Work-Learning Grants

CTS Work-Learning Project Grants allow students to work with CTS faculty and staff to pursue advanced, special interests while accomplishing important work for the seminary. Students also earn a monthly stipend for their work.

Awarded on a semester (or summer) basis, the grants require students to work between 10 and 12 hours each week throughout each semester or summer. After successfully reaching learning objectives established at the beginning of the project and completing written reflections on their work, students receive one hour of credit.

Work-Learning Projects are listed as Guided Research in the CTS course schedule. Grants are competitive, and not all grant applications receive funding. To learn more, contact

Following are a few CTS Work-Learning Project stories.

Peter Gunderman—Faith, Theology and Medicine
Since ancient times, physicians have sought to understand the relationship between body and spirit. While 90 percent of medical schools offer courses on spirituality, few schools offer formal curricula to address spirituality and medicine. After completing two years of medical school, MTS student Peter Gunderman took a break to study theology at CTS and participate in a fellowship at Duke School of Divinity. Under the supervision of Dr. Rob Saler, Peter researched and proposed a formal curriculum that can be adapted and implemented in a variety of contexts. Ultimately, the Work-Learning Project will help CTS foster a partnership with the medical community.


Bethany Scott—HIVE Development
As co-founder and Executive Director of Full Life Development, a 501(c)3 serving villages in Southeast Asia, MDiv student Bethany Scott has conducted fieldwork with villagers in the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia, integrating physical and spiritual ministry into community development efforts. Under the supervision of Rev. Brenda Freije, Bethany’s Work-Learning Project focused on researching and developing resources to support Central Indiana ministries and community development groups serving Indiana and communities around the globe. Her research, networking and development work will enhance and support the HIVE initiative housed at CTS.


Michele Wood—My Soul Applauds at the Sound of Freedom
MDiv student Michele Wood is an award-winning illustrator and an accomplished painter, designer and writer. Working under the supervision of Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas, Michele worked as an artist-in-residence at CTS and  connected the community with art and worship focusing on themes of the environment and Black History Month. In February, Michele organized “My Soul Applauds at the Sound of Freedom,” a celebration integrating an art exhibit, dance and original song. Her artistic talents also supported “Our Common Home,” an art exhibit and worship service focused on embracing humankind’s shared responsibilities to the earth.


Alex Pittaway—Worship Arts and Design
CTS Chapel Assistant and MDiv student Alex Pittaway is passionate about creating dynamic and participatory worship environments. Alex’s Work-Learning Project seeks to transform the way chapel attendees experience and interact in worship services. Under the supervision of Rev. Brenda Freije, Alex’s Work-Learning Project strives to create a crowd-sourced laboratory of meaningful worship experimentation that spans cultures and ethnicities, always with a focus on Christ rather than the personal ego.


Paula Pettis-Garrett— Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement
Paula’s Work-Learning Project, under the leadership of Rev. Sarah Lund, seeks to build more robust relationships with CTS alumni, engaging these friends to enhance the experiences of current and future CTS students. Paula’s work explores how alumni are using their CTS degrees and campus experiences in their work, communities and everyday ministries. Paula is also exploring the role CTS donors and volunteers play in shaping the CTS experience for today’s campus community. She looks forward to sharing her findings with donors and alums, providing insights into how their gifts of time, service and treasure are impacting the lives of CTS students.


David Barickman—Desmond Tutu Center and Liberation Theology
As an MDiv student, David is deepening his involvement in social justice efforts. Working with the Desmond Tutu Center (DTC), David is helping plan and organize a conference featuring Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian and writer who is known for his advocacy on behalf of the poor and excluded. David will also work with the DTC’s Youth Fellows Institute, helping to train youth in social justice issues. Through the project, David will explore how liberation theology supports and informs day-to-day work with the marginalized and oppressed.