Support and Train Emerging Faith Leaders

Odyssey Fellows Program

What is the Fellows Program?

The Odyssey Fellows program supports graduate students at theological schools, and the field education faculty and programming of their institution. The goal of the program is to support and train these emerging faith leaders to engage difficult civic issues as they work in communities, and also provide resources for seminaries to meet the growing needs of contextual education. Engaging the immersive power of documentary film, Fellows convene brave and healing conversations across lines of difference within their communities, resulting in actions inspired by their leadership. Odyssey Fellowships support the valuable intersection of innovative new leaders, the wisdom of educational institutions, and the on-the-ground opportunities of faith and secular communities.

Rose Castle Retreat 2022

In the beautiful Lake district of England, at the newly remodeled Rose Castle, 14 Odyssey fellows, three advisors, the Director of the Odyssey Fellows program, and the staff of the Rose Castle Foundation gathered for a week of community-building, hospitality, and training.

The Fellows Experience

An Odyssey Fellow will graduate with skills to engage both faith and secular spheres, and gain fluency in using film to inspire brave conversations, new partnerships and faithful actions in response to complex difficult civic issues.

Meet The Fellows

Meet the 14 brilliant, international, multi-faith leaders who comprise the 2022 Odyssey Fellows Cohort!

Odyssey Impact® provides access to powerful media and written resources to the Fellows, the seminaries, congregations and organizations they serve. Odyssey also offers engagement with filmmakers and film subjects; we create support materials for faith communities, leadership opportunities across Odyssey’s virtual and in-person events and screenings, as well as, innovative training experiences with leading experts and practitioners. An Odyssey Fellow will graduate with skills to engage faith and secular spheres, and gain fluency in using film to inspire brave and healing conversations, engage new partnerships and coordinate actions in response to difficult civic issues.

Perhaps best of all, Fellows experience the transformative power of their cohort; they have the opportunity to dialogue and build relationships with talented peers from other institutions and regions. Odyssey believes that when emerging leaders are properly supported, they can experiment with different ways to engage on tough issues with new community partners. With the Odyssey Fellows program, everyone wins: tough conversations are advanced, new partnerships are built, and faith infused action happens!

Odyssey Fellows Stories

One of the things that I've valued about our cohort is that it’s genuine. It's not just theory, it's practice. Our cohort has been so supportive of each other in little things, but also in things that matter, that are impactful to my career development. Walking with people who have my back, it’s so important. I can't overstate how much having institutional support matters. The only institution that I can name that's ever truly done that for me is my seminary, and then second to that is Odyssey.

Oriana Mayorga

CONNECT NYC/Union Theological Seminary NY, Fellows Class of 2020-2021

It was actually a huge challenge, but in a healthy way, that we had the freedom to design what our project would look like, what best fits our context….To be given the tools to use documentary film to center conversations is just really different, then having the restrictions of the pandemic, it was another way of stretching us to be more creative and innovative.

Lauren Johnson

Soul2Soul Sisters/Iliff School of Theology, Fellows Class of 2020-2021

Being in community with other faith leaders that speak the same language as you but are doing work in other fields is by far the greatest gift. We all have different talents yet there are still intersections of our work and opportunities to amplify each other. Being given the opportunity to bond with those people in the UK while learning skills to put in our toolbox is an experience that we will hold for a lifetime.

Ristina Gooden

Fellows Class of 2020-2021

Religious Affiliations

Congregationalist (UCC)
Methodist (UMC)
Presbyterian PC(USA)
Religious Society of Friends (Quaker)


Union Theological Seminary (NYC)
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Better World Rabbinical Training Academy
Candler School of Theology (Emory University)
Cambridge Muslim College
Iliff School of Theology
Fuller Theological Seminary
Chicago Theological Seminary
Vanderbilt Divinity School
Agnes Scott College
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Hartford International University for Religion and Peace (HIU)

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