Discover how the story of God relates to you and our city, under the mentorship of  Knoxville's finest.

On Fridays, the Fellows participate in graduate level coursework.  We have formed a partnership with Johnson University in which, upon graduating our program, the Fellows earn a Masters Degree in Ethics & Public Leadership. This educational aspect of the program is designed to root the Fellows in their faith as they are sent out into their places of work, their neighborhoods, and their overall places of influence. We strive to know the story of God and how our worldview shapes our decisions, large and small. We inquire as to the principles of true leadership. We aim to understand God's heart for the city around us. And as we learn, we find ourselves being transformed along the way.



Spiritual Formation & Discipline
This class focuses on the process and practice of spiritual formation; focusing on how the life of God is formed in each of us and how that is designed to impact the way we live our lives in the world.  The goal is to help each Fellow understand the factors of spiritual formation and how the ancient practices of the faith make space, in community, for the work of transformation to take place.  The hope is that each Fellow would learn how to live their lives with Jesus in such a way that it impacts every other thing about them, particularly their vocation.

 Do Justice
The prophet Micah summarizes biblical religion like this: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). Jesus does not reject but embraces this central message of the Hebrew Bible. “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). Indeed, His inaugural sermon laying out the priorities of his ministry is from a prophetic text describing the Messianic kingdom as one where good news is preached to the poor (Luke 4:16-20; Isaiah 61:1-2). What does it mean to do justice? This class will explore different ways the Old Testament answers this question. The instructors’ hope is that God’s vision of a beloved community where the weak and vulnerable are cared for and welcomed into the family of God will become a central part of the students’ vision of the Christian life. The primary social justice text is the Old Testament. From it comes the course’s driving question: What does it mean to do justice? The class will ask this question of the scriptures first. Then, since social justice is a broad topic, the content will turn to a specific social justice case study: racial justice. Each week, the class will consider what a key part of the Old Testament says about social justice. Then, by interacting with an essay, blog, or chapter on racial justice, the class will ask: What does it mean to do justice in this situation? In other words, the class will take the principles learned from the biblical text and attempt to apply them to the justice issues raised by the readings.

 Beyond Christ and Culture: Rethinking the Church and Contemporary Society
This course examines the relationship between the Christian Church and contemporary culture, specifically the challenges that this culture makes to the Church's life and mission and the Church's response to these challenges.  We will give special attention to the effects of Enlightenment "atheism" on Western culture, as well as the fall of modern foundationalism and its effects on post-modern culture. Since every culture uses facets of that culture, such as media, art, political structures, and educational systems to represent that culture’s fundamental picture of itself, we will first look at how contemporary American culture represents itself. We will then turn to Christianity and ask what kind of representation Christians should strive for and what ways are Christians trying to attain this kind of representation. The ultimate goal will be to think theologically about what it means for followers of Christ to inhabit the world in all its complexity.  


Capstone Project

Seek the Peace of the City - a project management assignment asking “How will you seek the Peace of the City”?

The purpose of the project is to provide Fellows the opportunity to:

• Create, develop and organize a tangible project that answers the question; how can I be a source of shalom to my people, to my city, to my community? 
• Integrate both coursework and experiential learning through service, research, and volunteering
• Reflect with peers, staff and faculty, on experiences and academic links discovered through community engagement
• Develop critical analytical skills and explore underlying problems that face agencies and communities that serve the city.

Meet the Instructors


Dr. Doug Banister; Pastor of All Souls Church
Doug Banister, Knoxville Fellows’ resident scholar is a writer, pastor, mentor, and teacher. He currently is senior pastor at All Souls Church, in the heart of downtown Knoxville and served as senior pastor of Fellowship Church in Knoxville for fifteen years. He is the author of four books: The Word and Power Church, Sacred Quest, Family Business, and God on Earth. Doug has a Masters of Divinity from Talbot School of Theology, Masters in Medieval Studies from the University of Tennessee, Doctor of Ministry from Gordon Conwell Divinity School and a Bachelor’s of Science from Northwestern University. Doug also authored the e-book, Seek the Peace of the City: Ten Ways to Bless the Place Where You Live.

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Chantel Matikke is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. There she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and minored in Africana studies. Chantel was actively involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship during her undergraduate years. She has served college students both locally, nationally, and internationally in numerous servant-leader capacities. Professionally, Chantel works as an Independent Project Manager, specializing in efficient process development, implementation and outcomes, while preserving Biblical principles. She currently works as the Resident Director, of a local ministry for single mothers. Chantel also facilitates a discipleship group that exists to encourage students to identify, develop, and use their gifts for God's glorythrough prayer. Chantel is passionate about justice for all and racial conciliation.

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Mary McMillan Terry earned a B.A. in English and minor in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in literature from the University of Tennessee. After writing elementary Spanish curriculum for Knox County Schools, she taught composition, American literature and ESL at Pellissippi State Community College until she and her husband became parents. Now she’s full-time mom to two sons and part-time writer and editor. She has led writing workshops at Highlander Center, and her writing (poetry, nonfiction, and fiction) has appeared in various journals, books, and magazines.

Dr. Mark Weedman earned his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Milligan College in 1990, his Master of Divinity in New Testament from Emmanuel Christian Seminary in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Marquette University in 2004. He was a lecturer in theology at Marquette University from 1990-2000. He was a professor of Biblical and Historical Theology at Crossroads College from 2000-2013. Mark has been published extensively. In 2007, he was the recipient of the “Colin Gunton Memorial Essay Prize” from the Society for the Study of Theology. He is a member of the North American Patristics Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion. Mark and his wife, Michelle, have four daughters. 

Dr. Jim Bailey; Principal of Directions Consultation, Executive Director of The Cross Greek Student Ministries
Jim has devoted his career to helping individuals identify their unique vocational gifts and the job tasks and work environments they would thrive in. He also helps non-profits and businesses structure themselves to carry out their vision and strategic goals and best use their employees’ abilities and strengths. Typical clients are organizations that want to make strategic decisions about getting the right people in the right positions to move forward. The Cross is a ministry to students in the Greek community at the University of Tennessee with a mission to introduce them to the good news of Jesus Christ and equip them to follow him and live as his disciple where ever life may take them.