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Quaker Leadership Scholars Program

The purpose of the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program (QLSP) is to apprentice students to the Quaker tradition, for the purpose of living spiritually-rooted, socially just, theologically robust, and experientially-prepared lives as leaders within and outside the Quaker world. Students are provided with opportunities to practice leadership skills, spiritual formation, and serve as Faithful stewards of Guilford College, and greater Greensboro.
This happens through active engagement in community service, modules, worship, community bonding, workshops/trainings, and other leadership activities. In order to successfully work toward advancing the purpose and mission of QLSP, students are expected to make QLSP work a priority during their time as a Leadership Scholar at Guilford College.
If you would like to become a participant in the program and a scholarship holder, please contact the or Liz Nicholson, Director of the Program.

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Liz Nicholson
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Components of the Program


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Spiritual Formation

“Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal, which was before the world was” George Fox - 1657
Historically, worship has been at the heart of the Quaker faith. Through worship we can both connect deeply with Spirit and with our community. Our work in the world is grounded in the Spirit whose presence can be felt powerfully during worship. Individual spiritual practices help us connect with the Presence. This connection deepens our communal worship, which in turn supports our work in the world.
“In worship we have our neighbors to right and left, before and behind, yet Eternal Presence is over all and beneath all. Worship does not consist in achieving a mental state of concentrated isolation from one’s fellows. But in depth of common worship it is as if we found our separate lives were all one life, within whom we live and move and have our being”. - Thomas Kelly
“Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal, which was before the world was” George Fox - 1657
Historically, worship has been at the heart of the Quaker faith. Through worship we can both connect deeply with Spirit and with our community. Our work in the world is grounded in the Spirit whose presence can be felt powerfully during worship. Individual spiritual practices help us connect with the Presence. This connection deepens our communal worship, which in turn supports our work in the world.
“In worship we have our neighbors to right and left, before and behind, yet Eternal Presence is over all and beneath all. Worship does not consist in achieving a mental state of concentrated isolation from one’s fellows. But in depth of common worship it is as if we found our separate lives were all one life, within whom we live and move and have our being”. - Thomas Kelly
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Community Service

“Any journey linking social justice to spirituality needs a destination: a world in which there is less violence in whatever form. The journey needs to lead away from structural violence, which is why we are seeking to link the notion of solidarity with that of effectiveness (which, we termed, perhaps unoriginally, ‘pragmatic solidarity’.” - From In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez.
A solidarity model of connection to others means that we follow their lead in making the world a more just place. We can do this most directly through service from which we learn, in which we struggle, and ultimately, grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Our contribution of service also reminds us of the history and change in labor distribution, exploitation, and privilege.
“Any journey linking social justice to spirituality needs a destination: a world in which there is less violence in whatever form. The journey needs to lead away from structural violence, which is why we are seeking to link the notion of solidarity with that of effectiveness (which, we termed, perhaps unoriginally, ‘pragmatic solidarity’.” - From In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez.
A solidarity model of connection to others means that we follow their lead in making the world a more just place. We can do this most directly through service from which we learn, in which we struggle, and ultimately, grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Our contribution of service also reminds us of the history and change in labor distribution, exploitation, and privilege.
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Apprenticeship

