Dwell in Chicago
Whatever your degree or job or class schedule...
Come join us as we serve in and study how Chicago has been built to separate different classes and races. Together, we will serve, live, discuss, learn and try to understand how systemic injustices effect everyday life in Chicago. The Chicago Dwell unit will work on a faithful response to these systems.
Participants will come in from various streams.
You may participate living in the community as a 'tentmaker.' You have a job of your own. You pay a set amount each month similar to rent. You participate in the life of the house and the neighborhood.
You may participate as a 'student.' You may be a student at a local college. You pay a set amount each month similar to rent. You participate in the life of the house and the neighborhood.
You may participate as a 'placed volunteer.' Upon acceptance to the program, we will match your gifts, skills and interests to a placement site within the city. You would serve in a social service agency 4 days a week. You pay a total amount which you may raise from your family and friends or as mission support. You will receive a modest stipend for living expenses. You will participate in the life of the house and the neighborhood.
About Dwell Chicago
- Lives intentionally in an urban community on the West side of Chicago, East Garfield Park
- Is 19-29 years of age
- Spend time per week with the other Dwellers in informal reflection or directed study on themes of racism, classism, Christian Community Development, and the political systems of Chicago as they relate to Christian living
- Engage and participate in the ministries of First Church of the Brethren
- Participate in 3 retreats spread out over the year
DWELL will connect candidates to Chicago allowing them to learn in, serve in, and support local agencies that are working to change the unjust systems of Chicago. DWELL is not just about a placement in a good works agency, but rather also incorporates components of intentional community living, exploring faith with local churches, and a genuine interest in developing vocation in ministry.
Candidates will be interviewed and placed with Chicago agencies and ministries based on the need of the local ministry and the gifts and talents of the candidate. After arriving in early September, the first two weeks are set aside for orientation, exploring the city, reflecting on the upcoming year, reading, and settling in. Dwellers serving in ministry placements work an average of 32 hours a week. The team meets together one day a week for directed study, prayer, experiential learning through city outings, or ministry and living issues. Four retreats are taken throughout the year.
COMMUNITY - Volunteers will live in community with a diverse group of 4-6 Christian young adults, learn the meaning of Christian love and work through differences. Time is set aside in the schedule each week to allow volunteers to develop relationships with people from the community in which they live and experience the joys and difficulties of cross-cultural friendships.
SPIRITUALITY - Volunteers will engage in finding ways to connect their faith with their training and education. Each volunteer will receive support from the Dwell coordinator as well as other persons in the community. They will participate regularly in a local church and learn to apply their Christian beliefs in an urban setting. Volunteers will explore the Christian discipline of simple living.
SERVICE - Volunteers will be matched with a service site during the course of the year. The service site will be determined by the volunteer's interest in urban issues and the theme of the unit.
BENEFITS - DWELL will provide housing, utilities, a community grocery budget, public transportation pass, retreats throughout the year, a monthly stipend, and health insurance. Volunteers will be expected to raise support of about $4500; however, upon completion of service volunteers are eligible for grants for partial payments of student loans and moving expenses. Volunteers are also expected to report their experience to their home church, financial supporters, and the National DOOR community.
To dwell amongst the people of Chicago as Christ's example of living among us. To make known and to know God's presence in the city of Chicago by connecting to the community and being a part of an urban renewal movement. To meet a critical need of the local churches and the local community.
PERIOD OF SERVICE - One year (beginning of September through beginning of August)
If interested, you may contact Krista Dutt at 312.545.3667 or
To apply, complete this application and return by mail or email.
DWELL provides a curriculum that brings together a diverse collection of books, articles and experiences that our Dwellers read and discuss on a weekly basis throughout the year.
While we will cover the topics of interpersonal relationships and spiritual growth, we will focus primarily on Chicago politics and systems in our readings, our discussions, and field trips. Trainings focus on various issues related to the various community service sites, churches, or neighborhood experiences. Community Day is a time that all Dwellers come together to eat, reflect on their weeks, and study themes from scripture and the city.
Chicago is a great city that balances blue collar work ethnic, culture, and overall city appeal. Chicago is a unique place to study class and race and the history of politics. DOOR is a program designed to help inform, educate, challenge, and motivate individuals to respond to the issues and concerns facing urban America. DOOR exists to challenge individuals to consider ministry and service of a daily part of their life.