The Resident Leadership Program turned five years old last quarter. What started as a means of increasing the ministry response capacity has grown into one of the most unique training opportunities for future church leaders. We have seen over 100 different seminarians from ten different countries participate in this one-year internship program. They have collectively managed over 200,000 conversations since the program’s inception.
The program has always tried to combine lessons in leadership with the experience gained through a high volume of Gospel conversations. The primary focus has always been to help Residents grow and learn how to share the Gospel more effectively. We now have a proven track record of cultivating more well-rounded leaders.
One of the lessons learned over time was that there is much less community within seminary than one might imagine and these young people crave it. So, in addition to the monthly one-on-one meetings and different social events, we have developed a Resident Forum where we bring all the program participants from each of the seminaries together twice a year for a day of fellowship, additional training and discussion that better prepares them to truly connect with the hurting and lost in the 21st century.
This is a fast-paced afternoon on challenging topics with multiple speakers. This latest meeting included sessions on hard topics such as biblical positions on divorce and remarriage, same sex marriage, gender identity, seekers with mental health issues, the challenges of discussing works-based faith with Catholics, and a guest speaker that shared how to witness to Jewish people.
The Resident Leadership Program has become an instrumental part of how the ministry engages the lost. According to former Residents, it is also the most impactful experience they have during seminary and changes their own faith journey and the ways in which they intend to lead faith communities in the future. We thank all those who support this invaluable work and appreciate the prayers of all connected to this effort.