program essentials

Local Church/Service // Fellows will learn, love, and experience the importance of being connected to the local church, God's missional outposts. Fellows commit to weekly worship each Sunday, taste the joy of communal fellowship of all ages, and serve with the church’s Student Ministry.

Paid Internships // 3 days a week fellows learn the value of work while exploring vocation and call. The Orlando Fellows Team will do everything possible to match the Fellow and his/her interest with an appropriate internship (i.e. medicine, law, business, retail, hospitality, education, ministry, communication , real estate, etc.). Business partnerships are formed through the greater Christian community in Orlando, and are vetted for program commitment and the desire to provide an excellent work experience. 

Theological Coursework // Each Fellow can earn 6 credits through Reformed Theological Seminary, an accredited graduate school located in Orlando. The courses will be focused on the biblical narrative, Christian worldview, faith & work, and spiritual formation. These credits will transferable to graduate school, if the Fellow so desires.

Host Families // Each Fellow will live with a Host Family, where they will share at least one meal each week. Host families are recruited from the Christian community and meet the highest of standards in terms of character, integrity, safety and nurture.

Mentoring // Each Fellow will be assigned a Christian mentor who will meet with the Fellow regularly for advice, counsel, and life coaching.

Bible Study/Discipleship // Each week the Fellows will meet together for Round Table bible study and discipleship, led by the Fellows Director. This is a community building time and opportunity to process the experience, and discover God’s formation of our lives.

Retreats and Conferences // Each Fellow attends The Fellows Initiative Micah 6:8 Fall Conference and The National Conference in the spring. In addition, Orlando Fellows will also participate in a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, a solitude/silent retreat at a monastery and other opportunities.


To learn more, email Bret Allen, Fellows Program Director & Minister of Family Life at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando or call Bret at 407.423.3441.

Meet Bret and the rest of the staff here...

Our Setting

A rich history

First Presbyterian Church of Orlando is a Christ-centered church family who has sought to love and serve the city of Orlando since 1876. Our vision is to become a covenant community, making disciples who light the world. As a church whose story is deeply rooted in the City Beautiful, we seek to nurture her people and help shape the culture of this diverse and growing neighborhood for Jesus.

A city-center future

As a city-center church of just under 4,000 members, First Pres cultivates a unique relationship with the civic, arts and non-profit communities in Orlando, working to bring cultural and economic renewal to our city. Our proximity to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Amway Center, the emerging Creative Village, FAMU Collage of Law, and new downtown campuses for University of Central Florida and Valencia College situate our church squarely in the center of our Orlando's transformation. 

Occupying a full city block downtown, First Pres sits in the midst of a bustling business and arts district. The campus is not only a distinctive part of Orlando’s history and landscape, but houses three schools and multiple ministries. First Pres' variety of ministries to our community and church family include a vibrant 20s ministry and a newly dedicated faith and work initiative, The Collaborative.

The Collaborative

The Collaborative for cultural and economic renewal is a 50 year initiative to deepen people’s Biblical understanding of work and equip them to create a thriving culture.

Geared to promote the common good in Orlando, The Collaborative has been purposefully designed to help people connect the dots between work and faith. Our work strategically equips workers to think beyond the paycheck and find deeper meaning in the place they spend most of their waking hours: their job.

The Fellows Initiative is a key program within The Collaborative's array of offerings focused on young people, vocational & faith formation, and long term societal renewal.

An academic mindset

First Presbyterian Church of Orlando enjoys a close partnership with Reformed Theological Seminary. Many staff and students overlap with the congregation. First Pres hosts an RTS class each semester on campus and frequently participates in RTS programming. Orlando Heart of the City Fellows benefit from seminary coursework providing graduate studies credit.


Generosity & grace

This program is made possible due to the generous support of The Heart of the City Foundation. Since 1979 the Heart of the City Foundation has been shaped by the central tenets of the Gospel. Key foundation programs concentrate on the following four areas: Discipleship, Capital Projects, Scholarships and Missions. The HOCF seeks to strengthen these vital areas and grow God’s Kingdom – in the church, within the community and throughout the world.

The Heart of the City Foundation: A close-knit family, united in Christ, personally committed to giving and generosity.

The City Beautiful

Yes, Orlando is the “theme park capital of the world." Perhaps you've heard of a famous mouse who is our neighbor? Yet, there are many more amazing things to eat, see and do here in Orlando that our 55 million visitors per year never get to experience. Greater Orlando, and even downtown Orlando, is a fun, authentic place to live.

Our beautiful weather ensures that we can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle throughout the year. Great beaches, lakes and lots of places to “play” make Orlando especially accessible. Living here gives you easy access to Orlando Magic and Orlando City Soccer games, bowl games, PGA golf tournaments and even Spring Training baseball games. There are numerous camping and other natural adventures within a few minutes drive. With biking on the rise, Orlando has made a significant investment in urban and rural bike trails. (A First Pres pastor has even been known for riding the Orlando Critical Mass Bike Ride clogging up downtown traffic! )

We’re excited about the emerging cultural personality we see in our city. Innovative and truly creative food, music, and arts are becoming part of the social fabric here. A distinct and important part of cultural renewal is also shaped through the arts, which is why our church supports and engages with the arts community in Central Florida. Each autumn First Pres co-sponsors the Art in Odd Places (AiOP) street demonstrations and enjoys the interaction with the greater community.

Bottom line: Orlando is a beautiful, fun, authentic city, and its on the rise.

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