This year’s apprenticeship begins September 8th. Applications are due August 31st, 2016.
What It Is
Immanuel’s Pastoral Apprenticeship is a three-year program designed to raise up men from within the church who will shepherd this congregation for years to come, as well as to train men to be sent out to churches in America and to the nations.
We want to entrust the Gospel message to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Tim 2:2). The Apprenticeship program includes biblical and theological study in a classroom setting, as well as opportunities to observe and participate in practical, pastoral ministry. It’s a model of church-based leadership development that can be reproduced in global contexts. We want to see men grow in knowledge, character, and experience – and so we structure our efforts to address all of these areas. Our goal is not to produce graduates, but faithful shepherds.
This program is our primary structure for assessing and training future leaders: pastors, church planters, and missionaries. If you hope to be sent out for ministry from Immanuel, you’ll be expected to complete the Pastoral Apprenticeship.
What It Isn’t
Completing the Apprenticeship is not a guarantee to become an elder at Immanuel; neither is it simply a rehashing of all the stuff you hear in seminary. Our goal and desire is to train and equip you for ministry in the church, whether here or elsewhere, whether as a pastor or a faithful church member, and that means hands-on learning about issues pastors and Christians regularly encounter. So, don’t expect to sit back and relax: you’ll preach, teach, think, pray, read, write, listen, ask questions, plan, adapt, serve, and care for others over the course of your 3 years.
Who can apply? Men must be members of Immanuel. Faithful participation in the life of the Church and service to the saints of Immanuel is the foundation of the whole program. The application process will include questions concerning character and spiritual vitality.
When do you meet? Our main gathering is every Friday from 6-8am, beginning in September and ending in May, with a few holiday breaks.
What does it cost? We ask men to contribute $150, which primarily covers breakfast and coffee for the Friday gathering, as well as a few resources that we’ll give out. If this is a burden, let us know on your application and we can make arrangements.
Do I have to commit for 3 years? No, but we think you should seriously consider it. We think three years is a very reasonable amount of time for a church and her elders to get to know a man – his life, ministry, and gifting – and commend him to ministry. If you know you only have one year with us, we’re confident it would still be profitable to join us for that year.
Who participates? Our Apprentices have come from a variety of backgrounds and have a variety of trajectories. Some enter the program while pursuing a formal theological degree, and others work in all sorts of careers but have been privately been diligent students of the Word. Some current Apprentices desire to be preaching pastors, others church planters, others missionaries, and still others faithful bi-vocational or lay-pastors. We want to train and sharpen any man who wants to serve the flock of God as a shepherd.
Can I be a part if I do not necessarily desire pastoral ministry? Yes! God has called men to be leaders whether at home, at work, or in the local church. So whether you want to be a better leader in any of these areas (or all three!), then we’d love to help you know God’s Word more deeply and apply it to your sphere of leadership wherever it may be.
Can I get seminary credit for the Apprenticeship? In some cases, yes. Please see this document for more details.
How can I learn more? Email questions to apprenticeship@ibclouisville.