The Christ Community Pastoral Residency is a two-year mentoring program designed to train and equip church leaders of tomorrow. Believing the local church, as God designed it, is the hope of the world, Christ Community seeks to provide aspiring church leaders at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) a healthy church environment to learn, grow, and practice ministry after completing their degree. Since beginning in 2005, over 20 Residents have been trained and equipped through the program. Students selected as Residents will receive a full-tuition scholarship for their final year at TEDS. Upon completion of his or her degree, each will serve a two-year residency at Christ Community as an Associate Pastor, beginning June 1 of each year. The Pastoral Residency, a paid position with full benefits, provides a wide-range of potential ministry opportunities suited to each Resident’s gifts, abilities, and eventual ministry focus, with multiple opportunities for mentorship available.
The Pastoral Residency at Christ Community brings together the best of both the seminary education and the local church experience in preparing future church leaders. I know of no better program of church leadership training today.
There is nothing like real world experience to take an academic education and breathe life and street smarts into it. And there’s nothing like a well-educated and youthful staff member to breathe life and new insights into a local church ministry. The Residents program provides both. It will benefit your church and it will benefit the kingdom far into the future. That’s a deal that’s hard to beat!
The best apprenticeship programs not only model Christian work in the context of a local church, but build godly, tough-minded, and nurturing relationships between the church and the apprentices. The two years apprentices invest in Christ Community puts them five years ahead of those without similar hands-on training, and builds links that will last through this life and on into eternity.
Learning how to do ministry in an affirming, grace-based setting is a tremendous blessing. Christ Community Church, through its Residency program, provides such a setting for recent seminary graduates.
requirements and expectations
Christ Community desires to select TEDS students with “integrity of heart and skillful hands” (Psalm 78:70-72) to participate in this program. Applications will be accepted for students in the fall prior to their final year. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to following Christ, ministry leadership ability, a heart for serving the local church, and academic excellence. Those selected for the Residency receive a full-tuition scholarship for their final year at TEDS and commit to moving to the Kansas City area upon completion of their degree, where they will serve at Christ Community as a Resident for two years.
Are you interested? Here are the next steps.
Complete the application process. Applications are to be submitted by mid-January in the year prior to the student’s final year. For those selected to continue the application process, February interviews will be scheduled on the Trinity campus. Finalists will be scheduled for a second interview in Kansas City in the spring. Final decisions will be made and communicated by May 14. If you have additional questions, please contact Nathan Miller or call 913.685.1161.
Who is Christ Community?
Christ Community is an Evangelical Free Church in the Kansas City area with campuses located in Leawood, KS, Olathe, KS, Shawnee, KS, and the Downtown and Brookside areas of Kansas City, MO. Founded in 1989 by its current Senior Pastor Tom Nelson (DMin TEDS, 1998), Christ Community seeks to assist people in becoming integral and influential apprentices of Jesus. Built upon expositional and relevant Bible teaching, thoughtful and beautiful worship gatherings, and communities of truth and grace, Christ Community is healthy and growing, with an average weekly Sunday morning attendance over 2,000.
Thank you for your interest in applying for the Christ Community Pastoral Residency. We are delighted that you have chosen to take the next step and apply. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for further clarification.
Finalists will be invited to Christ Community in April 2021 for a second interview.
Pastoral Residents will be selected by May 2021.
Create your application document with the following details. Document should be single-spaced and not exceed five pages in length. Email final document to Nathan Miller at Christ Community by January 5. We will select one to three applicants per calendar year.
(See Application Deadline chart below.)
- Your Name
- Spouse’s Name & Children’s Names (if applicable)
- Phone Number(s)
- Preferred Email Contact
- Current GPA in the MDiv program
- Anticipated Graduation Date from Trinity
- If selected as a finalist, would you be available for an interview in February, 2021? If yes, what times would NOT work for you?
- List your educational background.
- Tell us about any awards you have received throughout your educational experience.
- List your work experience.
- In what ways have you or are you currently demonstrating leadership?
- How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell us about your journey of faith.
- How have you been involved in your local church – past and present?
- What is something you have learned recently from the Word of God?
- What has God been teaching you lately?
- Read any good books lately? Tell us about one or two of them. (Exclude the Bible on this answer.)
- What do you like to do for fun?
- What is your current area of focus in the MDiv program?
- Tell us about your sense of calling. Where and how do you sense God is directing you to serve Him after graduation from Trinity?
We thought you would enjoy hearing what some of our past residents have to say about our program.
