Ministry Leadership Residency

Apply for Residency

We are excited to announce our Ministry Leadership Residency Program for the 2024-2025 school year.

This rigorous program seeks to give broad experiential development opportunity for prospective ministry leaders, and will work to find ministry placement opportunities for them.

"As a Healthy Church with experiential and ministry resources, we feel a responsibility to train up the next generation of christian leaders."

There is a nation-wide need for leadership development in the church. According to Christianity Today, just 16% of current pastors are under 40, and a quarter of current pastors plan to retire in the next six years. The country will be facing a striking lack of qualified, experienced ministers. 79% of current pastors agree that “churches aren’t rising to their responsibilities to train up the next generation of Christian leaders.” As a healthy church with experiential and ministry resources, we feel that responsibility, and want to meet that need.

Our Ministry Leadership Residency will provide in-depth training and mentorship for four residents during the 2024-2025 ministry calendar, with a desire to see all placed in full-time ministry leadership upon the completion of the program.

What is the purpose of residency?

The primary goal is to train and develop Ministry Leaders for full-time work in the church.  The success of this work will be gauged by how many of our residents find immediate placement in full-time roles in churches.

Secondarily, Woodlands benefits by bringing fresh eyes, energy, and passion into its regular ministry programming. We are excited by the opportunity to train and mentor these young leaders.

What will a resident do?

Resident Cohorts will be primarily engaged in three things:

Observe: Through Ministry Embedding, cohorts will spend extended time in the regular rhythms of broad ministries, engaging fully with the planning, programming and execution necessary to run Youth and Kid Ministries, Sunday Services (including worship planning and sermon prep), finances and accounting, care ministry, small group ministries, and local outreach. The majority of this ministry embedding will result in follow up questions and conversation.

Residents will also shadow pastors in premarital and wedding preparation, hospital visits, and funeral work.

Learn: Residents will learn Bible Study skills, as well as gain theological training. Over the course of the year, residents will write a personal statement of faith, which will prepare them for licensure in the  EFCA. They will also participate in the Colson Fellows Christian Worldview program for extensive learning and growth.

Do: While learning and observing are the key components, residents will also gain experience in teaching in Kids, Youth, and adult ministry programs – including receiving feedback. Residents will also be expected to be part of discipleship programs that model ministry.


How long is a residency?

A residency lasts twelve months, from July – June, and is a full time commitment. Residents can expect to spend 40+ hours a week in study, observation, conversation, or ministry. The weekly schedule will vary throughout the year, depending on ministry involvement.

Throughout the program, there is a high value placed on observation and experience through ‘job shadowing’ and ‘alongside ministry.’ There will also be learning and study.

In general, the first six months will include an evaluation for ministry placement, and the final six months will focus on future ministry placement, including job or seminary seeking.

Describe an ideal residential candidate

A candidate should be a college graduate who can articulate a clear call to church leadership. Candidates may be any age, and both men and women are encouraged to apply. Candidates may be single, or married, or have a family, and may be just leaving undergraduate or seminary studies or may be coming from the workplace.

Seminary or previous church experience is not required, although it is favorable.

Candidates should agree wholeheartedly to the Evangelical Free Churches’ Statement of Faith, and should be in alignment with Woodland’s Purpose and Priorities.

They should have a willingness to learn and a desire to teach.

What's included in Residency?

We will provide a food and gas stipend, registration costs for a number of national training opportunities, a computer and a version of Logos Bible Software. In addition, we will work to find reasonable housing, supported through our church congregation, depending on your stage of life and needs.

Residents will be part of a residential cohort that meets weekly and functions as a processing, scheduling, and accountability network. They will also have a pastoral mentor who will help them process their experiences and think critically about church leadership.

It is our hope that the stipend and housing would allow a resident to focus fully on the program. If additional finances are needed, support raising is encouraged; we can help you in that process.

What if I want a shorter or more specific opportunity?

Our Ministry Internships are shorter, 13-16 week ministry-specific opportunities that are availible throughout the year. More information will be published shortly about these opportunities, and we’ll be accepting applicants for the summer of 2024.

Support Residency

We are accepting applicants for the 2024-2025 ministry year (July-June). If you want to support the Ministry Leadership Residency program through a financial support gift, please click below. All gifts are tax deductible.

For general questions or to offer additional support, reach out to


Apply for residency

We are accepting applicants for the 2024-2025 ministry year (July-June).

Please download and review the Overview Snapshot below, and then follow the instructions on the Google Doc Application.