Christ Church seeks to train the next generation of passionate, mature, capable, and theologically grounded church leaders for effective ministry in our increasingly post-Christian context.
Passionate. We seek to train passionate leaders marked by a deep love for God and for people. In his On Christian Teaching, Augustine claims the first requirement for anyone seeking to teach other Christians is that they have a rich love for God and for neighbor. These, in fact, are the two great commandments Jesus gave his disciples: love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). Therefore, Christ Church seeks to produce loving leaders.
Mature. We seek to train mature leaders marked by emotional, relational, intellectual maturity. Irenaeus famously said, “Gloria Dei est vivens homo” (“the glory of God is living man”). Irenaeus is claiming that God is glorified by our humanity, not in spite of it. Said another way, God does not call us to escape our humanity, but to become fully human. As Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Therefore, Christ Church seeks to produce mature leaders.
Capable. We seek to train leaders skilled in the vocation of leadership in the church. The great Puritan pastor Richard Baxter reminded those training for ministry: “We are intrusted with our Master’s talents…to edify his church.” Therefore, the Master expects those in charge of His household to develop what they have been given (Mt 25:14-30). This includes the organizational, practical, liturgical, technical, and vocational know how that church leadership requires. Therefore, Christ Church seeks to produce competent leaders.
Theologically Grounded. We seek to train theologically astute leaders who are grounded in the classic, historic truths of the Christian faith. Cyprian, The Cappadocians Fathers, Chrysostom, Calvin—these are just a few of the noted theologians (starting with “C”) who were also pastors. Because Christian theology is to be done by and for the church, Christian leaders are called to be theologians; that is, they are to faithfully exegete the scriptures, articulate doctrine, and engage ideas that are foreign or contrary to classic Christian faith. Therefore, Christ Church seeks to produce leaders grounded in historic Christian faith.
Post-Christian Context. We seek to train leaders prepared for this cultural moment—missional leaders able to articulate the historic faith in a relevant, winsome way. The church never exists in a cultural vacuum. Today the church in the West is in an increasingly post-Christian culture. This means, as philosopher Charles Taylor has noted, people in the West face a plurality of beliefs—with Christianity being one option among many. Therefore, Christ Church seeks to produce leaders readied for effective service in our post-Christian culture.
Christ Church offers two different tracks for vocational development, a Pastoral Residency track and an Internship track.
The Pastoral Residency track is designed for post-college adults who sense a vocation in pastoral ministry. Serving as a church-based complement to seminary, the Pastoral Residency program serves as a bridge for those seeking vocational ministry. Central to the program is one-on-one mentoring in pastoral arts such as preaching, spiritual direction, counseling, worship & liturgy, and teaching. To maximize the impact of the program, the director works with each resident to co-create an individualized track of study as well as guided experience in the pastoral arts. The program is 12-18 months long, and pastoral residents are eligible for lodging and financial support.
The Internship Track is aimed towards college-aged young adults who desire more experience in a particular arena of church leadership such as arts ministry, children’s ministry, college ministry, community life, media arts (film, social media), mercy ministry (serving the broken and needy), spiritual direction, youth ministry (middle, high school), worship & liturgy. In addition to reading through the Bible during their internship, interns read and discuss books from our PRIP Reader List (see below). This list is designed to ground future leaders in the historic Christian faith. Internships are 12 months long, and interns receive a financial stipend.
For more information on Christ Church’s Pastoral Residency & Internship Program contact Dr. Robert Covolo.
Pastoral Residency & Internship Reader List
Abraham Kuyper: Lectures on Calvinism
Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World
Al Wolters, Creation Regained
Anselm, The Major Works, Why God Became Man
Athanasius, On the Incarnation
Augustine, Confessions, City of God (Selected Readings), On Christian Teaching, On Doctrine
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit
Ben Meyers, The Apostles Creed
Bennet, Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
Bernard of Clairvaux, On Loving God
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
Bryan Chapell, Christ Centered Worship
Charles Taylor, The Age
C.H. Spurgeon, Lectures To My Students
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, The Weight of Glory, Screwtape Letters
Cyril of Alexander, On The Unity of Christ
D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies
Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy (Select Cantos)
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite
Dorothy Sayers, The Man Born to be King
Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Flannery O’Connor, The Complete Stories
G. K. Chesterton, On Orthodoxy
George Herbert, Selected Poems
Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man,
Gordon H. Fee, How To Read The Bible For All It’s Worth
Gregory of Nazianzus, On God and Christ
H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture
Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics (Abridged)
Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, The Return of the Prodigal Son, In the Name of Jesus
Irenaeus, On the Apostolic Preaching
James K.A. Smith, Cultural Liturgies Series, How (Not) To Be Secular
J.C. Ryle, Holiness
J.I. Packer, Knowing God
John Calvin, The Institutes (Selections)
John Donne, Selected Poems
John H. Leith, Creeds of the Churches
John Milton, Paradise Lost
John Owen, The Glory of Christ
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, Basic Christianity
Jonathan Edwards, A Jonathan Edwards Reader
Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God
Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology, Dogmatics in Outline
Marilyn Robinson, Gilead
Martin Luther, Introduction to Galatians, Selected Sermons, Heidelberg Disputation, Two Kinds of Righteousness, Christian Freedom
Miroslav Volf, Exlcusion and Embrace
Origin, An Exhortation to Martyrdom, On Prayer
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Pseudo-Dionysius, On Divine Names
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor
Richard Mouw, Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Biography, He Shines In All That’s Fair
Thomas Aquinas, Nature and Grace
Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Mediation
Tim Keller, Reasons for God’s Existence
T.S. Elliot, The Collected Poems