Apprentice Program FAQs
(If you landed here first, we recommend checking out the Apprentice Program overview before reading on.)
Who can participate in the Apprentice program?
The Apprentice Program is designed to serve both NYC pastors and the young leaders in their congregations. While the program focuses primarily on the development of these young men and women, the pastor’s participation as a coach is a vital part of the experience.
I see that the age range for apprentices is 22-28. Will CTC consider older (or younger) candidates?
We do occasionally make exceptions for candidates who are one or two years outside this age range. If recommending a candidate outside this range, pastors should clearly explain why they believe the candidate would be a good fit for this program. Typically, candidates younger than 22 must display exceptional maturity, while candidates over 28 are either new to leadership in their church or considering a change of vocation.
Why is priority given to candidates who are considering church planting? Can I still be an apprentice if I’m not going to plant a church?
A key part of City to City’s DNA is the conviction that church planting is an essential part of growing gospel movements in global cities like New York. As a result, recruiting, assessing, training, coaching and funding church planters is at the core of our mission. This is why we prioritize making space in the Apprentice Program for candidates who are considering church planting.
However, a citywide gospel movement includes far more than church planters and the congregations they lead. It encompasses leaders shaped by the gospel who live out its rich implications in all kinds of churches and every sphere of society. The Apprentice Program is designed to prepare young leaders to identify and step into the specific role God is calling them to fill — whatever that role may be. This is why we also strongly encourage candidates from the marketplace, the social sector, the arts, and other forms of vocational ministry to apply.
When does the program begin and end?
The program begins with an orientation in early September and concludes with a graduation in early June.
What’s the program schedule?
Saturday learning sessions take place roughly every other month and run from 10am to 3pm with lunch included. Site visits and group projects take place in the gaps between these sessions. See below for a rough outline of the program schedule. Specific dates for the upcoming program year are finalized in late spring.
|October||Session 1: Calling|
|November||First Site Visit|
|December||Session 2: Gospel Theology|
|February||Session 3: Leadership|
|March||Second Site Visit|
|April||Session 4: City Vision|
|June||Session 5: Church & Culture, Graduation|
|End of Apprentice Program|
Why are the learning sessions so far apart? What ties these experiences together into a cohesive program?
The structure of the program is intended to allow apprentices space for their ongoing work and ministry responsibilities. However, we recognize that without intentionality from the apprentice, this arrangement can make it difficult to build a sustained rhythm of learning, reflection and application.
To encourage consistent engagement with the program, apprentices will be assigned to groups of 3-5. These groups will sit together at the Saturday learning sessions and connect outside the sessions for mutual encouragement and peer learning. Apprentices are expected to actively participate in these groups.
Coaching appointments, community building events, reading materials, and the ministry assignment also bridge the gaps between sessions. However, ultimately apprentices are responsible for setting aside time to regularly engage with their peers, reflect on what they are learning, and put new insights into practice.
How much time is required for apprentices?
Apprentices should expect to spend 8-10 hours per month on the program. This includes the learning sessions, site visits, projects, coaching appointments, required readings, and group meetings. These 8-10 hours do not include time spent on their church ministry assignment.
What’s the attendance policy?
Apprentices are expected to attend orientation, all five Saturday learning sessions, and both site visits. Apprentices should notify the program coordinator in advance if they will miss a session and give the reason for their absence. Barring significant extenuating circumstances, more than one absence will result in dismissal from the program.
How do the site visits work?
During visits to mercy & justice ministry sites, apprentices observe one of the ministry’s programs and sit down with one of its leaders for a Q&A. These visits generally take place on weeknights or Saturdays. For church plant visits, apprentices attend a worship service and participate in a Q&A with the pastor who planted the church. A City to City staff member is present at each visit to facilitate and debrief the experience.
A few weeks before each round of visits, apprentices receive information on the available sites and select a visit that fits their schedule. We always strive to provide options that accommodate the schedules of working professionals.
