Program Officer (FI)

“Love is the core energy that rules everything…

…love is the one ingredient that holds us all together.” The words of our founder, John E. Fetzer, inspire us in carrying out our mission of helping to build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.

Our mission is both aspirational and inspirational. We are persuaded that at this critical moment in human history, a spiritually grounded transformation from separation and fear to wholeness and love is both the next big step forward in humanity’s spiritual journey and the only force powerful enough to save us from doing grievous harm to ourselves and the planet that sustains us. Our spiritually inclusive community of staff and trustees is grounded in love and hope, and committed to supporting a global transformation from fear and separation to wholeness and love.

We are seeking qualified candidates for the following positions to join us in advancing our work:

  • Program Officer, Partnership
  • Program Officer, Engagement
  • Program Officer, Research, Discovery, and Development
  • Program Officer, Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Communities (two openings)

Program Officers are responsible for managing projects and assisting in executing other strategies to further the Institute’s vision and mission.

Who We Are and What We Do

We recognize that to be effective in this work, we, as a community, must be the work—that is, that we must continually work to deepen our spiritual grounding and to build a culture based on our four core values: love, trust, authenticity, and inclusion. Standing on the common ground that there is more to existence than physical reality, we are committed to honoring and supporting all life-affirming spiritual paths.

Our staff develops and promotes programs that further our goal to help catalyze a broad-scale transformation by a critical mass of people around the world embracing love as the guiding force in their lives. While our staff of approximately 60 talented individuals work in one of three areas (Programs, Administration, or Operations) we are all committed to the work to transform ourselves in order to support the spiritual transformation of others. By this, we mean that no matter what our day-to-day work is, whether we are a vice president, a member of our program staff or our building and grounds crew, our role is also to operate in service of this overarching goal of transformation.

We’ve formulated five key strategies to guide us in our work toward this long-term goal for broad-scale transformation. They are:

  • Personal Spiritual transformation: Encouraging and supporting individual spiritual exploration and spiritual practice, both within and outside the mainstream religious traditions.
  • The New Narrative: Bringing together diverse thought leaders to support the emergence of a new cultural narrative that combines scientific and spiritual understanding
  • Movement Building and Outreach: Using classic movement-building strategies and the powerful new tools of social media to build networks and communities to support spiritual transformation.
  • Spiritual Communities: Encouraging and supporting the emergence of new forms of inclusive spiritual communities and a way of being in spiritually grounded relationship.
  • Engaging Science: Engaging leading scientists and philosophers in restoring a balanced and complementary relationship between the scientific and spiritual ways of knowing and exploring new “relational” understandings of reality that move beyond a materialist/deterministic scientific paradigm.

Read more about our theory of change and program strategy.

What You Will Do

As a member of our program staff you will play an important part in fulfilling our mission. Our program staff work in one of five areas:

  • Partnership: Staff in this area cultivate and manage relationships across a spectrum of organizations, sectors, and domains in order to form and maintain program partnerships that will more effectively leverage the Institute’s resources.
  • Engagement: Our Engagement team works to advance programmatic initiatives focused on creating and supporting broad-scale movement building and outreach. They oversee communications objectives, website, social media and other digital platforms, and assist with harvesting, sharing, and promoting content for all program areas and Institute initiatives.
  • Research, Discovery, and Development: This team works to generate new information and insights, synthesize data, coalesce new fields of research focus, and develop and share new understandings that advance Institute program goals and strategies. Methodologies and approaches used include work with researchers in natural sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines; organizing convenings and conferences; and collaborating closely with partners from within and across the world’s faith traditions and spiritual paths outside the traditions, as well as partners from across other social sectors.  
  • Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Communities: Staff in this area support and steward programmatic initiatives that deepen our understanding of the processes that foster and support spiritual formation and development at both the individual and communal level.
  • Learning Integration: This team manages a comprehensive learning function that harvests, synthesizes, and applies results and insights gleaned from all program areas.

As a Program Officer, you will manage the entire life cycle of projects in one of the areas above, from identifying and building relationships with new potential partners, to developing and implementing project ideas, to harvesting and disseminating key learnings. You will also assist in executing additional strategies designed to further the Institute’s vision and mission.

