What makes for a healthy transition from seminary to full-blown pastoral ministry? New church responsibilities in a first-call setting can be daunting. A new pastor is often isolated from professional peers and limited by the leadership training of seminary.
The St. Paul Pastoral Residency Program is designed to strengthen the transition from seminary to congregational ministry. Participants grow a foundation of healthy pastoral practices and habits – crucial to success and longevity in ministry.
Gifted new pastors, pursuing their first call, are invited to apply for this unparalleled opportunity. In two fulfilling years at St. Paul, the resident pastors cultivate and grow leadership for a lifetime of service in the Lutheran Church. A nationally-recognized teaching congregation with an innovative staff surrounds and supports their work. A full-time salary with benefits is paid.
Resident pastors encounter all the important facets of congregational life during these two special years. They’re fully integrated into the pastoral team — preaching, teaching, leading communion, baptizing, marrying, conducting funeral services, and much more. In moments of sorrow and celebration, in weekly worship, and in daily life, they walk the road of faith together as pastors and people.
The program design
The structure of the Pastoral Residency Program promotes personal growth that builds on each pastor’s interests and skills. Study, reflection, and a wide swath of ministry experiences are central to the program’s strength.
A couple times each month, the pastors gather in a seminar setting and give sharp focus to healthy pastoral practices. Pastor Peter Marty guides the cohort, focusing on the art of pastoral leadership, the culture of a congregation, and a host of theological and administrative matters. Peter’s insights and feedback integrate theology with the practical realities of daily ministry.
Academically, resident pastors read and consider significant books, articles, and topics in the midst of their daily ministry assignments and projects. Discussion helps shape teaching, preaching, church leadership, and caring for souls. The experience is a creative one that models the importance of lifelong learning throughout ministry.
Resident pastors are integrated into all facets of St. Paul’s pastoral work. They also encounter every aspect of congregational life in a multi-disciplinary way through their daily work alongside the entire church staff: worship planning and leadership, evangelism, communication, financial management, strategic planning, personnel guidance, adult discipleship, mission outreach, music, children and youth ministries, pastoral care, counseling, and more.
Special attention is given to collegiality, continuing education opportunities, and special projects in areas of interest identified by each resident pastor.
A small residency team of parishioners walks alongside the pastors through the entire two-year ministry at St. Paul. These companions offer friendship, congregational insight, critical feedback, and support.
Funded by an innovative grant
The Lilly Endowment Inc. of Indianapolis invited St. Paul to apply for its innovative Transition into Ministry grant program. Salaries, benefits, and other program costs are funded through this grant, in addition to money raised by the congregation.
St. Paul is privileged to be the only Lutheran church in the country currently hosting a Pastoral Residency Program. The church’s first pastoral residents arrived in 2006. Seminary students in their final year or recent graduates who are candidates for ordained ministry are welcome to apply. The highest consideration will be given to those who show strong promise for congregational leadership. Applications will be accepted beginning in Fall 2021, with an application deadline of December 31, 2021. Applicants will be notified by mid-January 2022.
Download: Residency program brochure
Download: Residency application
Pastoral residency: Beth Laureijs