The Armour Institute
Graduate Research Program
The Armour Institute, in partnership with The New Covenant Apostolic Order Joint College of Bishops, has developed a co-venture commencing a project that will change how the African American Ecclesia, and its Diaspora, applies its Rules of Engagement regarding polity, piety, and orthodoxy, in the interest of promoting a more excellent way organizationally.
A Graduate Research Program is an untimed evolution and renewable appointment that involves working on a focused project, learning about, and contributing to a body of work that will benefit humanity in perpetuity.
Together, we proclaim that the government of the church must by right be presided over by a College of Bishops. In one sense, the care of the church is the responsibility of every Bishop individually. Furthermore, all duly consecrated Bishops have a collective responsibility to participate in the governing of the church. This is ultimately achieved by the creation of a “Code of Canon Law”, with specificity to the African American Diaspora. Our Code of Canon Law, similar to the same of the Universal (Catholic) Church, will have cultural aspects of the African experience, which carries over to the African in America, and our Ecclesia. Rightly so, as the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity were both founded by God’s grace and the contributions of the African Diaspora.
The ancestral roots of the biblical narrative originated from Africa; thus, the Ancient Pilgrim Church’s values, principles, and order must be set to a guidance documented under Canon Law. Critics will say, “there is already a code of Canon law, why do we need another?” The answer to those critics would be, the Code of Canon Law of the universal church was written for “members of the Latin Rite” (Churches in Communion with the Pope), not for the African’s or their diaspora.
Thusly, We must no longer be governed by or allow extrapolating narratives from Canon Law which may conveniently suit our purposes, but ignore written Canon Law where we may find it reprehensible because it’s not how we desire to do things. Throughout our relatively brief history of adoption, we have omitted portions of our standards and processes, and utilized scenarios that fit the occasion of need. If there were documented, governing standards, processes and operating values and principles foundationally based within our ancestral roots, it would command order and restore legitimacy.
This code of Canon Law will be authored and ratified by African American authentic episcopates that have labored to this end in bringing about restoration of cultural order, set upon a foundation built by God and the Holy Spirit and not by extrapolation.
To be eligible for the Ai | NCAOJCOB | GRP, you must:
- be a US citizen, US national, or permanent resident
- intend to pursue a research-based Master’s program at The Armour Institute
- be enrolled in an eligible program at The Armour Institute, by fall semester following selection
- be at an early stage in your graduate career
- have completed no more than one academic year of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent)
- Ai Graduate students are limited to only one application to the GRP, submitted either in the first year or in the second year of graduate school
Application Level Selection
The GRP Application requires you to select the academic level that best describes the stage of your academic career. Use the GRP Academic Level listed below to help you select the appropriate academic level in your application. Levels are determined as follows:
Level 1. You have not previously enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program, but plan to start graduate study next fall. Includes undergraduates in the final year of a bachelor’s degree program and individuals who previously earned a bachelor’s degree.
Level 2. First year graduate student currently enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program, who has never applied to the GRP before as a graduate student or returning graduate student, or a student currently enrolled in a joint bachelor’s-master’s degree program (must have completed three academic years in program).
Level 3. Second year graduate student who has completed no more than one academic year of graduate study while enrolled in any graduate degree-granting program, does not have a graduate degree, and has never applied to GRP before as a graduate student or returning graduate student.
Level 4. Returning graduate student who is not currently enrolled in a degree-granting program, and may have more than one academic year in a graduate-degree granting program and/or a master’s or professional degree, followed by an interruption of at least two years just prior to the GRP application deadline. Note: address the reasons for the interruption and why you should be considered to be in the early stages of your graduate education in the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement.
Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement
The Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement must address Ai’s merit review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Applicants must include headings for Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their statements.
The maximum length of the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement is three (3) pages.
Graduate Research Plan Statement
The Graduate Research Plan Statement must also address Ai’s merit review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Applicants must include headings for Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in their statements.
The maximum length of the Graduate Research Plan Statement is two (2) pages.