The Pastoral Residency has been the perfect bridge between studying at TEDS and full time ministry. As I continue to learn about myself and about how to do ministry, a team that wants to see me succeed surrounds me. Everyone on staff and in the congregation fully supports the Pastoral Residents and fosters their learning experience. This is a great place to hone my calling as a pastor and to explore how God can use my unique gifting.
The Pastoral Residency is the perfect place to learn, process, and serve the church after seminary. Being a pastor is such a complicated reality, and the residency is a place where Christ Community truly surrounds you, encouraging and equipping you to be a whole person who will thrive in pastoral ministry.
The Pastoral Residency has not only equipped and trained me for future ministry; it has provided me with lifelong friendships and partnerships that are invaluable to pastoral wholeness. I am incredibly thankful for the experience I have gained here and for the network of relationships that will go with me as I continue to explore God’s calling.
Leaving seminary, I had some knowledge, but I longed for wisdom. That’s what Christ Community’s Pastoral Residency is all about. Growing in pastoral wisdom. Of course, I had the opportunity to grow in my competency to preach and lead, I asked questions, I processed experience, I made invaluable friendships, but the reason a pastoral residency is necessary, is so that I might grow, at least a little, in pastoral wisdom.
I am so grateful for my seminary education but there are some things you cannot learn apart from experiencing and doing. Christ Community offers a safe place where you are supported and given real work to do with the expectation that while you will often succeed, it’s ok to fail. That ability to learn from others in a safe place while succeeding and failing has been a life-changing experience and I can’t imagine a better place to learn how to love and serve the local church.
The Christ Community Pastoral Residency has been an encouraging place to transition from the academia of seminary to the rhythms of full time vocational ministry. I have been the recipient of intentional mentorship, diverse experiences, holistic equipping, and an inviting community of believers that is passionate about next generation leaders. I know that these two years will forever impact for the better my calling to serve God in the local church.
The Residency at Christ Community has been an excellent transition from seminary to full-time pastoral ministry. The congregation and staff have provided an experience and opportunities for developing and using the specific gifts God has blessed me with. The environment has been a perfect setting for developing and increasing my understanding of pastoral ministry in the local church.
When I first heard about the Pastoral Residency at Christ Community, I had just come out of a two-year professional development program at a Fortune 100 company. Knowing the accelerated growth and learning that comes from being involved in a unique program like this, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the Pastoral Residency. I’m so grateful that I did! The Pastoral Residency has served as wonderful compliment and extension of my seminary education, has provided me and my family a healthy and encouraging environment to grow as individuals and as a family, and has equipped me well to serve in the local church. I whole-heartedly commend the Pastoral Residency at Christ Community to any TEDS student seeking to serve in the local church.
There are many things you could prioritize after seminary. I chose to prioritize health. After my time at Trinity, I needed to re-learn rest, Sabbath, soul keeping, and how to run the race of pastoral ministry at a sustainable pace. I found that at Christ Community. The Pastoral Residency gave me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of pastoral work in a context that values the whole person. It’s what I needed.
The Christ Community Pastoral Residency has given me the chance to explore avenues of ministry I had never imagined pursuing. It has opened my eyes to new ways that God can use my unique mix of gifts in service to his church, and has challenged me to grow more in my love for Christ and for his bride.
The Christ Community Pastoral Residency has been an invaluable complement to my divinity school education, providing a medium for gospel-shaped ministry to be modeled and mastered. I can’t imagine a better place to explore the call to pastoral ministry within the local church.
At Christ Community Church, we highlight the importance of being apprentices of Jesus Christ. This is our most significant apprenticeship. Yet, what seminary graduate would not also want to be an apprentice to an amazing group of pastors who are committed to building into the next generation of Christian leaders? The Christ Community Pastoral Residency has provided a safe place for me to discover who God is creating me to be, not only as a pastor but also as a leader, a woman, and a Christ-follower.
I cannot speak highly enough about Christ Community and the Pastoral Residency. At first I thought, “Do I really want to move to Kansas City for a short time?” Now, having been through the Residency, I can say without a doubt this has been one of the best and most important years of my life. It has been an exciting privilege working with and being mentored by such an amazing pastoral staff and to serve such wonderful people at Christ Community.
The Pastoral Residency provided me with the unique opportunity to see and experience a church context where theology is notably accessible, leadership visibly humble, and congregational culture remarkably healthy. To be with such a community of believers and to be embraced by them, educated by them, and empowered to serve them must be among the chief graces of my life.