Urban Hope Summer Mission Experience

Each summer, Urban Hope teams up with a local church to run a day camp for youth grades 5-10 who mostly reside in the Walltown community of Durham, NC.  We invite a small number (there are six positions available) of college students and young professionals to come and experience urban ministry through living in the community and serving as counselors in the Urban Hope Summer Camp.

The mission experience will challenge counselors to deeply examine God's Word about issues of poverty, racism, justice, and reconciliation.

If you are teachable, flexible, and willing to serve others, this is the opportunity for you.

What wisdom would a previous counselor share with a prospective applicant?

"I'd recommend it to anyone who is serious about the inner city and has a heart to be a catalyst for change." - Sarah, Pennsylvania

"I would tell them to forget everything they have ever learned, to forget every book they have ever read about coming to an urban area, and just come into it anew." - Jason, North Carolina

Begin the Process Today

Read the frequently asked questions below and download your application!

Who should apply?

Someone who is concerned about racial equity and desires to see how the gospel is impacting urban youth.

Someone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of God's passion for the poor.

Someone willing to work with, live among and learn from marginalized youth and their families.

Someone willing to break down the barriers of "them" and "us."

If this sounds like you and you have 8 weeks to invest this summer, then you should apply!

What will I do as an Urban Hope missionary?

You will serve as a camp counselor in one of our three tracks...

  • 5th & 6th grades (Bull City Leaders)
  • 7th & 8th grades (Durham Dynomite)
  • 9th & 10th grades (Walltown's Finest)

...guiding youth through activities focused on our eight core areas...

  • Spiritual Formation
  • Academic Enrichment
  • Leadership Development
  • Entrepreneurship & Financial Literacy
  • Civic & Community Engagement
  • Health & Recreation
  • Science & Technology
  • Cultural Arts

You and the other counselors will spend two afternoons a week away from the campers in a time designed for personal development. One afternoon is set aside for staff meetings where we'll prayerfully discuss successes and challenges related to the camp. The other afternoon's focus will be training, development, and coaching for the counselors through interaction with each other, the Urban Hope leadership team, and other local Christian Community Development ministers and professionals.

When does the Urban Hope Summer Missions Experience take place?

  • June 9 - August 1, 2018
  • Participants are required to stay for the entire duration.
  • The first week is an orientation for the counselors and there will be an overnight retreat mid-way through the camp.
  • After the camp ends, there is a half week debrief session.

Where will I live?

You will live in the Walltown neighborhood in The Alexander House with other Urban Hope staff. The residential component of the mission experience is part of staff training and development; therefore, participants are required to live in Walltown.

Local participants have the option of living in The Alexander House or in their own homes, but are strongly encouraged to participate in the residential component.

Why should I apply?

You should apply to this mission experience if you want to help advance the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom specifically through learning about God's commitment to all people and God's desire for us to be involved in caring for one another. How would your life change if you really knew what Lilla Watson meant when she said, "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time;  but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together?"

How does it all work?

  • January 26 - Applications Due (Final Deadline)
  • February 23  - All applicants are notified of their acceptance status
  • By March 9 - Those selected as staff will be given a fundraising orientation
  • Early March to Early June - Staff engage in fundraising
  • June 9 - Staff arrive in Durham
  • June 11 - Staff Orientation begins
  • June 18 - Camp begins!
  • July 27 - Camp ends
  • July 30 - End-of-Camp Banquet / Staff Debrief session begins
  • August 1 - Staff depart for home

What if I am concerned about fundraising?

There is a fundraising component:

  • Counselors will raise $3,200 ($2,200 program expenses + $1,000 take-home stipend).
  • If you have concerns about this impacting your ability to participate, Urban Hope can work with you to explore options.
  • The Navigators has an entire staff of people devoted to the area of fundraising.  We are collaborating with them to come up with a reasonable fundraising strategy for our short-term missionaries.
  • Please do not look at the $3,200 as a barrier, but rather an opportunity to trust God.  You are not in this alone and it has been done before.
  • There is a whole team of people who will help coach you as you raise your support.
  • Most people raise their support from a team of friends, family, church mission boards, church members, business persons, and other interested individuals and organizations.