Real-life preparation produces effective, relevant, and sustainable ministry


Two of the most commonly cited challenges facing ministers are a perceived lack of preparedness to execute relevant ministry and difficulty navigating relationships with volunteers, staff, and elders.

A major factor that leads to these difficulties is that a lot of people earn a ministry degree but only complete a very short internship that in many cases doesn’t reflect the roles and rhythms of ministry.

The consequences of launching into ministry with no experience include unnecessary mistakes, conflicts, a increased timeline for learning the ropes and, sadly, a high rate of ministerial attrition.



The Residency component of our program encompasses two-years of consecutive supervised hands- on experience in a single ministry context–either in a church or in a Christian nonprofit organization.

Residency coursework makes up 18 out of the 42 units required for the Certificate in Ministry. Over the course of the two years, students complete more than 1,700 clock hours of residency.

The Residency is the framework for a portfolio that uses artifacts, endorsements, and reflections to demonstrate student proficiency in soft skills, leadership capacity, and discipline-specific skills.


Many prospective students have a residency site in mind before applying to 4CMI, either because they are already employed at a church or nonprofit or because they want to stay at their church.

Students who don’t already know where they want to complete the residency are connected with a list of pre-approved sites to visit. Students are required to formally apply and be affirmed by the site.

A full-time minister who oversees the respective ministry serves as supervisor. If a full-time leader is not available or when a student is already employed at a church, an external mentor is assigned.

Would your church or nonprofit like to serve as a Residency Partner?