Management consultant Peter Drucker said that church leadership was the most difficult and taxing profession he was aware of. The apostle Paul said of ministry, “We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death” (2 Cor. 1:8–9). But study after study shows that quality training, assessment, kingdom prayer, and trusted peers all exponentially increase pastoral sustainability.
To that end, multiple other like-minded churches and organizations across North America come together for competency-focused training collectives called Saturate Regional Residencies. Our prayer is to help potential pastors and planters thrive in their unique ministry giftings, make and mature disciples in their context, and start and lead sustainable, multiplying churches for the sake of gospel saturation.
DIFFERENT STAGES OF YOUR JOURNEY
Regional Residencies are not for general leader training; they’re for men who feel compelled to plant and/or lead a gospel-centered, Spirit-led, missional church, and whose “raw materials” have been affirmed to that end by their wife (if applicable) and ministry leaders. Each region offers two types of residencies, tailored specifically for candidates on a different step in the journey toward planting/pastoring:
> A 10-month “Discernment Residency” exists for potential planters about 3-5 years away from planting. The interactive training helps you discern if you should plant or pastor, your fit on a team, and your best fit for mission and ministry in the Kingdom of God.
> A 10-month “Church Planting Residency” equips potential planters about 1-2 years away from planting, and begins with a formal church planting assessment carried out by your sending organization. You’ll gain knowledge and experience in various competencies that will help you start a sustainable church, in your context and according to your specific giftings and vision.
You must be embedded into a local church as an intern during each residency. Both residencies are designed for the “working man,” to fit within about 5 hours per week. You are welcome to apply for either residency, and if you are hoping to jump into the Church Planting Residency, you must be assessed before you are accepted.
2021-2022 REGIONAL RESIDENCIES
While each Regional Residency is contextualized to the part of the continent it occurs, all residents glean from many trainers in a cohort of peers, as you gain knowledge and experience in proven leadership and planting competencies. Sending churches and organizations have specific time for their own assessments, and to train their residents in organization-specific doctrine, philosophies, etc. But churches who partner for Regional Residencies believe that we are better together, so in each region, many organizations bring our different strengths to the table as you learn, experiment, discuss, and grow.
Select your region below to download details on a Regional Residency.
Through a unique partnership with Western Seminary (based in Portland, OR), participants who meet Western’s admission requirements, and who complete all Regional Residency components, can earn Master’s-level credit, which can a) result in a Graduate Studies Certificate in Church Planting from Western Seminary, b) be applied toward a Master’s degree within Western Seminary, or c) be transferred as credit to another institution. Seminary credit adds to the cost of Saturate Regional Residencies, but comes at 65% less than Western’s current tuition rate.
REGIONAL RESIDENCY FAQ’S
Saturate Regional Residencies are not general leader training; it’s for those who feel compelled to plant and/or lead a gospel-centered, Spirit-led, missional church. You must be embedded into a local church as an intern during each residency. Both residencies are designed for the “working man,” to fit within about 5 hours per week. You are welcome to apply for either residency, and those hoping to join the Church Planting Residency must be assessed by your sending organization before you are accepted.
An applicant for either residency should be a man, at least 24 years old, with confirmed ministry leadership experience, and who is hoping to plant. Applicants must display the character, competency, and capacity to plant, as well as humility and teachability. You must commit about 5 hours per week (+Lab Weeks), and affirm the Lausanne Covenant.
All applicants must have attended Soma School, or be committed to doing so during your Discernment Residency.
All applicants must display evidence of the character, competency, and capacity to plant a dynamic, healthy church of disciples making and maturing disciples.
All applicants must be affirmed as a proven servant-leader by a sponsor minister, and affirmed in ministry direction and specific timing by their wife.
Applicants to the Church Planting Residency must have successfully completed a formal church planting assessment.
Through applications, formal and informal assessments, and assignments, each resident’s internship provides you with an annual Personal Development Plan contextualized to your specific areas of need/growth throughout the Residency. Some common ministry areas that are covered by internships are pastoral counsel, biblical-theological competency, elder qualifications, marriage and family leadership, missional community/church leadership/follow-ability, and team development.
Regional Residency Lab Weeks give each resident training, resources, and hands-on practice in over 30 church planting competencies.
> The Discernment Residency covers foundational competencies like gospel-centeredness and Spirit-ledness, marriage and family, self-awareness and personal leadership, and one’s mission field (including disciple-making, ministry in the margins, hospitality, and core-team building).
> During the Church Planting Residency, residents build a ministry philosophy (considering fundraising and budget, creating and casting vision, discipleship in community, and organizational culture) and look at the detailed practice of ministry in a missional, community-based church (such as preaching, communication strategy, pastoral shepherding, and care in community) before considering personal sustainability (self-care and thriving in ministry “for the long haul”).
- Initial Application & Interview: You start your process by filling out an initial application at saturatetheworld.com/apply, after which you will participate in a phone/video interview, to ask and answer initial applicant questions.
- Personality Profiles & Endorsements: After the successful completion of Step 1, you will complete Church Planter Profile assessments ($99), and your wife and a sending church complete separate endorsements.
- Final Interview(s): After receiving your assessments and endorsements, you participate in a final interview with Regional Residency leadership.
Church Planter Assessment: Applicants to the Church Planting Residency must successfully participate in a formal assessment before beginning your residency.
The Regional Residency tuition cost may vary slightly per region. But once accepted, you should plan to pay about $3,000 USD per Residency year. Tuition includes access to online and print materials, administrative and coaching costs, and all Lab Week expenses (including food, lodging, etc. from Day 1 lunch though Day 2 lunch). Tuition is paid at the start of the residency or in installments. Residents/churches cover travel costs to Lab Weeks, and any expenses for your local church internship. As part of the training, we strongly encourage you to raise the entire cost of your tuition.
Additionally, assessment costs and planter stipends vary per sending organization. For example, some Assessment Centers cost $1,500, and upon commissioning a sponsor organization offers a start-up grant with your commitment to “pay it forward” to future residents over time. Alternatively, another sending organization may offer monthly support to help cover your tuition, at least during the Church Planting Residency, then gives start-up and monthly funding plus additional resources during your plant’s early years. We are happy to discuss funding and support options with you.
Learn more + apply for Soma’s Discernment Center
Most Lab Weeks begin at 9:30a Day 1 and end at 4:00p Day 2. Participants stay overnight together. A sample Lab Week schedule looks like this:
> You arrive Day 1 for intentional coffee and catch-up. Then you spend time in Scripture and prayer together, before discussing your prep work, and then having lunch. A regional or national expert in that class’s competencies leads an afternoon training session, which includes Q&A and exercises. Then we leave for dinner, a little fun, and an evening to hang out together.
> Day 2 begins with a resident’s sermon and peer feedback, then a morning of experiential learning, and lunch. The afternoon involves more discussion, training, and exercises. Then you’re sent out with prayer and assignments.
Yes! Through a unique partnership with Western Seminary (based in Portland, OR), participants who meet Western’s admission requirements and who complete all residency components can gain 16 hours of Master’s-level credit, which can a) result in a Graduate Studies Certificate in Church Planting from Western Seminary, b) be applied toward a Master’s degree within Western Seminary, or c) be transferred as credit to another institution. Seminary credit adds to the cost of a Regional Residency but comes at 65% less than Western’s current tuition rate. Learn more about receiving credit.