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Clarendon Scholars Program Details

Together, for the good of the city

The Clarendon Scholars Program is an urban leadership development and honors program that seeks to raise up the next generation of leaders through a four-year cohort experience. Read more below to learn what that looks like in practice.

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 NLT

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Explore the five pillars of the Clarendon program

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Exploring career and calling

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Explore leadership and community engagement

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Complete a senior thesis project

Over the course of your four years at Gordon, you will attend the Clarendon retreat and four "Foundations" workshops, participate in a paid summer internship, complete a capstone senior thesis project and engage in additional Global Honors Institute programming.

Studying Education at Gordon College: Bethany Fix

Clarendon Scholars engage with one another and the program directors to achieve the five pillars of this honors program: personal growth, reconciliation and cultural fluency, community engagement, leadership development and professional and career development. You will benefit from mentoring relationships and peer support, equipping you to succeed in all aspects of your college experience and future career, further nurturing your vision to serve cities and urban areas.

Personal Growth

  • Academic growth: You are encouraged to excel academically, to reflect the standards of an honors program and to take advantage of any resources or support that is offered to maintain this academic standard.

  • Spiritual growth: You are encouraged to demonstrate your commitment to grow in your relationship with Christ and his body by practicing spiritual disciples, attending Chapel, participating in discipleship opportunities and being active in a local church community.

  • Social growth: You are encouraged to have relationships marked by integrity, humility, mutual respect and love.

Reconciliation and Cultural Fluency

"Reconciliation is an ongoing spiritual process involving forgiveness, repentance and justice that restores broken relationships and systems to reflect God's original intention for all creation to flourish." —Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil

Cultural competence is the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures. Through this honors cohort experience, you will gain a healthy understanding of your own cultural identity and intersectionality between race, culture and privilege while being an agent of reconciliation and healing on campus. 

Community Engagement

You will have the opportunity to be actively involved in your communities—including your cohort community, the Clarendon community, the larger Gordon community and your home community. You will be encouraged to find places where you can use your unique gifts and skills to work on projects and initiatives that benefit particular communities. You will be encouraged to study abroad and engage with visiting scholars from different backgrounds.

Alex Saintcyr

Alex Saintcyr

B.A. Accounting and Business Management, Gordon College
Audit Associate, KPMG

"The Clarendon program has deepened my understanding of community insofar as I co-rejoice and co-suffer in good times and bad with my cohort. It has also equipped me with an exhortation to effective, honest leadership."

Urban Leadership


As a Clarendon Scholar, your ultimate goal is to return to the urban context to serve in a leadership role. Toward that end, you’ll spend time discovering what you bring to the city and sharpening the unique skills needed to lead there. In preparation to return to the city, you’ll deepen your understanding of community—one of the biggest assets in an urban context—and the importance of engagement as you build with those around you.

Professional and Career Development

Calling and Career Conference

Throughout your four years, you will be given the tools to connect your calling and vocation to the needs and opportunities that exist in urban settings—whether business, education, the arts, community organizations, health care, politics, ministry or any other field. By the end of your sophomore year, you will be paired with a mentor who is a working professional in your declared major.

  • Year 1: Introduction to the concepts of professional and career development
  • Year 2: Career and Calling Conferences through CCI and paid internship
  • Year 3: Paid internship
  • Year 4: Apply for full-time career opportunities


A Zulu phrase meaning “I am because you are.”

Clarendon Scholars succeed together, investing in one another and building connectedness. When one succeeds, we all succeed. 



SAN—return / KO—engage / FA—bring it here

A Ghanaian philosophy meaning “Go back and get it.”

Clarendon Scholars recognize the valuable skills gained through personal experiences and upbringings in the city. We reflect on where we come from to propel us forward to a better future.

Clarendon Retreat

Annual Retreat 

Each fall all four cohorts gather for the annual retreat. During the retreat, you will focus on one of the five pillars of the program. You will receive a deep understanding of the values and guiding principles through workshops and team building. All the while you create a closer bond with your cohort and build relationships with other members of the program. Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes and creativity for our annual cohort dance and talent competition: Cheesecake Cup.

Foundations workshops

Foundation workshops focus on providing practical tools to work and lead in the urban community. Each workshop will focus on one of the five pillars of the program to further develop your understanding of your calling back into the city. Each workshop is taught but one of our alumni who has been leading and growing in these areas.

Topics include:

  • Asset Mapping
  • Bridge-building within communities 
  • The role of the church in community development and equity 
  • When helping hurts

Senior Retreat

During your senior year spring break, you will join your cohort on a multi-city road trip around the northeast. You will meet Clarendon Scholars alumni and hear about the impact they are having in their communities. Each alumnus provides a unique story of the calling on their lives and how they have used their Gordon education to enrich and empower the areas they have been called to serve. 

Cities Visited: 

  • New York City, NY
  • Jersey City, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA

Clarendon alumni are employed across a vast range of fields including the arts, education, finance, law and public health, public policy, ministry, social work and the sciences. Grounded in the lessons they have learned along with their cohort, Clarendon alumni continue to impact and advance their local communities.

Neisha Gonzalez

Neisha Gonzalez

B.A. Christian Ministries (Youth and Urban Ministry), Gordon College
M.Ed. Counselor Education (School Counselor and Guidance Services)- University of Massachusetts, Boston
Senior Passport Program Coach, Boston Higher Education Resource Center (HERC)

"Because of the Clarendon Scholars Program, I was able to continue my education, create many new connections with amazing people, the ability to release the burden off my mother to pay for college, a practicum experience, and also to become a role model to all in my church. Now I will leave the school experienced and stronger academically, spiritually, physically, emotionally and as a good leader."

Samuel Tsoi

Samuel Tsoi

B.A. International Affairs, Gordon College
M.A. Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Assistant Director, 21st Century China Center, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

"Not only has the New City Scholars (Clarendon Scholars) Program given me a rich education, deep fellowship and leadership development, it's imprinted on me a vision to "seek the peace and prosperity" of the city.”

Advocate for Immigrants

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