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. This is a discussion oriented class.      


Reading the Old Testament Devotionally
The men and women in Knoxville Fellows program are not training to become pastors. They are preparing to serve God in the community as teachers, social workers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, coaches, mothers, fathers, and friends. Sustaining a lifetime of service requires an intimate knowledge of God. We come to know God through scripture. The Scripture, however, is a challenging book to read. it's not always easy to know what the text means. It's easy to be confused. It can be hard to hear God's voice speak clearly through the text. This is especially true in the Old Testament. The purpose of this course is to give you enough familiarity with the Old Testament so that you will know how to read the Old Testament in a way that feeds your soul.


Seek the Peace of the City
God commanded the exiles living in Babylon to “seek the peace of the city”  -Jeremiah 29:7.   Why does this command apply to believers living in cities today? What does God mean when he speaks of this kind of peace? What does a city look like when it experiences God’s peace?  How can we partner with God in seeking the peace of our city? What are obstacles that keep cities from experiencing God’s peace? This course will explore answers to these questions through readings, guest lectures, and field trips. 


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.

chantel pic-Fellows.jpg

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.

mary terry .jpg

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. 


jim branch.jpg

Jim Branch, Core Leadership
Jim grew up in Knoxville and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Marketing. He was on staff with Young Life for nine years in Columbia, SC, Charlotte, NC, and Chattanooga, TN. Afterwards he moved back to Knoxville to join the staff of Cedar Spring Presbyterian Church as Director of Student Ministries. After doing this for ten years, Jim returned to Young Life staff in Knoxville for nine more years. In 2011, he started Core Leadership, an organization that focuses on spiritual formation and nurturing of individuals in leadership positions. Jim has earned a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.