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
Have more questions? Email us at email@example.com.
My name is Emma and I’m a conference junkie.
Marathoning from workshop to workshop sustained only by mediocre conference center coffee, equipped with legal pads and a really nice pen, surrounded by people nerding out over the same thing you love so much – there’s no bigger rush.
The only way conferences are better are when they’re grounded in Christ. When you take the conference atmosphere of education on topics that are cool and interesting to you and fellowship with people who also think those topics are cool and interesting and add in that extra level of faith and service, that is my ideal world.
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship Summer Leadership Institute is the Christmas of conferences. During SLI, you grow as an Orthodox Christian not only by learning about your faith in the theological or doctrinal sense, but by harnessing essential life skills like public speaking, servant leadership, organization and planning, and conflict resolution – and giving them back to the Church. This comes with the added bonus surrounding yourself in prayer and fellowship with quality OCFers from across the US and Canada who are guaranteed to inspire and encourage you in ways that you won’t be able to repay.
Even if you’re not a conference junkie like I am, SLI is the only place which provides you with the tools and training you need to develop as an Orthodox Christian leader. One day (if not right now), we will be the priests, deacons, clergy wives, parish council presidents, church school teachers, youth department ministers, and parish members of the Church and together we all play our part to make up the body of Christ. As it says in the book of Romans:
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. —Romans 12:4 – 8
Come to SLI to gird yourself with your God-given strengths and weaknesses and become a warrior of Christ. Come to SLI to find your unique calling of God’s will. Come to SLI to pray, to learn, to grow, and to lead.
Even if you’re not a conference junkie like myself, you’re sure to come away from SLI a changed person. I leave you with another verse from Pauls’ letter to the Romans:
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. –Romans 1:11-12
REGISTRATION FOR 2017 SUMMER LEADERSHIP OPENS FEB 20th!
WHERE: ST. IAKOVOS RETREAT CENTER, Kansasville, WI
WHEN: AUGUST 16 – 19
WHO: OCFers (age 18 – 25)
The month of May was full of transitions. Twelve of them to be exact, with a couple more to come. As I meet with each outgoing member of the SLB and their incoming replacement for this year to transition from the old SLB to the new SLB, my feelings careen from excited to nervous to anxious to happy to sad to scared. Change is hard.
The seniors on the 2015 – 2016 SLB took OCF to bigger and better places, served the Church and the Faith, and became some of my dearest friends. It’s hard to say goodbye to them as they make their own transitions into the real world, whether that be further schooling or a career. They have been models of faith, strength, leadership, hard work, love, and dedication for the rest of us underclassmen who were on the SLB this past year. I am excited for them and scared to let them go.
As I get to know the incoming members of the 2016 – 2017 SLB, I already know they will also do great things. They’re motivated, excited, faithful, smart, and kind people. I can’t wait to get to know them better and work with them to serve Christ and His will.
Get to know the new SLB here!
This month of May hasn’t just been a period of logistical transitions – changing email accounts, updating the incoming Regional Student Leaders on the current state of their respective regions, etc. – but also of personal transition. As I step into my position of Chairman for the upcoming year, I go from team member to team leader. Suddenly there is a lot more to do – my email inbox has tripled in size, my to-do list continues to grow without end in sight, my calendar is cluttered with conference calls. I’m passing the torch of Publications and assuming the raging bonfire torch of Chairman. What has surprised and scared me the most about this transition is the power. The power of making decisions, of starting new programs and ending old ones, to control what OCF looks like for this year. It could either be really good or really bad.
As myself and the incoming SLB begin feeling our way through our new positions, I remind myself to keep these words of Christ in mind:
“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” Luke 17:10
We are called by Christ in whatever we do, not just serving on the OCF Student Leadership Board. As each of us transition into new aspects of our lives – leadership positions, jobs, relationships, moving, a new semester, we must remember that all things are for the will of Christ and His glory.