Start Date: Likely July 1, 2020 End Date: June 11, 2021 Full Time, Exempt Amman, Jordan
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities seeks a Middle East Studies Program (MESP) Program Assistant responsible for providing administrative, student life and academic support for the program during the 2020-21 academic year. The Program Assistant (PA) has significant responsibilities as a MESP staffer. While the position offers travel opportunities, there is little time for Arabic study or other personal development apart from duties related to the program. The PA’s responsibilities start with arrival in Amman, Jordan on a date to be determined in 2020 and will conclude June 11, 2021. Between semesters, the PA will be free from December 18th, 2020 and expected to return to work on January 3rd, 2021.
The Middle East Studies Program is a part of ten BestSemester programs offered by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to its membership; with three based in the US and seven based internationally. BestSemester is known for faith-integrated, academically challenging and experience-based programing with excellent faculty and staff. The academic strength and integrity of the BestSemester programs is assured through regular evaluations by the CCCU Student Academic Programs Commission. Program directors are supported by a Washington, D.C.-based support team (marketing, applications and enrollment, campus relations, crisis management and curricular development and planning).
The CCCU is a higher education association of more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in North America and nearly 30 more from an additional 18 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth (www.cccu.org).
Cooperate and work closely with other MESP staff—MESP relies heavily on a cohort learning model which requires group bonding, staff cooperation, and coordination. (Note that the Director and his wife relate very closely with the PA. We believe in relationship, and in a relational basis to working together. MESP is a close, intentional community, and that starts with the staff. We often spend time together, eat together, and get to know each other as deeply as possible.)
Monitor quality of student life—student well-being, housing, travel, living conditions during the semester, social activities, home-stays, etc. Help establish healthy, positive, growing community life.
Enforce and reinforce all MESP covenant rules—the Program Assistant must accept both the letter and spirit of the covenant, and help to enforce the rules among students.
Help schedule, organize, and facilitate all events, as requested, throughout the semester.
Help plan and lead/supervise student travel on weekends and during travel components.
Lead and/or accompany the students in getting out in the community to explore, meet Jordanians, practice Arabic, etc., throughout the semester.
If necessary, assist in leading student-led devotionals throughout the semester.
Distribute funds/resources to students as instructed.
Help the Director with administrative support (this involves several hours per week working in the MESP office), including emailing, planning, preparing a Newsletter at least once per semester, maintaining (and expanding) the alumni database, and more.
Be reachable and available to assist with emergencies 24/7. We work to structure time off / down time each week, but the PA needs to be prepared to work as needed, to respond to student needs and emergencies, etc. (the Director and his wife are also “on call” 24/7, and are involved in all emergencies).
Maintain a program manual with all details relevant to the MESP program functions including important contact names and emails acquired as part of all MESP activities.
Assist the Director with program feedback (including setting up and monitoring multiple surveys using Survey Monkey), editing documents, and quality control.
Organize and attend MESP functions and classes as requested by the Director, including staff meetings.
Communicate student problems and concerns to the Director and be involved as needed for any disciplinary matters discussed between the students and MESP staff.
Be available to help students with processing the academic and cultural aspects of the course, possibly including discussing readings, helping with papers, talking about cultural experiences, and more.
Keep office hours as designated by the Director. (A typical pattern for the PA is to work in the MESP office with the Director and Program Administrator on class days when class is not in session, on service project days, and other days as needed. The PA normally attends class sessions and all MESP activities. The day off is normally on Friday or Saturday, depending on the schedule and on MESP trips.)
Persons applying for the position should be/have:
MESP alum, strongly preferred.
A vibrant and growing Christian (Jesus-centered) faith (note: this does not mean perfection, or not having questions or doubts).
Displays the following character attributes: Loyal to staff, trustworthy, faithful, responsible, diligent, stable (in values, identity, etc).
Ability to relate to a variety of people (range of students, plus staff).
Stamina for relationships (good degree of extroverted energy).
Physical stamina (e.g., for hiking, walking, long days of activity).
Openness to / love for adventure (willingness to step out of your “comfort zone”).
Ability to lead students.
Responsiveness to the leadership of the Director and his wife.
Willingness to be pushed / stretched further in cultural adaptation; flexibility, adaptability.
Willingness/desire to study and use Arabic (as schedule allows).
Self-starter/ability to take initiative, does not need to be told what to do (and at the same time, able to follow instructions).
Eagerness to learn, ability to receive feedback.
Commitment to read all of the MESP student reading (books, readers), either before or during the fall semester.
A pacesetter / model for the students, including being a model in cultural adaptation, commitment to community, upholding the covenant, etc.
Good computer and organizational skills; proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel, able to use Survey Monkey, Dropbox, etc.
Application should include:
Two recommendations (note: for those who did MESP when Dr. Holt was Director, we will also be asking him for his recommendation).
Respond to the following questions (1-2 paragraphs each):
How did MESP impact you?
What have you done since MESP? What has been most life-changing?
How would you describe your faith journey and your relationship with Jesus? What are you “sure of”? What do you doubt?
Why do you want this position? What would most excite you, about serving as MESP PA?
What are 5 words your friends, family or work mates would use to describe you (feel free to elaborate)? What are 5 words you would use to describe yourself (feel free to elaborate)?
What do you see as your qualifications? What strengths do you believe you would bring to the MESP team? What type of leader are you?
What is your experience in living/working cross-culturally? What do you find most challenging about cross-cultural adaptation/living/working?
How do you handle stress? How might you handle a schedule that involves intensive time with people, and always being on call with very little time off?
What about being PA do you think would be most difficult or challenging for you, and why?
How does MESP relate (if it does) to your future (career, vocation) interests?
Modest monthly stipend
Work cell phone plan provided in Amman
Airfare reimbursement towards competitively priced roundtrip (or one-way times 2) airfare to MESP
Food stipend during MESP
Visa and Visa assistance
All related expenses for required MESP-related travel
Optional emergency international travel medical insurance coverage while overseas. Please note this insurance does not provide coverage in the United States.
Application process: Applicants should send all required application materials listed above to CLamar@cccu.org (and CC email@example.com) by April 1, 2020. Applications will be considered as they are received. All applicants will be notified of the final decision by May 15, 2020. If you have any questions about the position, please contact Doug Magnuson, MESP Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please be sure to submit all of the requested materials at the same time. No paper applications or
About Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and nearly 30 more from an additional 18 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. For more information about our organization, visit our website: www.cccu.org. Learn more about our BestSemester programs at: www.bestsemester.com