SAGE: a launchpad for Christian service in public life

Are you thinking about working in politics, the civil service, a think tank, development agency or advocacy group? Or wanting to join a social justice initiative with a church or Christian organisation?

If you want to discover for yourself how the Christian faith can engage powerfully with economic, social and political concerns, then the six-month SAGE programme is a way for you to test out your enthusiasm, ability and calling.

It equips recent graduates with keys for thinking biblically about public life and skills needed for effective social engagement. And all this takes place in the context of a Christian think tank with a 35 year track record of influencing leaders and policymakers in Britain and around the world.

Download SAGE Brochure

The SAGE programme provides a wonderful environment in which to grow professionally and in your walk with God. The biggest thing I have taken away from the programme is a new awareness of how the Bible provides a blueprint for social reform and a vision for society where all can flourish.

Peter, 2018/9 Participant

Programme Structure

The SAGE programme runs over two terms from October to March each year. It begins with a few days away in the countryside for team building (coronavirus permitting!), and ends with planning the next steps for your own course of action.

Study Term (October to Christmas)

In an intensive version of our online course (on applying biblical principles to public life), SAGEites spend the term studying biblical thinking across seven different spheres—including economics, justice & law, welfare and the arts. Alongside daily seminars and weekly essays, they will be choosing their research topic for the Research Term.

Research Term (January to Easter)

Each participant will work on researching into an issue of their choosing, exploring it from both a biblical and public policy perspective. They will write this up in a long essay of around 5,000 words, to be presented in the 7th week of the term.

The remaining four weeks of the term are devoted to developing 'seed projects'. These are first steps for each participant to take towards working out the vision for social transformation they have set out in their essay. They could take different forms, depending on the issue and nature of change envisaged, but options might include a video, podcast, article or live event.

Programme Leaders

The SAGE programme is led by Philip Powell, with support from Jonathan Tame, Mercedes McGuire and Ralph Lee. Additional input comes from staff with the Jubilee Centre and her sister organisations, including the organisations’ founder Dr Michael Schluter CBE.

Philip Powell

Course Leader and Jubilee Centre Training Manger

Jonathan Tame

Executive Director, Jubilee Centre

Mercedes McGuire

Supporter Relations and Operations Officer

Dr Ralph Lee MBE

Navigators UK Rep


Who is the programme for?

SAGE is for recent graduates who are committed Christians with growing leadership experience. There will be a maximum of eight people on the SAGE programme, and each one will receive individual support and mentoring for their project. In addition they will be part of the Jubilee Centre community.

What is the work schedule?

During the study term participants will be meeting in the Jubilee Lounge, next to Jubilee Centre’s offices, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday each week.

Then during the research term, participants will only be together in person each Monday in the Jubilee Centre, and research at home the following three days.

We’ve designed it so that participants can look for a part time job for 1-2 days/week to support themselves.

Where will participants live?

Participants accepted for the SAGE programme will need to find somewhere to live in Cambridge or within commuting distance of the city, as they will be spending Mondays-Thursdays together at the Jubilee Centre for the Study Term.

Since the participants only need to meet together physically on Mondays during the Research term, some may decide to find somewhere to stay in Cambridge only up to Christmas, then commute once a week from home (if that is realistic) for the second term.


How much does it cost?

The SAGE programme is subsidised by donors, which permits us to charge only £1,000 for the programme.

You will also need around £400-£500/month for accommodation if you rent a room in Cambridge, and money for food and other living expenses.

However, we don’t want to exclude emerging leaders on financial grounds, so if applicants are not able to raise these sums from family or friends, they can apply to us for a scholarship to cover part or all of their fees and expenses (email Mercedes on


What about Coronavirus?

If the measures being taken to manage the spread of Coronavirus in October do not permit SAGE participants to be physically present in Cambridge then we will run the programme online for as long as necessary, using Zoom meetings. All the course readings used during the Study Term are already fully online.

Should a participant need to self isolate for one or two weeks during the programme, we will bring them into discussions online (provided they are well enough to join in).


How do I apply?

Applications will reopen in December 2020 for the October 2021 intake. If you would like to apply, please fill out the form below for an application pack.

What are the Programme dates?

This year SAGE runs from 12th October 2020 to 26th March 2021, with a Christmas break between 18th December and 10th January. Dates for the 2021-22 year will be finalised soon.

Download an application pack