runs OCF? How would I know what to do? Are there any non-students helping?
You are not alone as an SLBer! First off, if you are accepted to the SLB, you will attend free-of-charge the Summer Leadership Institute August 13-18. The first three days are dedicated entirely to preparing the SLB for their roles while the second half of the week will help you explore what it means to be an Orthodox Christian leader with other Orthodox students like you. You will also have mentoring relationships with OCF staff, clergy, and other leaders from major Orthodox ministries to guide you through the year. Finally, you will find that the SLB is like a little family–there to support you in your work on the SLB and your life in general. And, thanks to technology, your peers and mentors are always just a Slack message, video chat, or phone call away.
I’m super-stressed about after graduation. How does being on the SLB prepare me for my future?
In addition to receiving Orthodox leadership training at SLI and being a part of a community of peers and mentors to support you in your personal development, you will find that the work you do for the SLB will prepare you for life after graduation in a number of ways. Past SLBers say that their positions helped them develop and hone skills like time management, event planning, professional communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, and people management. SLBers receive letters of recommendation from the OCF staff not only for Orthodox internships and camping programs, but for jobs in a variety of fields. It’s not uncommon for an SLBer to have more to say in a job interview about their work on the SLB and how it has prepared them for life after college than they have to say about any other aspect of their college career.
Of course, we hope that first and foremost, being on the SLB prepares you for your future by helping you put Christ at the center and as the foundation of your life no matter what life brings you after graduation.
I’m not a theology major, and I don’t plan on working in Church ministry. Is the SLB for me?
YES! While some SLBers have gone on to pursue full-time ministry, many are now working as teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, Peace Corps members, social workers, and more! The SLB relies on a diverse combination of everyone’s unique God-given talents and interests. We need students invested in engineering, business, psychology just as much as those in religious studies. In fact, it’s typical that the majority of our board is not in an academic field related to ministry. We’re looking for Orthodox students with a heart to serve the Lord, no matter what career or academic path you are pursuing.
Are there any areas of study you are looking for on the SLB?
While we are primarily looking for students who love the Lord and are willing to serve, there are a few positions where area of study can be beneficial. For example, graphic design, marketing, and communications majors may want to consider applying to be the Media Student Leader; English, journalism, and communications majors may consider Publications.
I don’t like how OCF is run. Why should I be a part of the SLB if I don’t agree with what they are doing?
We are always trying to prayerfully discern how we can best serve Orthodox students like yourself. We hope that you will apply and bring your perspective, ideas, and energy to the SLB to improve campus ministry for the glory of God.
Can I apply for more than one position?
YES! But you will need to fill out separate applications for each position as they each have their own requirements and expectations.
I’m not even on my own chapter’s executive board. Can I still apply?
YES! In fact, we encourage (but not require) SLBers not to be on their chapter’s executive board during their term on the SLB. It’s a good way to share the responsibilities of OCF and make sure you can manage the SLB role appropriately with your course load.
My school doesn’t have an OCF chapter. Can I still apply?
YES! While Regional Student Leaders require a more intimate knowledge of OCF chapter life, the programming and outreach positions do not. Being on the SLB is a great way to join the OCF community if your local school can’t yet sustain its own chapter (but we’ll try to make that happen while you’re on the board, too).
I’m new to Orthodoxy/just rediscovering my faith. Would the SLB be a good place for me?
YES! We truly believe God often calls us to serve as a means to draw us nearer to Him. Serving on the SLB might be just exactly where you need to be right now.
I’m not perfect. How could I ever represent a ministry of the Church?
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”- 2 Cor 12:9
This is the first year of my college career that I won’t be applying for the Student Leadership Board–it feels weird. I’ve loved my position here, made some amazing friends and ridiculous memories alike, and hopefully done some good for the parents, students, and chapter advisers that swing by the blog.
In a perfect world, I’m back for year 3. But the world ain’t perfect–it’s incredibly busy, sometimes super stressful, and full of sacrifices. I’m incredibly blessed to attend a great college–but it’s very rigorous; incredibly blessed to have rewarding jobs in my prospective field for the future–but they demand the bulk of my time.
It would be cowardly and dishonest to not stand before you today and tell you I didn’t do nearly as good of a job this year in my position as the Publications Student Leader as I should have. I didn’t do nearly as good of a job on schoolwork, actual job work, going to the gym, reading for leisure, whatever. Life overwhelmed me.
I tell you this to offer a cautionary tale: if you’re going to do something, do it right. When you apply to the Student Leadership Board, it shouldn’t be primarily that you may throw it on your resume (though it certainly doesn’t hurt). It shouldn’t be because your friends are also applying for the Board (though they should and that’d be nice). It should be because you want to help Orthodox college students get through the briar patch–you want to, and you can as well.
Being on the OCF board is mission work. We forget that sometimes: it is mission work for the Church. We are spreading Christianity, not only to those in our communities who may be interested, but also to those who were raised in the Church. Whether we grew up in the Church or only recently joined it, we are always growing into the Church, growing through the Church. As we develop, so much our relationship with the Church–we encounter new things, experience and overcome new struggles by breaching new, previously undiscovered corners of our faith.
In short, college changes us: but the Church accompanies and even guides us through that change. OCF helps the Church do just that.
Being on the Student Leadership Board places the onus of helping the Church guide students through the college change squarely on your shoulders. This is your mission. When you work as a Regional Student Leader, you organize events for, reach out to, and coordinate with all of the OCFers in your area. When you work on the Programs side of things–Real Break, College Conferences–you spend all year forming the incredible, nationwide opportunities that only places like OCF can provide. When you work on my side of things–Media, Podcast, PR, Publications–you have a daily grind of linking OCF chapters from across the nation, and unifying us all through our common struggles and successes.
But you aren’t only the agent of the mission; you are also the subject. You are in college; you change. It is, I think, a fallacy to say “I am not strong in my faith, I’m struggling so much, I can’t be on the OCF board.” Rather, joining the board only gets you closer to the process, deeper into the restorative and strengthening powers of the Church and the faith. It is work, yes–but it is also respite, joy, and salvation. That is, inherently, what I think we all experience in our faith: work, trial, tribulation, struggle–but through these fires, we grow and experience Christ.
Applications for the 2018-2019 Student Leadership Board are now open!
Every year, OCF is led by a team of talented students who take on leadership positions in Orthodox campus ministry. The Student Leadership Board works with staff and clergy volunteers to plan and implement the programs of OCF, advise and inspire their peers on campuses, and develop new resources and programs for Orthodox college students. We are looking for applicants for all positions for the 2018-2019 Student Leadership Board.
As part of their training, SLB members will attend OCF’s Summer Leadership Institute free of charge! SLB members will also get priority registration for College Conference and Real Break. Answer the call to serve Jesus Christ, and apply to be part of this incredible team.