“Increasingly we see education as part of living rather than as preparation for living, and the motivation for educating ourselves and others grows more intrinsic than extrinsic. - William Fraser
Apprenticeship is about learning the tradition. It is both faith and practice. We do this primarily through Modules, or "Mods," which are an intentional way for Quaker Leaders to engage in learning that deepens their relationship and understanding of Quaker faith and practice while developing their leadership skills. Quakers have long valued the role of education. In 1668 George Fox set up a school for students, regardless of gender, to instruct all “in whatsoever things were civil and useful in creation.” The form and subject of Quaker education has shifted over time, but it has remained an important part of the Quaker faith. Our hope is that through the modules students will engage with subjects that are useful to their development as Quaker Leaders.
“Increasingly we see education as part of living rather than as preparation for living, and the motivation for educating ourselves and others grows more intrinsic than extrinsic. - William Fraser
Apprenticeship is about learning the tradition. It is both faith and practice. We do this primarily through Modules, or "Mods," which are an intentional way for Quaker Leaders to engage in learning that deepens their relationship and understanding of Quaker faith and practice while developing their leadership skills. Quakers have long valued the role of education. In 1668 George Fox set up a school for students, regardless of gender, to instruct all “in whatsoever things were civil and useful in creation.” The form and subject of Quaker education has shifted over time, but it has remained an important part of the Quaker faith. Our hope is that through the modules students will engage with subjects that are useful to their development as Quaker Leaders.
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Justice

“Let us not be beguiled into thinking that political action is all that is asked of us, nor that our personal relationship with God excuses us from actively confronting the evil in this world. The political and social struggles must be waged, but a person is more and needs more than politics, else we are in danger of gaining the whole world but losing our souls.” -Eva I Pinthus, 1987
To “do rightly, justly, truly, holily, equally, to all people in all things”, as phrased by George Fox, we must continue to learn from others, discern our role in those teachings, and practice new skills. In order to remain relevant and attuned to the needs of the Quaker Leadership Scholars, (anti-oppression) workshops remain an integral part of learning new frameworks and skills, in the interest of spiritual growth and leadership development.

Key Program Details / Expectations for QLSP Scholars

QLSP offers a scholarship up to $3,500 per school year. If accepted into the program, the following time and activity commitments are expected of the scholar in order to retain their scholarship. Commitment to these expectations will be revisited throughout the semester, and participation in the program is renewable upon successful completion at the end of each year:
Participation in a QLSP “Module,” which meets for an hour and a half six times each semester–essentially a mini-class on varying topics and Quaker history/practices
Attend weekly QLSP worship (this space rotates between being a space of community building, exploration of spiritual practices and worship, and social justice workshops). It is currently held on Wednesdays from 4-5:30pm.
Attend worship with local Quakers, in which the spectrum of spiritual diversity and practice of the Quaker tradition is explored twice per semester, and write a brief reflection paper
Attend all required QLSP gatherings, biannual retreats, and trainings
Complete “REL 110: Quakerism” within the first year at Guilford. First years will also be required to take the Ethics track of the Integrative Experience (IE) class in their first semester.
Attend the Ethical Leadership Conference and trainings alongside ELF and Bonner students
Participate in a “Spiritual Friendship” meeting monthly with 1-2 other QLSP students paired together
Complete ~40 hours of service each semester
Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5
“QLSP has given me an incredibly supportive community of peers and helped me step into opportunities for compassionate leadership. As a student in the program, QLSP has taught me many rich things about the Quaker tradition and is preparing me in many ways for seminary and beyond, by making me a better scholar and participant in spiritual community.”
-Jim Glenn, 4th Year Community & Justice Studies Major, Quaker Leadership Scholar & Friends Center Fellow
We believe that investing in new generations of leadership, supporting their growth and vision, and continuing to evolve the program so that it can remain strong for years to come, is the essential heart of our work. Many QLSP students go on to worship with or work in Quaker organizations or other non-Quaker, related institutions. Our mission is to prepare students with skills rooted in the Quaker tradition, and spiritually-shaped, justice-informed, flexible, generous, and creative leadership. Our goal is to prepare and support the next generation of Quaker leaders from Guilford who are prepared to renew our organizations today.
We are proud of the 30+ year history of QLSP. Since 1992, when Max Carter and Deborah Shaw created the program, more than 300 students have gone through our program. Since 2015, Wess Daniels has worked closely with students in the program by teaching and offering guidance and direction through years of transition and change in the program. The current director, Liz Nicholson, is a graduate of the program and brings skill and passion to the work of leading the program.
Below you find a video we made for our 25th anniversary featuring a number of our graduates of the program over the years.
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