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Equipping Leaders for the Church

In all three of our training offerings, we focus on three ministry distinctives:

  • Life – we emphasize a life of personal holiness by maintaining an intimate walk with Jesus Christ through the Word and prayer
  • Doctrine – we focus on theological depth and biblical, Christ-centered doctrine
  • Skills – we create opportunities for practical ministry skills that lead to both immediate effectiveness and lasting fruit

These distinctives are taken from 1 Timothy 4:14-16:

14 Do not neglect the gift [skills] you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself [your life] and on the teaching [doctrine]. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Church Residency Experience

We are committed to preparing the called, rather than calling the prepared. Our selection process is an important discernment of those who have gifts imparted by God and affirmed by others. Our focus is on those with a call to be preaching pastors, church planters, or cross-cultural missionaries.

Designed specifically with post-seminary graduates in mind, this experience has two segments:

1) Training with Unlocking the Bible (two days a week)

  • Residents focus on cultivating spiritual life and deepening biblical doctrine.
  • Participate in MOMENTUM (see below)
  • Participate in FOUNDATIONS, a weekly peer-group training that goes deeper into the pursuit of godly living with concentrated prayer and coaching time, as well as additional training activities.

2) Immersion in church ministry at a campus of The Orchard (three days a week + Sunday)

  • Residents focus on sharpening ministry skills, especially preaching/teaching, pastoring and leading
  • Receive ministry experience, leadership opportunities and feedback from members of The Orchard staff and ministry practitioners

Residents are paid positions, hired by Unlocking the Bible, with participants required to raise half their annual salary in support. Applications are accepted from men called to be preaching pastors, church planters, and/or cross-cultural missionaries; and from women called to cross-cultural missions. A theological post-graduate degree is preferred but not required.

Meet our current Residents

To learn more, please download this summary (PDF).

To apply, please download and complete the application (Word | PDF), and return it to residency@unlockingthebible.org.

MOMENTUM

A weekly training program designed for those in or called to vocational ministry:

  • Runs for 40 weeks over a two-year period, breaking for summer.
  • Currently meets Friday mornings at The Orchard (Barrington campus).
  • Includes comprehensive modules that focus on our distinctives of Life, Doctrine and Skills taught by Pastor Colin Smith and other ministry practitioners from The Orchard.
  • Open to both men and women with an affirmed call to vocational ministry.
  • There are required reading assignments and interactive presentations.
  • Involves a fee which is waived for Residents and members of The Orchard.

LEVERAGE

A weekly training program intended to produce committed lay leaders who desire to invest themselves more intentionally into ministry, especially through the local church.

  • Includes 30+ sessions that focus on our Life, Doctrine and Skills distinctives, taught by Pastor Colin Smith and other ministry practitioners from The Orchard.
  • Open to both men and women.
  • Meets for 16 weeks on Thursday evenings September-February, breaking for November and December.
  • Rotates between The Orchard’s Arlington Heights and Barrington Campus every other year.
  • There are required reading assignments and interactive presentations.
  • Involves a fee which is waived for Residents and members of The Orchard.

To apply, please download and complete the application (Word | PDF) and return it to leder@unlockingthebible.org.

For more information

If you are interested in learning more information about any of these training programs, please contact us.