Now accepting applications for our Pastoral Residency 

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

First Baptist Church seeks candidates for a Pastoral Residency position, beginning August 1, 2023, with Rev. Dr. Carol McEntyre. Residents will serve 2-3 years, with the third year focused on finding a pastorate. Residents will be immersed in the full experience of pastoral life and practical ministry without being limited to one focus area. The curriculum for residents will be divided into trimesters with a 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

First Baptist Church of Columbia, Missouri is a progressive, vibrant church in an SEC college town. We are a welcoming and affirming church that fully supports women in ministry, cares deeply about Scripture, and values the historical witness of the church, yet looks for new and relevant ways to encounter God.

 Why should you apply for our Pastoral Residency?

For good or ill, the path to becoming a pastor depends not only on calling and giftedness but also on experience and connections. Yet, the opportunities to gain pastoral or preaching experience are often limited for women and LGBTQIA+ folx. First Baptist Church of Columbia is working hard to change that. Our Pastoral Residency Ministry is designed to provide our residents with valuable experience and networking skills not in spite of their gender or sexual orientation but in light of it. Our Pastoral Residency offers an opportunity for candidates to work in an environment where they are fully affirmed, and the congregation's goal is for you to succeed.

 We know that being a pastor is hard. Research from the Transition into Ministry project found some denominations see up to 40% of new pastors leave the ministry within the first 5 years (cite). Research by the Pastoral Excellency Network has shown that pastors who participate in residency programs have a 96% success rate after 5 years, with 90% of those still serving in church congregations (cite). The pandemic has exacerbated the number of pastoral resignations. Pastor Carol McEntyre, in collaboration with Central Seminary President, Pam Durso, released a 4-part report of their findings through Baptist News Global surrounding the recent rise in resignations of seasoned Baptist pastors and the reasons for this exodus. Many pastors reached a breaking point due to the increased stress on church leadership because of the pandemic. Ministry and church life are tough right now, and pastors need leadership experience and ideas that extend far beyond the seminary syllabus. First Baptist believes that our residency experience, combined with our staff's gifts and congregational care, can provide the needed tools to help new pastors succeed in their calling.

How to Apply

Recent seminary or divinity school graduates (or soon-to-be graduates) who have sensed a call to vocational ministry are invited to apply for the Pastoral Residency Ministry. While First Baptist recognizes the beauty and necessity of the many various calls to ministry, our residency is designed to best equip candidates who feel led to become a lead pastor of a congregation tasked with preaching responsibilities. Applications are received throughout the year but should be submitted no later than April 19th for consideration in the new class that begins in August of the same year. Residency terms run from August through July for up to three years, with the third year focused on discernment and finding a placement.

To apply for the Pastoral Residency Ministry at First Baptist, 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, and telephone numbers, as well as an indication of how you learned about the program. Candidates will be contacted with information regarding the next round of interviews. Residents receive competitive salaries and benefits packages, as these posts are full-time jobs, not internships.

 Requirements for consideration:

  • Sense of calling to senior pastoral work in a congregational setting
  • Master of Divinity degree or equivalent
  • The expectation of serving congregations in the Baptist tradition

Salary and Benefits
Salary and Benefits
  • $45,000 annual salary
  • Full health and dental benefits for residents (option of paying for additional family members to be covered)
  • Up to $1500 for moving expenses
  • Ongoing education and conference budget
How does the Pastoral Residency work?

Each trimester of the Pastoral Residency has planned objectives and goals in addition to special events and learning opportunities. Residents will work directly with the Pastor, staff, Lay support team, and Residency Director, as well as a cohort of peers established through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Upon completing the residency, candidates will be well prepared to lead future congregations by carrying the experience and support of First Baptist with them as they serve.

 The first year of residency will begin with learning how to understand the “DNA” of a church’s identity, leadership (ministerial and lay), worship, and people. This is essential for a good start in any new ministry position. The first three trimesters will range from learning the essentials of church governance to the basics of church maintenance. The resident will not only learn about the worship and ministries of the church but how to plan and implement these important elements.

 The second year will focus primarily on honing preaching and pastoral care skills. This will include more extensive work with crafting sermons and worship planning as well as developing worship themes and incorporating creativity within the services. Residents will also preach a multi-week sermon series to experience the demand of writing a sermon weekly. Second-year residents will also help with the budgeting process, stewardship, nominating work, personnel reviews, and other essential pastoral responsibilities. In the second year, residents will be able to request ordination to the gospel ministry. The third year will focus on developing any skills that have been identified for greater growth. The Residency Director, Residency Support Team, and Pastoral staff will also work with the resident to create and distribute their resume, prepare for interviews, and discern the right path forward. During this time, the third-year resident will continue pastoral duties as well as assist with orientation and guidance for the new first-year resident.

