Getting on the ladder
The UCCF Politics Network exists to support Christian students engage with politics. Our aim is to encourage Christians to enter politics and live out their faith in the public square. So what are the next steps after graduation? How do you get into the public square? How can you continue to grow in a Biblical understanding of engagement?
Here I outline a few graduate programmes or schemes which are rooted both in Christian theology and political life. If you are in your final year why not investigate each of these schemes and send in a few applications? Each of them would provide quality teaching concerning theology and political engagement as well as frontline practical experience of politics, advocacy, and community action.
See also: https://www.care.org.uk
The CARE Leadership Programme is an 11-month programme which aims to raise up future leaders who seek to put Biblical principles into practice in the public square. The Programme provides a placement with either one of an MP (in Westminster), an MSP (in Holyrood), or an NGO as well as an intensive study curriculum.
The CARE Leadership Programme aims to provide first-hand experience of the British political system whilst also developing a Christian worldview based on Biblical principles. The programme has an established alumni network and provides each intern with a wide professional network.
“I would highly recommend the CARE Programme as it offers a great stepping stone between the academy and the world of work. More than that, one gets to deal with important secular issues by grappling with them through the lens of Scripture. The fellowship is also fabulous.”
Sam – former member of the CARE Leadership Programme
See also: http://www.jubilee-centre.org
The SAGE Graduate Programme is provided by the Jubilee Centre, a Christian think-tank. The scheme is a 10-month programme and is academic and research-based. It also consists of a half-day of volunteering in a social action project at a local church or community project.
The SAGE Graduate Programme is focussed on developing a Christian model for social reform whilst seeking Biblical wisdom and revelation. The research emphasis of the course means all strategies for reform are grounded both in scripture and in evidence.
‘SAGE helped me develop both my research skills and the thinking to better communicate biblical ideas in the public square as well as have richer public conversations about faith and society. I would recommend SAGE to anyone who is interested in thinking more about how your view of the world shapes how you interact with it, and how God can be an essential part of that.’
Hannah – former member of the SAGE Graduate Programme
See also: http://www.theology-centre.org.uk
The Buxton Leadership Programme is part of the Theology Centre and is an ecumenical, grassroots scheme with a strong focus on community outreach and social justice. It provides a placement both in Parliament and with a local community project via a church as well as training and development sessions.
The Buxton Programme focuses on relationship building and common ground, the effect of politics on citizens, and how to empower those in the poorest communities. It is also particularly interested in exploring the role of the Church in raising up leaders.
‘I joined the Buxton Leadership Programme because I wanted a job that would enable me to experience politics at all levels, from international politics and Westminster politics to local politics and political activism in faith-based organisations. Through my Buxton placements and the Buxton Seminars, I met lots of inspiring professionals, many of whom are still part of my personal and professional networks today. The programme helped me grow a lot personally and professionally, and it provided me with some really incredible and unexpected opportunities. For instance, I was the first Buxtonian to go on a business trip abroad. My experiences as part of the Buxton constituted a key step towards what has now become my career and I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to be a part of the Buxton Leadership Programme.’
Marta – former member of the Buxton Leadership Programme
See also: https://www.uccf.org.uk
Relay is UCCF’s ten-month mission and discipleship training programme, specifically for new graduates. Relay Workers spend the year getting alongside a CU, being trained in evangelism, studying the Bible and getting it open with students!
The Politics Network Relay programme provides a blend of the usual training, mentoring and opportunities of Relay alongside a more targeted political focus. There is a specific Politics Network study programme within which there will be an emphasis on practical engagement and experience of politics as well as opportunities to read, think, and work directly for the Politics Network.
‘The Relay programme is so unique – when else will you get the chance to devote a whole year to growing in your knowledge and love of the Lord, and helping others to know and love Him too? If you’re interested in politics, and especially if you’re considering a political career, the Politics Network Elective is an incredible opportunity. In this turbulent political climate we’re desperately in need of courageous Christians who will shine the light of the gospel into the world of politics. By helping you think through the issues of today from a Christian perspective, the Politics Network Elective will equip you to confidently follow Christ in that sphere; acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God as you engage politically.’
Emma – former Relay Worker