It’s great that you want to apply! On this page you will find the majority of the information you will need to make an application for the Intercultural Encounter Scheme bursary. See below for Key Dates and Deadlines as well as information about the Application Process, the Application Form, and References. Please read through this page carefully, and if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Encounter Coordinator.
An completed application consists of an Application Form and two references. All parts of your application must reach the Encounter Coordinator by post or email by your chosen application deadline (either April or November). Please note, if references have not been received by the due date, the application will not be considered.
In general, if you’re thinking about applying, it makes sense to contact the Encounter Coordinator beforehand. The Coordinator can help you strengthen your application and ensure it is as strong as possible for the panel of Trustees to assess.
Key Dates for 2019 Applications:
- Tuesday 23rd April 2019 – Application Round Deadline
- By Thursday 9th May 2019 – Notifications of Application Results
- Saturday 8th June 2019 – Combined Induction & Debrief Day
You should use the form to demonstrate how you fit the eligibility criteria for the Encounter Scheme, but also how your placement fits the aims of the scheme as well. For instance:
- A significant level of cross-cultural immersion is expected;
- Your placement should raise your awareness of the spirituality and theology of the World Church;
- Your placement should challenge you to serve and learn from an unfamiliar culture;
- Your placement should enable you to understand and appraise your own home culture;
- You should use your placement to critically reflect on the nature of relationships and mission within the worldwide church, and the wider world.
Questions 4-9 are designed to be long-answer format, and many successful applicants write a minimum of 2 or 3 paragraphs for a question, or even up to a half or full page. CCCW is not simply a grant giving body, but wants the application process to be a significant reflective one, and one where you extensively demonstrate what you will be doing and what you hope to gain. As a centre for mission, we really want you to use the form to reflect, not just to apply for a grant.
You have time before you go, so we would really recommend taking some time to process these questions, and find some books and materials to read, before completing the application form. For many more intercultural and mission-related readings and resources visit the CCCW library. CCCW has a wide range of books on mission and cultures around the world. Encounter scheme applicants may borrow books without charge.
Here are some brief tips for what you could include in your answers, but you are welcome to talk through your ideas with the Encounter Coordinator before submitting your form.
It is perfectly acceptable for your answer to be ‘No’! You should mention and reflect on any previous meaningful intercultural experience you have had. This could include living, working or studying abroad through Gap Years, Placements, Church trips, travelling, volunteering or exchanges. If you have had experience that is great, and we can build on this through your training if your application is successful. In general priority is given to those who have had less intercultural experience so this is not a negative.
Questions 5 and 6
What is going to a different culture going to mean; what might be difficult or uncomfortable; what will you learn about yourself and the global Church that you cannot learn, or have not experienced, in the UK? What do you think you will learn or experience about the history and Christianity of the location you are visiting? What might you learn about God?
If your placement interacts with your occupation, how might they affect one another? You might want to include something about how the experience will impact on your occupation when you return home.
If you are an ordinand, how might the experience impact on your ministry? What links might you hope to establish through the visit that you might be able to build on to encourage people in your congregations to see themselves as part of the World Church?
The Trustees will be looking to support people who will gain from the experience themselves, but also share what they have learnt with others.
Describe what you believe mission to be, and/or reflect on CCCW’s idea of mission. How does your placement fit into either your own understanding of mission, or CCCW’s? If you are going with a mission agency, do you know what their mission beliefs are, and how do your own views and the placement reflect these? Contact the Encounter Coordinator for resources to help you begin thinking about mission if you don’t know where to start.
Questions 8 and 9
The Panel emphasise you having read about the area you are travelling to, and contextualising the placement before you go. You may want to email our Librarian, Ruth, for literature suggestions (firstname.lastname@example.org). Do mention if you use CCCW resources on your application!
You will need to demonstrate to the Trustees that you are using your own initiative and have deepened, or will deepen, your understanding of the context you will be travelling to. What have you personally researched about the host culture, its Church, its people, the context you are going in to? What websites have you read, or books? You need to give evidence of your understanding of the context of your placement.
You may also take practical steps such as talking to someone from the host culture about what you might experience, or taking time to learn some of the language of your host culture.
You should show:
- Some knowledge of the historical/social/cultural context of your destination country and the impact that you feel this may have on the particular church and/or NGO environment that you are going into;
- An outline of the specific resources that you plan to use to explore the context before you go, and/or while there. For example, naming readings and resources (which can be somewhat website-based).
Resources you use should ideally include something written by a Christian who is from the cultural background you are going into, rather than only Western theologians/missionaries
Note that the references are an integral part of the application and it is your responsibility to ensure they arrive on time.
You should download and send a copy of the Letter to Referees, along with details of your proposed visit, to the two referees whom you have named on your application form and ask them to send their letter of reference by post or email before the deadline.
The referees should be a minister of your church, a chaplain or tutor of your college, an employer, or another person who has known you for a number of years. They should not be fellow students, relatives or colleagues.