Each spring, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) selects a team of talented students to take on leadership positions in Orthodox campus ministry. The Student Leadership Board (SLB) works with staff and clergy volunteers to plan and implement the programs of OCF, advise and inspire their peers on campuses, and assist in the development of new resources and programs for Orthodox college students. OCF is currently seeking applicants for all positions for the 2020-2021 SLB.
Serving on the SLB offers students a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills while growing in their faith and giving back to the Church. Current Student Leadership Board Chairman, Caroline Retzios, encourages any student who has been impacted by OCF to consider applying.
“OCF gives us so many opportunities to grow in our faith,” Retzios said. “If you desire to grow closer to Christ through service to your peers, build life-long friendships, and learn more about your faith, apply!”
As part of their training, SLB members will attend OCF’s Summer Leadership Institute.
Recommendations for applicants and questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Applications for 2017-2018 District Student Leaders are now available. District Student Leaders work closely under our Regional Student Leaders to connect chapters in their area, plan events, and help students get connected to the OCF network. Applications are due May 17, 2017. For questions, email us at email@example.com.
In an effort to help develop more young Orthodox leaders both for OCF and for the Church at large, OCF is pleased to announce that the annual OCF Summer Leadership Institute will now be open to all interested college students.
Summer Leadership Institute is a four-day training institute focused on developing in students the knowledge, skills, and practices of good Orthodox leaders. The program has in past years been open only to Student Leadership Board members, and OCF’s hope is that by opening it to more Orthodox college students, we can create a stronger network of chapter, district, and other young leaders to further strengthen Christ’s ministry on campus and the Orthodox Church of the next generation.
Students will participate in workshops led by OCF staff and student leaders as well as experts in Orthodox theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry to help prepare them to be Christ-centered servant leaders. We encourage parishes and OCF advisors to consider sponsoring their students to attend the 2017 Summer Leadership Institute to help OCF form and train a new generation of leaders for our Church and for our world.
The 2017 Summer Leadership Institute will be held from August 16-19 at St. Iakovos Reteat Center in Kansasville, WI. Details and registration information can be found here. For further questions and inquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.