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Leadership Programme

Applications for the 2022-23 Leadership Programme are now closed. Applications for the 2023-24 Programme will open in Autumn 2022.

For nearly 30 years CARE has been equipping a generation of Christians to be salt and light in our culture. This 12 month graduate programme gives a unique insight into Parliament, political advocacy and Christian leadership.

The Leadership Programme provides talented Christian graduates, who have a desire to serve the Lord in public life, the opportunity to experience a year in Parliament or a policy-shaping NGO.

For four days a week, graduates are placed with a Parliamentarian or in an NGO, helping with speech writing, research, advocacy and public relations. Most internships are London-based, but we also offer Parliamentary placements in Edinburgh at the Scottish Parliament and occasionally media and business placements. This eleven month educational programme provides a unique insight into Parliament and how it works.

Successful applicants are matched with an internship tailored to their interests and career plan.

Additionally, for one day a week, graduates participate in an intensive study programme that includes theology, political theory and training in leadership skills. The Programme includes termly residential weekends, essays, presentations and projects, pitched at post-graduate level.

Placements are with Parliamentarians across the political spectrum.

This is a purely educational programme. Graduates on the Leadership Programme do not work for CARE and are neither asked nor permitted to lobby on behalf of CARE.

Watch an interview with Tim Cho, a graduate from the CARE Leadership Programme
“My time with a Liberal Democrat MP in Westminster was an incredibly eye-opening and fulfilling experience, giving an inside view into the way the world of politics works...I quickly had to get to grips with parliamentary procedures, Bills, how a busy MP's office runs...The programme was formative in cementing my faith, my worldview, my politics and my plans for the future."
Former CARE Leadership Programme Graduate
“Faith is the reason I am in politics at all, it is the reason that I want to change society because of my Christian faith. The whole idea behind the Programme is who those two worlds interact and have those who are further down the road come and share some of those experiences.”
Former CARE Leadership Programme Graduate

What is the pro­gramme like?

Is it for me?

Education: applicants must have a strong academic track record, including a good University degree.

Experience: It is important for applicants to display previous areas of leadership and an interest in politics, media or social action at a grassroots or national level. This could include, but is not limited to: voluntary work for a charity, community action projects, student politics, writing for a university newspaper or involvement in radio broadcasting. All candidates must possess good interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, an excellent ability to communicate and, above all, a willingness to serve.

Faith: CARE’s Statement of Faith is the driving force behind everything we do. Applicants will need to understand and be in agreement with it.

How is the year structured?

The Leadership Programme is an eleven month, full-time commitment that runs from early September to the end of July each year. We begin with a month of intensive training and teaching. From October to the end of July, graduates spend four days each week in work placements arranged by CARE. The majority of placements are based in the Parliaments of the UK or the third sector, but participants can also be placed in media and business organisations. Every Friday, all members of the Programme gather in London for a day of study.

Support and mentoring

Each year we recruit around 10 graduates. This group of like-minded Christians working in similar roles provides a unique supportive community.

In addition, each graduate is mentored individually. The support and personal development of each graduate is hugely important to us. The Leadership Programme is an intensive year of spiritual, professional, intellectual and emotional growth.

How does it work financially?

Some placements pay a salary, others are voluntary. If the placement is voluntary CARE can offer a monthly educational bursary which helps towards making the Programme accessible to any candidate. Generally, participants will need to supplement this bursary with some private fundraising or by finding particularly cheap accommodation.

How do placements work?

Each placement runs from October to July. All placements are organised by CARE. Once you have been accepted onto the Programme, CARE commits to finding you a placement for year. We seek to give each graduate a placement that matches their interests and career aspirations.

Most placements are in the office of a Parliamentarian. Graduates work for Members of Parliament in Westminster, Peers in the House of Lords or Members of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh,. These placements span all the main political parties and provide an exceptional insight into the workings of Parliament and the life of political leaders.

We also offer placements in the advocacy teams of Non-Governmental Organisations. Examples include Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Tearfund, Epiphany Trust and XLP. These placements provide great insight into political advocacy and the not-for-profit sector.

Every placement provides a challenging experience which helps equip our graduates for future success and leadership. The work involved is broad: graduates gain experience in research, public relations, marketing, media engagement, speech writing, administrative tasks, advocacy and campaigning. Many alumni use these experiences to build careers in politics, advocacy work, charitable work or business.

This is a purely educational Programme. Graduates in the Leadership Programme do not work for CARE and are not asked or permitted to lobby on behalf of CARE.

“When I look at other leaders in the world it often seems to equate to success and particularly financial success and power and so this idea of servant leadership has been something that has really been on our heart as a class together; what does this look like to be willing to take on responsibilities and to be people who have passion and want to move things forward and at the same time wanting to be humble in that”
Former CARE Leadership Programme Graduate

What you will study

The study programme is pitched at postgraduate level. It gives graduates the space to think through a wide variety of crucial questions, including:

What is the role of Christianity in politics?

How has God gifted you? How can your gifts be used in the public square?

What does faithfulness in the workplace look like?

What is the relationship between social justice and evangelism?

What sort of leadership does Jesus model?

How should Christians engage with culture?

What does the Bible say about the role of government?

  • What makes an exceptional leader?

The Programme involves weekly seminars, reading, discussion groups, termly essays and presentations. We work hard to bring in a variety of outside speakers who are experts in their field. We are looking to cultivate an intellectually and Biblically rigorous approach to addressing contemporary cultural issues.

Once a term we do a residential study weekend, one of which is usually abroad. These provide an opportunity to reflect more deeply on a particular topic.


I don't live in the UK, does this mean I can't apply?
While we are happy to accept overseas applications, you must be able to attend a selection day in London should you be successful in the first stage of the application process.

I applied to the Programme last year. Can I apply again?
If you have applied for the Programme in previous years and been unsuccessful, you are welcome to submit an application again.

I will be unable to attend the Selection Day, does this exclude me from applying?
Yes. If you are successful in the first stage of the application process you must be able to attend the Selection Day in London.

Is there an upper age limit for applicants?
While there is no official age limit for the Programme, please bear in mind that the Programme is designed for and aimed at recent graduates in their early twenties.

Do I have to apply online?
As a general rule we cannot accept paper-based applications or CVs. However, if you have a valid reason for being unable to complete an application online, please contact us directly.

Philippa Taylor
The CARE Lead­er­ship Pro­gramme is a unique oppor­tun­ity to learn, grow and be inspired for a life­time of pub­lic ser­vice. With more than 350 alumni, the LP is a fant­ast­ic way to explore faith, polit­ics and ser­vant-hearted leadership.
Philippa Taylor Director of the Institute of Faith and Culture

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Ross Hendry
What makes the CARE Lead­er­ship Pro­gramme pos­sible is the aston­ish­ing, ongo­ing gen­er­os­ity of our incred­ible sup­port­ers. Please do give what you can so we can expand and devel­op the LP even further.
Ross Hendry Chief Executive

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