Program FAQs

Prepare for ministry with the Summit Institute Residency and Apprenticeship.

Have questions about our programs? Find answers below.

Below are some common questions that we receive about Summit Institute programs. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why support raising?
Summit Institute embraces a holistic approach to our leadership development. We believe participating in the support raising process is a vital part of that development. You will be thoroughly trained and personally coached in this “faith-building” aspect of your growth.
Am I required to raise support?

Apprentice are encouraged to raise support but not required; residents are required to raise support.

What is the weekly time commitment for each program?

The time commitment for residents is 35 hours per week. 2 of those hours are for the training sessions on Tuesdays.

The time commitment for apprentices is 20-25 hours per week. 2 of those hours are for the training sessions on Mondays.

How many months are the programs?

The residency is 21 months; from August of whatever year you start to the May of 2 years following that (e.g. if you begin in August of 2023, you would finish in May of 2025).

The apprenticeship is 9 months; from August to May of the following year.

Can I choose my area of ministry service?

During the interview process, our goal is to learn each candidate well enough to understand their passion and desire for specific ministry areas. We respectfully assign apprentices and residents to ministry areas that we believe they would enjoy but would help develop them for their future vocation. Though we can’t guarantee specific ministry area assignments, we work diligently to find a ministry coach and serving area that best fits their requests.

How is this different from being an official staff member at The Summit Church?

The only difference is that you will not officially be on The Summit Church’s payroll since you will be raising support with Reliant. You will be involved in all staff meetings, given staff responsibilities and experiences, and be a recipient of staff benefits (including but not limited to email address, key fob, counseling discounts, and more).

What is the difference in responsibility from apprentice to resident?

Every person assumes a certain level of ownership but each role is individualized. During the course of the Apprenticeship or Residency, your level of ownership will grow and expand.

The Apprenticeship is our entry-level leadership development experience on an “observe and assist” basis. The program combines focused training, hands-on experience, and intentional mentorship to help participants grow in their leadership ability and clarify their calling in vocational ministry.

The Residency builds upon many things learned in the apprenticeship or other ministry experiences and focuses on an “observe and own” basis. It is designed for people who have definitely decided to pursue their calling in vocational ministry. The residency is an intensive, two-year training experience that offers significant hands-on ministry experience, weekly training, and mentorship by seasoned church leaders. Residents participate as full-time Summit Staff and must raise support to compensate for a two year salary.

What should I expect at the completion of this program?

At the end of this program, a man or woman will be able to confidently step into a full-time vocational ministry role. We not only help our participants grow in opportunities to lead within ministry roles, but we also work through building character and competencies. Someone that finishes our programs will be well-versed in various ministry skills. They will also have a better understanding of their weaknesses and blindspots as pastors and leaders work through these with them. While we are not able to promise full time employment at the end of the program, we do promise to partner in helping as much as we can to find next steps and jobs for our participants. Many have gone on to work as a full-time staff member at Summit, at one of our Summit Collaborative Church Plants, or overseas.

Why does Summit not pay apprentices and residents?

We believe support raising is a vital aspect in the development of our apprentices and residents. We use the support raising approach to funding so that we can develop and send out more ministry leaders.

Is housing provided? What about transportation?

Housing is not provided and participants are responsible for managing housing on their own. Many participants that are at Southeastern for school find cheaper housing through the seminary. You must have a vehicle to commute to your job and to the weekly training sessions.

Can I have another job while I am in the program?

The role of the Resident is considered full-time so you will not be able to work another job while in the program. We have structured the Institute in such a way that you can focus on being discipled and developed in local church ministry.

The role of the Apprentice varies depending on your support-raising decision. We encourage Apprentices to raise support so they do not have to have an outside job. We want you to be focused on being discipled and developed in local church ministry.



Summit Institute Apprenticeship is a high-investment nine-month internship for men and women who are either exploring or feel called, to church ministry. 



Summit Institute Residency is an intensive, two-year program offering significant hands-on ministry experience, weekly training, and mentorship by seasoned church leadership.

What our residents are saying…

“The residency program gave me a safe space to learn how to lead/equip others to serve Jesus … I learned how to cast vision, develop leaders, and implement systems/structures to take the church [for my] next season/phase.”

— Kyle Via

Operations Director, Crossroads Brooklyn