Who you would be working with

The strength of the Pastoral Residency structure helps to ensure that each resident gains practical leadership experience in a broad spectrum of ministry areas. Yet beyond the scope and sequence of the residency architecture, First Baptist also offers mentoring from a staff of accomplished and gifted ministers. First Baptist is led by Senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Carol McEntyre. Carol has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Human Services from Carson Newman College and is a graduate of George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University, where she earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work. She has a Doctor of Ministry in Worship, Preaching, and Spirituality from Drew University in New Jersey. Carol has served as the Senior Pastor at First Baptist for over 10 years and is also a leader in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and beyond. She is a recent moderator of CBF Global and helped lead the Fellowship through an unprecedented time of ministering during a global pandemic. She has served on the Leadership Team for Baptist Women in Ministry (2015-2018) and served as a mentor for new ministers through the Baptist Women in Ministry mentoring program (2018). This year, Pastor Carol McEntyre was accepted into a Lilly Endowment-funded cohort of pastors studying with theologian Dr. Andrew Root.  Root's area of research and theological reflection is about faith formation in the secular age. He reflects on why faith is so difficult in the modern era and how churches can respond to this landscape. Pastors in the cohort are working with Root to develop congregational experiments designed to help people connect with God despite the difficulty of faith in modernity. First Baptist residents will have the opportunity to learn from a senior pastor who is a leader in many spheres. A key component of the Pastoral Residency is the weekly one-on-one meetings with Pastor Carol for an hour of individualized mentoring.

 Oversight of the function of the Pastoral Residency Ministry is done by a volunteer lay-led Residency Director in coordination with the Pastor of Administration, Youth, and Missions, the Rev. Dr. Michael McEntyre. Michael is also a graduate of Carson Newman College and George W Truett Seminary and completed his Doctor of Ministry in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Seminary. Michael has served in vocational ministry for more than 20 years. Pastor Michael currently serves as the Moderator for CBF Heartland’s Coordinating Council. In addition, he is part of the steering committee of ForColumbia, an ecumenical team that coordinates a gathering of over 50 area churches with more than 2,000 volunteers for an annual city-wide day of service across Columbia. Michael is instrumental in the mission work of the church, such as the church’s partnership with the Extra Mile House, a transitional housing program designed to transition single mothers and their families from homelessness to home security. While Michael is a youth pastor at heart and still leads in this area, he is also a gifted administrator who oversees and understands the day-to-day operations needed to care for and run the church’s facilities. Michael and Carol have found a way to thrive as a ministry couple and have served as mentors to other ministry couples.

The Rev. Brittany McDonald Null was the first Pastoral Resident to be chosen by First Baptist for its pilot program. During her search process, a longtime staff member left, creating an unanticipated need. As Pastor Brittany, discerned her call, she felt that her gifting fit First Baptist's needs and became the Pastor of Families and Spiritual Formation. Within this role, Pastor Brittany works closely with Pastor Carol to plan and coordinate weekly worship and oversees the formation roles for adults and children. She is a gifted writer and communicator and is seen as a rising leader in Cooperative Baptist Fellowship life. Brittany is the Communications Coordinator and the Co-President Elect for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Children’s Ministry. She is also one of sixteen current CBF Fellows.

 Beyond the expertise and experience of the staff, the congregation of First Baptist plays an essential role in the success of the Pastoral Residency. The church sees the Pastoral Residency as a ministry opportunity for all its members. There is a comprehensive effort on behalf of the congregation to actively engage with our Pastoral Residents, offering wisdom, insight, and community that were essential in shaping their calling. Each resident is matched with a Lay Mentoring team, giving them the opportunity to ask questions that would not be easy to ask as a Senior Pastor. Pastoral Residents will have the gift of starting at a church where the goal of the entire congregation is geared to help the Pastoral Resident succeed. While one would hope this would be true for any pastor at a new congregation, that is not the true reality. The Pastoral Residency gives future pastors a base of people to offer lifelong support and encouragement as they navigate the path of ministry and leadership.

About First Baptist Church Columbia, MO

First Baptist Church is a progressive, vibrant church in a college town. We are a historic church that is not bound by our history. As an example, First Baptist will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2023. The church is celebrating the milestone with a variety of events such as: bringing in Jemar Tisby, author of How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Radical Justice; a concert by The Many, an intentionally diverse group of Christian musicians; and a weekend with D. Diana Butler Bass, a progressive Christian thinker and church historian. First Baptist can be described as a church where unity does not require uniformity. We are a welcoming and affirming church that fully supports women in ministry, cares deeply about Scripture, and values the historic witness of the church, yet looks for new and relevant ways to encounter our Creator. First Baptist Church is duly aligned with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and American Baptist Churches and is located in the heart of Columbia.

Information about Columbia, MO
Info about Columbia

Information about Columbia MO Columbia is a nice place to live for many reasons. Columbia has an excellent school system, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, entertainment opportunities galore, a low cost of living, a clean environment, and much, much more. Columbia is a college town, hosting the University of Missouri, Columbia College, and Stephens College all within 10 blocks of the church. Columbia is known as a fast-growing city, valued for its highly educated workforce, low cost of living, diverse communities, vibrant downtown, and beautiful park system. Columbia’s centralized location offers quick access to St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as the State Capitol, Jefferson City, and the beautiful vacation getaway, Lake of the Ozarks. Columbia is also minutes away from a host of historic towns and state parks featuring boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and more. Columbia offers a refreshing pace and blend of Midwestern and Southern culture.
For more information, please check out some of the links below.


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

 The application deadline is April 19.                                                          Back to the top of the Page