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Pastoral Residency Ministry

ATTENTION: Application deadline is March 19. To apply, send a résumé and a one to two-page statement of call to Carol McEntyre at


 A New Vision for Mission at First Baptist 

Residency programs are not a new idea. Residencies are essential to success in the medical community and are becoming more common in education and law practices. Yet the idea of a residency program for pastors is relatively unheard of, especially in Baptist life. While seminaries and divinity schools can provide excellent opportunities for learning and insight into understanding Scripture and theology, the real-world challenges of church ministry and congregational care can come as quite a shock. Perhaps this is why, according to the Transition Into Ministry research, some denominations see up to 40% of new pastors within their first 5 years of ministry not only quit their job, but leave ministry all together. First Baptist wants to help change that. By working with the Pastoral Excellence Network and Wilshire Baptist Church, First Baptist has created an innovative ministry to help guide and shape young pastors as they prepare for a life of ministry.


Why is First Baptist an ideal place to serve in a Pastoral Residency?

Our staff and congregation can provide a wide range of experiences, leadership, and opportunities for young ministers to engage in the difficult practice of pastoring. Residents will be shaped by everyone in our congregation and will carry the life lessons learned at First Baptist to whatever future congregations they serve. Imagine what it would be like to step into your first ministry position out of seminary and have the whole congregation actively working to help you be successful. First Baptist can offer incredible experience, life, and community that are vital to success in ministry.  We are a church that leads by example. For instance, our congregation:

  • Fully supports women and men in all areas of ministry.
  • Recognizes God’s image in every person, regardless of age, gender, economic reality, and LGBTQ status.
  • Celebrates and promotes Christ’s call for social justice.
  • Blends Biblical faith with intellectual integrity, respecting a person’s right to think freely.
  • Understands that unity does not require uniformity.

(For more about our church, be sure to check out our Who We Are pages)

Think about the advantage of having seasoned ministers walk along side of you as you wrestle with the difficult task of learning to shepherd a congregation. Consider the benefit of hands-on learning for leading church polity, planning worship services, crafting sermons, working with teams and committees, and even understanding building maintenance. Combine all of this with the networking and advocacy that First Baptist can provide at the end of a two-year residency to help our residents find a great fit for the future. All of this makes a Pastoral Residency position a great step out of seminary.


Our Pastoral Residency Ministry is Shaped by our History

First Baptist Church has a long and deep association with education.  Members of First Baptist have been responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the founding and formation of several educational institutions including: William Jewell College, Stephens College, William Woods University, Hardin College in Mexico, Missouri, and the University of Missouri. Education has been our calling and is deeply embedded in our DNA. As such, building a pastoral residency program is a natural extension of our commitment to education. Our desire is for our church to serve as the teaching institution, and for all of our members to serve as the teachers, faculty, students, and advisers.


A Ministry that Shapes the Future

Our residents will be immersed in the full experience of pastoral life and practical ministry, without being limited to merely one area of focus. Curriculum for residents will be divided into trimesters with focus on seven core areas: 

  • Preaching and Worship
  • Pastoral Care and Care Ministries
  • Self-care
  • Church Leadership
  • Management, and Administrative Tasks
  • Teams and Councils
  • Missions and Benevolence
  • Affinity Focused Ministries

Residents will work directly with the Pastor, staff, and Residency Director. Upon completing the residency, candidates will be well prepared to lead in the work of the church in future congregations by carrying the experience and support of First Baptist with them as they serve.


How To Apply

Recent seminary or divinity school graduates (or soon-to-be graduates) who have expressed a call to vocational ministry as preaching pastors are invited to apply for the pastoral residency program. Applications are received throughout the year, but should be submitted no later than March 19th for consideration in the new class that begins in August of the same year. Residency terms run from August through July, for a total of two years.

To apply for the pastoral residency program, submit a current resume and a one to two-page statement of call to Pastor Carol McEntyre at Be sure to provide complete contact information, including name, physical address, email address, telephone numbers, as well as an indication of how you learned about the program. Residents receive competitive salaries and benefits packages, as these posts are full-time jobs, not internships.


Requirements for consideration:

  • Sense of calling to pastoral work in a congregational setting
  • Master of divinity degree or equivalent
  • Expectation of serving congregations in the Baptist tradition


Benefits include:

  • $40,000 salary
  • Full health benefits
  • Ongoing education and conference budget
  • Up to $1500 for moving expenses

To apply, send a résumé and a one to two-page statement of call to Carol McEntyre at


Application deadline is March 19.