Field Education Sites

First Church in Cambridge, Congregational - Shelter

11 Garden St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 661-1873
Fax: (617) 876-5829
Web address:

Contact Person(s):

Mr. Jim Stewart

Organization Description:

The First Church Shelter, a Just Peace Ministry of the First Church in Cambridge, has been in continuous operation since 1987. It provides a a basic act of mercy to the poor and homeless of Cambridge and surrounding communities. Each evening, 14 men (17 November-April) are provided a safe comfortable place to stay. Guests have access to two meals, showers and storage for personal belongings. The shelter also offers guest assistance with identifying and securing the resources needed to move out of homelessness, and into, transitional or permanent housing. Much of thatassistance comes in the forms of referrals to other agencies and service providers, but shelter staff are available to help guests negotiate the frequently difficult and intimidating process of applying for public benefits or subsidized housing.

The shelter also feels obligated to address social and economic forces that create and perpetuate homelessness and other forms of persistent poverty. The shelter has been the principal organizer, working with the Jewish Community Relations Council, Mass Coalition for the Homeless and other groups, of the Harvest of Shame, which focuses public attention on the ongoing neglect of the poor during the holiday season. It also works, at the local, state and national level (with religions and other groups), to promote public support for prompt and appropriate public action around a cluster of issues that effect poor people.

First Church values clear guidelines, supportive structures and regular, mutually accountable supervision.

Opportunities for Student Involvement:

First Church will welcome any seminarian eager for a challenging placement. The student will be provided with opportunities to participate in all aspects of shelter operations: basic hospitality, program management, case management and supportive counseling, public advocacy/lobbying. They will have an opportunity to become knowledgeable in other, related, areas, such as organizational advancement, Christian Education and public speaking/preaching as well.

Commute/Transportation Information:

No information provided.

Arts of Ministry Competencies Offered:

  • Administration and Program Development
  • Denominational Polity
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning


Student and supervisor will meet weekly to assess how the experience in moving toward the agreed upon goals, to reflect theologically upon ministry, and to clarify questions and concerns that may arise.

Additional Information:

Number of Students: 1

Total Compensation: $4000.00

Type of Compensation: work study

Additional Notes:

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