Every student serves in an apprenticeship. This is space to develop character through serving others, to develop skills in practical discipleship and to gain experience of hands-on leadership. Learning in the apprenticeship is supported with mentoring and some reflective work to capture the things God is showing you.
In your first year, you are a generalist and will experience a broad range of ministry types. From praying with people to setting up games for a kids mentorship night, it is all about learning how to love and serve others with the heart of Jesus. You continue to serve on Sundays throughout the program, keeping you in touch with this heartbeat of loving others. But in your second year, you choose a department which will become your home for the next three years. You will continue to take increasing responsibility there, working alongside the team, being supported and mentored by them, culminating in your senior project.
We have had students work in nearly all of our departments: youth, kids, communities, local and global justice, people care, Alpha, photography and design, young adult groups, adult classes, discipleship, men’s and women’s groups, evangelism, worship, production, prayer… and more. We will help you explore your options and while you do not need a definite idea when you first apply, it can be helpful to give it some thought early on. And if you are wondering what would happen if a few weeks in you discover it is a bad fit — don’t worry, we’ll work with you to find the right home
Most students join a team at Westside: A Jesus Church where we are situated, but if you are from another local church or organization it may be possible for you to complete your apprenticeship there, and we would love to work with you on exploring that possibility.
Usually, students begin in their first year by serving at 1-2 gatherings on a Sunday and around 3 hours in a ministry area during the week. Once you reach your third year, you will have grown to become an integral member of your department, taking on more leadership and responsibility. You will increase your hours to at least two full gatherings on a Sunday and around 6 hours a week in their department. In the final year, your senior project can involve you in a lot of extra hours at various points. But don’t worry - the increase in hours and responsibility is matched by the awarding of increasing credit towards your degree.