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Pilgrimage of Discovery Eligibility Requirements

  1. Applicant must be age 23 to 30 on August 1, 2024.
     

  2. Applicant must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing at a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in the ecclesiastical region in which the applicant resides and is applying. “Good standing” is defined as a) having been baptized and chrismated according to the rites of the Orthodox Church; b) adhering to and living according to the tenets of the Orthodox faith in religious, moral and social practices; c) faithfully attending the divine liturgy and other worship services; d) participating regularly in the holy sacraments; e) respecting all ecclesiastical authority and all governing bodies of the Church and being obedient in matters of faith, practice, and ecclesiastical order; f) and contributing towards the progress of the Church's sacred mission.
     

  3. Applicant will only submit one application to the Pilgrimage of Discovery 2024.
     

  4. Applicant was not a Pilgrimage of Discovery participant in a previous year. If the applicant was selected as an alternate in a previous year but has not traveled on the Pilgrimage of Discovery, they may apply again this year if they meet the other eligibility requirements.
     

  5. Applicant must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. 
     

  6. Applicant must be a high school graduate or have successfully passed the General Education Development (GED) Exam.
     

  7. Applicant has demonstrated devotion and service to Christ and the Greek Orthodox Church.
     

  8. Applicant has demonstrated leadership qualities in ecclesial, academic, professional, and/or community life.
     

  9. Applicant has never been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
     

  10. Applicant is not married. Individuals that are married are not eligible to apply. 
     

  11. Siblings are eligible to apply. Only one sibling applicant may be selected.
     

  12. Completion of Application. The applicant must complete the entire application required by the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee. This includes the timely submission of all information requested in the application, as well as the timely submission of recommendation letters by both recommenders.
     

  13. The applicant must be willing to provide their social media account names and give permission to the Pilgrimage of Discovery to access social media accounts, including accounts listed as private, as part of the review process.
     

  14. The applicant acknowledges that a moderate level of physical exertion will be necessary for participants on the Pilgrimage of Discovery (e.g. walking distances, boarding buses, boarding planes, boarding boats, riding in open-air vehicles, climbing uphill roads, walking up and down stairs, walking on uneven streets, walking with crowds, etc.).
     

  15. If selected, the applicant must be willing to conduct herself/himself in a responsible, respectful manner consistent with an Orthodox Christian way of life. 
     

  16. If selected, the applicant must be willing and able to adhere to all travel, health, and safety requirements and restrictions mandated by local, state, federal, and international governmental authorities relevant to the applicant’s successful participation in the Pilgrimage of Discovery, including but not limited to provision of a valid passport, second form of legal identification, any necessary visas, and international health insurance at the applicant’s own expense. 
     

  17. If selected, the applicant must be willing and able to travel at the applicant’s own expense to a US international airport designated by the Pilgrimage of Discovery for timely departure to Istanbul, Turkey. 
     

  18. If selected, the applicant must be willing and able to execute a legal document provided to the applicant releasing the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, its metropolises and ministries,  the Pilgrimage of Discovery and their respective employees, agents, or volunteers from all liability for any injuries or property damage suffered by the applicant in connection with the Pilgrimage of Discovery.
     

  19. If selected, the applicant must be willing and able to attend three to four mandatory preparatory meetings by video conferencing in advance of the Pilgrimage of Discovery to get to know the other participants, to learn what the applicant should expect on their journey, and to prepare for their experiences.
     

  20. If selected, the applicant must be willing and able to commit to traveling and sharing experiences at various parishes and locations from time to time as Archon ambassadors within the Alumni Leadership Network for up to two years following the Pilgrimage of Discovery to help to expand awareness about the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Pilgrimage of Discovery, and the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
     

  21. If selected, the applicant must be willing and able to be photographed, filmed, and recorded before, during, and after the Pilgrimage of Discovery for the purpose of promoting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Pilgrimage of Discovery, and the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
     

  22. If selected, the applicant must be willing to give permission for a background check to be conducted if it is requested by the Pilgrimage of Discovery.
     

Selection Process

Eligible applicants will complete one on-line application and they will ask their two recommenders to submit recommendation letters as per the application instructions. Applications will be forwarded to the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee for a blind review process with only the ecclesiastical region and gender of each applicant made known to the Selection Committee. One recipient will be selected from each respective metropolis and the Archdiocesan District of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America—if eligible young adults have applied from those respective ecclesiastical regions—totaling up to nine recipients. The additional Pilgrimage of Discovery recipients will be selected from the remaining cohort of eligible applicants. The Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee is responsible for selecting up to sixteen young adults total from all eligible applicants. In its sole discretion, the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee may select less or more than sixteen young adult recipients. Any ecclesiastical region of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America that does not have an eligible young adult apply from its territory by the application deadline will forfeit the opportunity to have a young adult from that ecclesiastical region travel on the Pilgrimage of Discovery. In such a case, the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee may select any other applicant without regard to ecclesiastical region to fill an opening that was originally designated for any of the nine ecclesiastical regions that may be without applicants. Four additional young adults will be selected as alternates without regard to ecclesiastical region to replace any of the sixteen young adult recipients that may become unable to participate in the Pilgrimage of Discovery. The Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee will base its selection of recipients on the following: 

1. Eligibility: 
Each recipient must meet all eligibility requirements described above. 

2. Criteria for Selection

The Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee will consider the following criteria of the applicants in selecting recipients: 

  • Activities in the Orthodox Church up to the age of 18, years involved, and any leadership positions held.

  • Activities in the Orthodox Church after the age of 18, years involved, and any leadership positions held.

  • Leadership positions held outside of the Orthodox Church in college, graduate school, and/or community. 

  • Assessments made by the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee from all written materials submitted in the application process that demonstrate the applicant’s experiences, spiritual gifts, talents, leadership, motivation to travel, as well as potential to support and promote the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Pilgrimage of Discovery, and the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 

  • Assessments made by the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee from the letter of recommendation submitted by a priest at the applicant’s parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on behalf of the applicant.

  • Assessments made by the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee from the letter of recommendation submitted by a second Orthodox Christian (laity or clergy) living within the United States on behalf of the applicant.  

  • Assessments of any additional information that may be scrutinized or requested by the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee at its discretion during the review process, including but not limited to social media profiles, requested interviews, additional questions, or verification of information or materials submitted.

 

Applications will be judged comprehensively. Although the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee will apply the above criteria in a reasonable and objective manner, the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee is not required to place the same weight upon each criterion for each applicant. The selection of recipients will be determined solely at the discretion of the Pilgrimage of Discovery Selection Committee. 

Any questions regarding the Pilgrimage of Discovery should be addressed to pilgrimageofdiscovery@gmail.com

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