On Friday, June 1, members of the newest ACE Teaching Fellows cohort (19) landed at Notre Dame for their first summer of teacher training. They began trickling onto campus early in the morning, and spent the day moving into their dorm rooms and getting settled for a late-afternoon opening session and picnic, and then a weekend retreat of contemplation about the next year of their lives.
"It's an intense, gear-changing weekend," one ACE graduate mused, full of teachings and conversations about the transition into ACE life, graduate school, and the call to discipleship. Among topics the cohort considered: the shift from college student to teacher and graduate student; the role of serving one's school; and how the Spirit has gifted each of them uniquely for the experience ahead.
Considering the fact that most of the cohort graduated college less than a month ago, a handful arrived from other countries, and all are completely new to every facet of ACE, it's no surprise that the weekend is intellectually and emotionally potent. ACE pastoral staff members are therefore careful to ground every discussion in the context of ministry, view each pillar through a spiritual lens, and encourage the new teachers that as the next two years unfold, they will be serving in the strength of God, who never leaves or forsakes them.