A typical day might include:

  • Conducting research to conceptualize and design projects that address and advance our theory of change and program strategy;
  • Participating in calls or meetings with project partners to collaboratively develop project ideas, which may also include creating project budgets, establishing goals and objectives, and planning evaluation methods;
  • Planning for and participating in convenings with project partners at Seasons, our meeting and retreat facility;
  • Visiting sites with project partners at locations where our work is carried out, and/or attending relevant meetings or conferences;  
  • Attending team or program area meetings to assist in overall project administration;
  • Working with our Engagement team to determine highlights from projects to share with select audiences to advance our mission, or with our Learning Integration team to conduct project evaluations;
  • Learning about trends, movements, ideas, and emerging program fields related to our mission and work; and/or
  • Interacting with the full staff and guests in learning experiences that foster our culture of spiritual exploration and personal growth.

What You Need To Be Successful

We value diversity and invite staff to bring their whole, authentic selves to work. In addition, we have found the following characteristics to be vital to our employees’ success:

  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to the Institute’s mission and values;
  • A team-oriented work style;
  • A mindset of servant leadership;
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and comfort with ambiguity;
  • An entrepreneurial approach;
  • Openness to learning about different spiritual/faith traditions and other forms of cultural diversity; and
  • A desire to engage, share, and interact with a close-knit community.

Successful Program Officer candidates will also possess:

  • A master’s degree in a relevant discipline and five years of experience in related work or an equivalent combination of education and experience. (Relevant disciplines may include communications, education, religion, sociology, international development, conflict transformation, community building, public policy, philosophy, physics, or biology.) Experience in philanthropy is helpful.
  • Excellent relationship-building and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking skills along with exceptional project management skills and writing skills;
  • The ability to develop and manage project budgets;
  • Comfort with asking questions to gain complete understanding of the work or other issues;
  • The ability to facilitate discussion and communicate sensitive decisions regarding financial support of projects;
  • A strong sense of authenticity and integrity, a healthy sense of humor, respect for diversity, and high ethical standards;
  • The ability and commitment to working collaboratively as part of a highly integrated team; and
  • Strong presentation and group facilitation skills.

What It’s Like to Work at the Institute

Our strong belief in the power of community unites us in working to foster a culture based on our core values of love, trust, authenticity, and inclusion, which guide our work and our relationships with each other. We each seek to live these core values in ways that are consistent with our own individual beliefs, practices, religions, and/or traditions.

A typical day at the Institute will depend on your role, of course, but you can expect to work with a community of people who take great pride in doing meaningful work in an atmosphere that encourages direct, honest, and respectful communication. Collaboration and teamwork and dialogue and deep listening are at the core of how we work. Reflection and contemplative practice will often be part of your day—most meetings start with a meditation such as a reading or a few moments of centering silence, and we encourage all to take quiet time for individual reflection as well.

We often say, “in order to do the work, you have to be the work.” That means we often see our work as a calling…work that supports the greater good, and we strive to embody our mission and values in all we do. We embrace learning and co-creation. Many of our staff say that they have been transformed in some way by the work that we do.

What We Have to Offer

One of the best benefits we have to offer our staff is an opportunity to contribute to meaningful and transformative work in a beautiful physical environment. As a member of our community, you can also expect to be paid a competitive salary and you will receive a generous benefits package, which includes medical, dental and vision coverage; a healthy contribution to a retirement savings account; and a generous amount of paid time off. We also believe in life-long learning and will support you in pursuing activities that allow you to grow and develop, both personally and professionally. Your health and well-being is important to us and we offer an extensive wellness program as well as life insurance and income protection for times you may be unable to work.

To Explore Becoming Part of Our Community

We invite qualified candidates to send us a letter of interest and résumé indicating the position you are applying for via email or mail, with email being the preferred method.

Email us at: [email protected], referring to “job1017” in the subject line, please. Attachments in MSWord are preferred.

Human Resources
9292 West KL Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Preference will be given to applications received by November 6, 2017, though these positions will remain open until filled.

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