QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Frequently asked questions
When should I apply?
We strongly encourage prospective fellows to apply before the early application deadline, November 30th. We receive a lot of applications and our program fills up quickly.
How long do admissions decisions take?
We make every effort to make an admission decision within 4-5 weeks of receiving your application.
How much does the program cost? Are scholarships available?
The program fees are $6,500 per year. A very limited number of partial scholarships are available. This program fee covers all of your expenses of the program, including books, course registration fees, community meals, and retreats. You will be living with a host family that will provide a room and at least one meal per day at no cost to you. You will be responsible to pay for at least one meal per day.
Can I apply to multiple fellows programs?
Yes. Capital Fellows is part of The Fellows Initiative network of fellows programs. There are more than 30 like-minded programs in this network. Each program is unique, so you should do some research about which ones might be right for you. We are happy to help you work through these decisions.
What do you look for in an applicant?
We like to have a diverse set of life experiences and personalities in each cohort. So, we look for applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, universities, and majors. In general, we look for applicants that exhibit maturity and humility. We look for applicants that have teachable spirits and the willingness to apply themselves. We look for fellows that have performed well academically and have demonstrated a tendency toward leadership. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States (i.e. either U.S. citizens or green-card holders) and must be between the ages of 21 and 25 on the first day of the program.
Can I be married or engaged as a fellow?
Engaged, yes. Married, no. It is not unusual for Fellows to become engaged before or during the program year. While this is a wonderful, exciting step in life, it also can be challenging for the fellow. Planning a wedding is time-consuming. Spending time with the fiancé can put many extra burdens on the Fellow and can keep them from fully participating – physically, mentally and spiritually – in the life of the fellows community. Our best recommendation is to keep a good perspective on things. Also, do not underestimate the impact of your absence on the other Fellows. Your fiancé is welcome to attend any informal Fellows gatherings (such as parties and special events). The fiancé is also welcome to visit one class per semester. But, we would prefer that the fiancé not attend Roundtable, Life and Leadership, and the community service activities. Also, it is strongly discouraged to hold your wedding within a month of the end of the program. The last month is a very busy time of year for the fellow. Not only is the fellow focused on finding a job and a place to live, he or she is also dealing with finishing the program well and attending many year-end activities.
Can I visit the program?
Yes! It’s not required, but we would love to meet you in person. You’re welcome to attend a Friday class or one of our guest lectures as well.
How many fellows are in each cohort?
Historically, the average cohort has had12 fellows. In any given year, the cohort size may range from 12 to 18.
Does the church have counseling resources available?
Yes. The Capital Presbyterian Family, and McLean Presbyterian specifically, has a wonderful and extensive counseling program. These resources are available to every fellow that needs help. Please contact the Executive Director or Assistant Director for more information.
Can I find my own internship?
Yes. If already have received an offer of an internship, we are happy to work with your employer to sort out the details. In these cases, we require that the employer fully understand and agree to the weekly and annual schedule of the Capital Fellows program. We also require the employer to have a conversation about the details of the Capital Fellows program with the Program Director.
Can I be a Capital Fellow without an internship?
No. The internship is an important part of the Capital Fellows Program. It is important for the fellow to have hands-on work experience during the fellows year, not only as a way to explore God’s vocational calling, but also as a way to explore the realities of the work environment. Among other things, Capital Fellows is an excellent faith and work program that will help you to integrate your Christian faith with the work you do all week, so the internship is a critical component of the educational process for a fellow.
Can I participate in an unpaid internship?
Yes. We do allow fellows to participate in unpaid internships. In these cases, the fellow is required to pay their Capital Fellows program fees in full on the first day of the program and demonstrate sufficient financial resources to live in the D.C. area without the income associated with a paid internship.
Can you tell me about transportation in Washington, D.C.? Will I need a car?
Yes, you will need a car. Program activities take place all around the area, many of which are not accessible by public transportation. Be encouraged, though, because the Washington, D.C. does have one of the best public transportation systems in the country. While you will still need a car from some program activities, it is common for fellows to use the Metro to get to work.
I am planning to attend graduate school. Does the program make sense for me?
Yes! Many fellows choose to go to graduate school after their fellows year. Fellows have gone to law school, medical school and graduate programs in a variety of subjects (e.g. business, education, theology, counseling, political science, etc.). The vocational, educational and community service experiences gained during the Capital Fellows program are exceptional preparations for graduate study in many fields.
When and why was Capital Fellows started?
Capital Fellows is a ministry of the Capital Presbyterian Family and McLean Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia and the Washington DC metropolitan area. In 2006, the leadership of McLean Presbyterian Church recognized a need and opportunity to serve recent college graduates and the DC metro area at the same time by equipping those graduates with a deep understanding of God's calling that extends to every area of life - work, family, church and society. The first fellows cohort arrived in 2007. We now have relationships with many employers, mentors, host families, guest speakers and others throughout the Capital Presbyterian Family that are excited to work with the emerging generation of leaders.
Are there other fellows programs?
Yes! Capital Fellows is a member of The Fellows Initiative which is a network of independent fellows programs around the United States. These programs share a common love for Christ, a high regard for God's Word, and a vision to equip and inspire emerging young leaders. While we have these things in common, each program is unique and aligned to the context of its city. Click here to learn more about The Fellows Initaitive.
Is Capital Fellows a Christian internship...that is an internship with a Christian organization?
Most of our internships are with secular organizations - companies, nonprofits, and government offices. Capital Fellows is a Christian leadership and vocational development program, but our internships are not only with Christian organizations. We have a wide range of internships in many career fields to help you explore your vocational interests after college.
What is the Capital Presbyterian Family?
McLean Presbyterian Church is a vibrant and growing church community. Our growth has given us the opportunity to reach more parts of the DC metropolitan area though a multisite church model. We are one church, worshiping and serving in multiple locations. McLean Presbyterian Church is one of the sites in the Capital Presbyterian Family. As a Capital Fellow, you will be involved in group activities that span sites as well as individual activiteis that are linked to one of the sites.
What does it mean that Capital Fellows is a multisite fellows program?
Capital Presbyterian Family and McLean Presbyterian Church are one church, worshiping and serving in multiple locations. That is also true of the Capital Fellows program. Some aspects of the Capital Fellows program, such as retreats, conferences, service in the city, and classes are done together as a group. Other aspects, such as worship and service in the church, life with a host family are done in connection with a local site of the Capital Presbyterian Family. It sounds complicated, but it's actually very simple. In every way, you are part of a single fellows program.