JSC is a 10.5 month program for young adults ages 21 to 28 to explore justice work, intentional community, simple living, and spirituality in Durham, NC.
The mission of Johnson Service Corps is to develop young-adult anti-racist servant leaders through participation in a year of social justice engagement, intentional community living, leadership training, and spiritual practice.
The vision of Johnson Service Corps is to offer transformative opportunities for young adults to re-imagine vocational discernment and pursue a life-long journey of community engagement sustained by spiritual practice.
Johnson Service Corps helps young adults discern vocation and lifestyle that flow from each individual’s unique calling. Our philosophy rests on the following four pillars:
- Justice: We are called to work together with our neighbors, from the local to the global, to stand against injustice in social, cultural, economic, political, and institutional systems and instead create systems of equality.
- Spirituality: Rooted in the contemplative and social justice practices of Christian tradition, Johnson Service Corps welcomes and embraces people of all spiritual expressions who seek to journey in discernment and in discovery of ways to live out call authentically.
- Intentional Community: This model challenges us to re-imagine how our household relationships and practices are informed by and reflect our values. We become more aware of how to meet the needs of others and ourselves as we shift toward a community-minded paradigm that radically affects how we are present at home and in the world.
- Leadership: We embrace the values of communion, compassion, co-creation, collaboration, and character. As moral leaders, we discern our unique callings and live authentically in those callings. We resist the definition of success as accumulation of money and power and replace it with an understanding of abundance through shared resources and “power with” rather than “power over.”
Johnson Service Corps is a 501(c)3 independent non-profit organization, and an affiliate of Episcopal Service Corps, a national network of similar programs around the US.
|Johnson Service Corps 2023-2024 Fellows
Johnson Service Corps is named for Margaret “Callie” Johnson, librarian and parishioner of The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill, NC.
Ms. Johnson lived simply and the church leadership was surprised when she left over $300,000 to the church in her will. In light of Ms. Johnson’s life-long interest in the education and development of young people, the Vestry of the Chapel of the Cross decided to explore the idea of creating a internship program for young adults that would focus on outreach to the community.
The original name for the program was Johnson Intern Program and the first group of three young adults was welcomed in the fall of 2000.
In 2005, the program incorporated into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and hired Susan Gladin as the Executive Director. Under Susan’s leadership, the program grew from four participants to a steady eight participants each year. Susan also spearheaded the development of our Servant Leadership curriculum through her training at The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro, NC.
As more programs like us were cropping up around the country, we joined with them to found the Episcopal Service Corps in 2008. The national network of the Episcopal Service Corps has grown from 6 founding organizations to now include more than 15 programs across the U.S.
In 2013, Sarah Campbell was hired as the Executive Director after serving as a mentor and board member. Sarah completed a year of service in 2007-2008 with Discipleship Year through the Servant Leadership School, an affiliate of the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.
During a strategic planning process completed in the first half of 2014, the Board of Directors voted to update the program name to Johnson Service Corps and approved a plan to grow the number of young adult participants and reach greater visibility and sustainability.
Aleta Payne became Executive Director in 2017 bringing with her 16 years of nonprofit leadership experience from her work with the NC Council of Churches, which included statewide policy and advocacy efforts around issues of social justice, Christian unity, and peace.
In the fall of 2019 Aleta left JSC to return to her roots in journalism with a job with Faith and Leadership magazine at Duke Divinity School. Andrew Hudgins and Christina Balderson, both already on staff with JSC, took over as co-directors. Andrew as the Program Director and Christina as the Operations Director.
The 2020-2021 cohort was the program’s 20th, making it one of the oldest and most well-established Episcopal Service Corps programs in the country. In May 2021 an anniversary celebration was held, bringing together fellows, supervisors, mentors, program directors, and long-time supporters of the program from two decades of ministry. IronWorx Media, a film production company found by JSC alum (2016-17) Debbie Vu produced the above video in celebration of the momentous occasion.