Statement Formatting Requirements
Page limits for the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement and Graduate Research Plan Statement include all references, citations, charts, figures, images, and lists of publications and presentations. Statements must be written using the following guidelines:
- Standard 8.5″ x 11″ page size – 1″ margins on all sides, no text inside 1″ margins (no header, footer, name, or page number)
- Times New Roman font for all text, Cambria Math font for equations, Symbol font for non-alphabetic characters
- Minimum of 12-point font, except text that is part of an image
- No less than single-spacing (approximately 6 lines per inch)
- PDF file format only
Keep in mind that Ai and NCAOJCOB aren’t seeking to gather just members of the clergy; we are seeking academicians, scholars, and researchers dedicated to this work. Use the statements to show leadership potential, self-starter capabilities, and the ability to work well with others.
Be yourself. An application that conveys a clear sense of who you are as a person, with a narrative that has energy and flow, will generally be better received. Remember that the GRP recognizes individuals based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in Ecclesiastical History and Research.
Be dedicated to being a contributor. Instead of elaborative individual details of personal largesse and oblations, focus on the rationale of your contribution to this collective research effort designed to bring a historical positive change to our vineyard in the Body of Christ.
Develop a consistent theme in both statements. Weave together your personal story with your academic and career plans and past experiences to make a compelling case why Ai and NCAOJCOB should offer you a seat at the table. The decision will be based on your demonstrated potential for significance as part of a team dedicated to the cause of Christ.
Merit Review Criteria
All GRP applications are evaluated using Ai two merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. In order to present a competitive application, you must address both merit review criteria’s thoroughly. The Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals Statement and the Graduate Research Statement should both reflect these criteria. Remember to ask your reference writers to discuss how you fulfill the merit review criteria as well.
Applications are reviewed by disciplinary and interdisciplinary seminarians, scholars, and other professional graduate education experts. Reviewers are selected by Program Facilitators charged with oversight of the review process. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the applicants. Applications are reviewed in broad areas of related disciplines based on the selection of a Major Field of Study (see Fields of Study in Appendix). Selection of a Major Field of Study determines the application deadline, the broad disciplinary expertise of the reviewers, and the discipline of the graduate degree program if awarded a Fellowship. Applicants are advised to select the Major Field of Study in the GRP Module (see Fields of Study in Appendix) that is most closely aligned with the proposed graduate program of study and research plan.
Applicants must include separate sections on Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts in each of their written statements in order to provide reviewers with the information necessary to evaluate the application.
- Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
- Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.
The GRP Module allows applicants to request up to five (5) reference letters and to rank those reference letters in order of preference for review. If more than three reference letters are received, the top three will be considered for the application. Reference writers will be notified by email of the request to submit a letter of reference on behalf of an applicant. To avoid disqualifying an application, reference writers should take into consideration the Central Standard Time (CST) hours of operation of Ai Help Desk as stated in the notification email. Letter writers will receive a confirmation email after submitting a letter via the GRP Module.
Please provide the following information for your references:
- Organizational Affiliations
- Email Address
- Indicated rank for each reference letter
Education and Work Experience
GRP applicants are asked to provide education and work experience. Information includes:
- List of institutions, enrollment status, enrollment dates, and degree conferred (if applicable) for all degree-granting undergraduate and graduate Institutions attended
- Official academic transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
- Significant academic honors, fellowships, scholarships, publications, and presentations
Proposed Field of Study
Select the field of study that most closely reflects the field of your proposed expertise and experience. Your selection of a Field of Study determines the reviewers who will review your application, and the research huddle to which you will concentrate most of your efforts.
Ai | NCAOJCOB Collaborative Board Members
Bishop Michael V. Johnson, Ph.D.
President | The Armour Institute
Co-Founder | The New Covenant Apostolic Order Joint College of Bishops
Bishop Roger H. Phillips, Ph.D.
Founder | The New Covenant Apostolic Order Joint College of Bishops
Distinguished Professor of African Studies | The Armour Institute
Bishop Lawrence D. Hill, B.A.
Senior Lecturer | The Armour Institute
Founding Member | The New Covenant Apostolic Order Joint College of Bishops
Bishop Michael L. Loyd, Ph.D. (Candidate)
Senior Lecturer | The Armour Institute
Member | The New Covenant Apostolic Order Joint College of Bishops
Request an Application at: www.thearmourinstitute.org/contact