BE THE CHANGE
Episcopal Service Corps empowers adults 21-32 to transform unjust structures through community building, local collaboration, prayer, and action. Our values:
An ESC Year is not an internship. Our Corps members apply their passion, talent, and creativity in meaningful placements dedicated to building a just society while also honing their professional skills to prepare for whatever is next.
Young adults serving through ESC come from all over the world and all walks of life. What they have in common is their commitment to making a difference. For ESC, living together in intentional community means that Corps members commit to a year of growing, laughing, crying, playing, and supporting one another whether doing the dishes, in weekly house meetings, or on retreat.
Throughout the year, every Corps member is surrounded by mentors and leaders dedicated to providing opportunities for Corps members to dig deep into issues that matter to them, empowering them to do their part to address and change unjust structures. Joining ESC means that we take care of basic living expenses so our Corps can focus on transformation. Every ESC Corps member receives housing and utilities, insurance coverage, as well as stipends for food, living expenses, and transportation.
We embrace the opportunity to explore our spiritual journey. Our programs range from those that are centered on Christian practices rooted in the Episcopal tradition to those that are intentionally interreligious. Every year we welcome a diverse Corps from a variety of religious backgrounds all of whom share one common goal - exploring our spiritual connectedness and embodiment as a regular aspect of our common life.
ROOTS IN THE GRASSROOTS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF ESC
In the 1980s, a handful of year-long young adult service projects affiliated with The Episcopal Church started in cities across the country. These grassroots programs shared a vision of young adults living in intentional community, serving their neighborhoods, sharing in faith formation, and discerning vocational direction.
Over the next 20 years, programs continued to develop in metropolitan areas like Washington DC, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Durham/Chapel Hill, Omaha, and New York.
In the early 2000s, six programs came together to consider an on-going relationship. By 2008, organizing under the name the Federation of Episcopal Domestic Internship Programs this loose collaboration had developed a common application process and a regularized meeting schedule. In 2008-09, the six founding programs welcomed 46 volunteers.
In conversation with Fund for Theological Education and Trinity Church Wall Street, the network continued to develop and the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC) was born. Initially ESC existed to strengthen existing programs, recruit a diverse group of young adults, and plant new programs. In 2009, with funding and support from Trinity Wall Street, ESC formed its first Board of Directors and hired an Executive Director to broaden its vision and enhance its leadership. As a result of these steps, ESC slowly grew into a full-realized network, a community of communities, and part of a transformational movement.
By the 2014-15 program year, the network had expanded to encompass more than 200 Corps members as a strategic partnership with The Episcopal Church including a 2012-15 grant, helped ESC continue to flourish as a 501C3.
In 2017, the ESC Board approached The Episcopal Church about a closer partnership and in summer 2018, the General Convention of The Episcopal Church officially voted to bring ESC under the umbrella of The Episcopal Church's Department of Faith Formation. Since that time, ESC has continued to develop its identity and vision welcoming 70+ Corps members annually through programs across the United States.