Two faith-based organizations have partnered together to provide and complete a 10-week leadership program on the intersection of church and community development.

Called the C2 Leadership Institute, the program was hosted by Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), and funded by a grant given by the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). Six interns, including a high school student, college student, a pastor, and working professionals, were hosted by separate local church sites and met once a week with all together with Hyepin Im, the president of KCCD, from June 28 to August 25.

During those weekly meetings, interns were able to learn about potential partnerships that churches could form with leaders in the government, corporate, and media contexts, and were able to hear from guest speakers such as Artesia Mayor Victor Manalo, Los Angeles City Council member David Ryu, Los Angeles Times reporter Jaweed Kaleem, policy analyst from the Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs Jessica Caloza, and Epic Movement’s executive director Margaret Yu, among others.

“The C2 Leadership Institute was birthed out of a desire to equip churches with tools to partner with the media, to be engaged in advocacy and other works, and to equip them to be able to collaborate with government and corporate and other entities,” said Im at the internship graduation ceremony held at Los Angeles City Hall on Thursday.

KCCD FTE internship
(Photo : Christianity Daily)
(From left to right: Josue Rincon, Kevin Kang, Elysia Adi, Beatrice Williams, Hyepin Im, Kay Rhee, Carmela Tandoc, and Darlene Hutto) Interns of the C2 Leadership Institute hosted by KCCD and funded by the FTE were applauded at a graduation ceremony held at the Tom Bradley Room at Los Angeles City Hall on September 1.

“I was struck with awe at the power and potential for power that these interns hold in impacting the community,” said Darlene Hutto, the director of grants and fellowships at the FTE. “It’s one thing to read a grant proposal, and another to see it embodied.”

“Our community awaits your leadership,” Hutto said to the internship graduates.

KCCD’s internship is one of thousands of programs for which the FTE has provided resources since its foundation in 1954. The FTE offers numerous fellowship opportunities for young adults who are nominated by their church or school leaders, including the ‘Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grants,’ and fellowships for doctoral students. It also offers grants for congregations and organizations, including the pastoral internship grant, mentoring for young adults grant, and vocational resources grant. Fellowships are mostly $1,500 per young adult, and grants are $10,000 each.