What kinds of ministry assignments do apprentices take on?
Apprentices and their pastors have tremendous freedom in determining an appropriate ministry assignment. The two most important criteria to consider are: 1) Does the assignment meet a need in the church? and 2) Will the assignment address the apprentice’s developmental needs?
This ministry assignment should be something that can be carried out over the nine-month span of the program. The assignment could be a new project or a way to formalize an apprentice’s existing responsibilities in the church. It could require only a few hours per month or be a full-time role. Each apprentice will work with their pastor or coach to identify and define a ministry assignment appropriate for their unique situation.
Past ministry assignments have included:
Coordinating the church’s children’s ministry
Leading a community group
Developing a partnership with a local homeless shelter
Managing the church’s website and communications strategy
Leading or serving on the church’s worship team
Designing a missions strategy for the church and planning a missions trip
Launching a new evangelism initiative
Serving as a pastoral resident or youth pastor
Can pastors assign someone else to coach apprentices from their church?
Yes. This coach should be someone who has basic coaching skills and holds sufficient authority in the church to oversee the apprentice in their ministry assignment. This is most common when there are more than three apprentices from the same church, or when an apprentice’s ministry assignment falls squarely under the authority of another leader in the church.
How much time is required for pastors?
Pastors should expect to spend 2-5 hours per month on the program, depending on the number of apprentices they are coaching. This includes time spent at coach training sessions and in coaching meetings with apprentices from their church.
Can I participate in the Apprentice Program without a pastor/coach?
No. We require that each apprentice be (1) recommended by their pastor, and (2) coached by either their pastor or another coach designated by their pastor. We also require that apprentices attend and serve in the church led by the pastor that recommended them.
Is there a cap on how many apprentices can participate from one church?
There is technically no cap on the number of apprentices from any single church. However, there is a practical limit to the number of apprentices one pastor can coach. Pastors who would like to recommend more than 3-4 candidates should consider involving another leader from their church as a coach.
How often do pastors meet with their apprentices for coaching?
At minimum, apprentices should meet with their pastor (or the coach assigned by their pastor) after orientation and each Saturday learning session, for a total of 6 meetings. This works out to roughly once every 6-8 weeks. Pastors are encouraged to meet with their apprentices more frequently if possible. Apprentices are responsible for taking the initiative to schedule these meetings.
These meetings have two purposes. First, the pastor or coach will help the apprentice process content from the latest learning session. Second, the pastor or coach will offer guidance and support to the apprentice in their ministry assignment.
What kind of training and support do pastors receive?
Pastors and coaches will attend two coach training sessions over the course of the program. The first is held in conjunction with the orientation session for apprentices in September, and the second takes place in March. Specific dates for each program year are finalized in late spring. These sessions cover a basic framework for coaching appointments and address specific issues related to the Apprentice Program.
Throughout the program, pastors will also receive regular updates on what apprentices are learning, reports on the participation of the apprentices under their care, and tips on how to help apprentices process the content covered in the program.
How much does the program cost?
Tuition is $100 per apprentice. This covers the cost of meals, books, materials, and all other elements of the program. Apprentices are expected to pay their own tuition or make arrangements for their church to cover or share this cost. Tuition is due at orientation and is not refundable.
What’s next for apprentices who complete the program?
Because apprentices pursue a variety of callings, their next steps following the program vary widely. Those pursuing church planting or other forms of vocational ministry may move into seminary or other programs in City to City’s leadership pipeline. Other apprentices may seek further development in faith and work, leadership, or their chosen field. While City to City does not directly offer additional training for people outside vocational ministry, we do have relationships with a number of organizations offering excellent programs that apprentices may want to explore. We work with each apprentice and their coach to identify appropriate next steps and, whenever possible, aid apprentices in the transition to the next phase of their development.
Is the Apprentice Program currently available outside New York City?
No, but please let us know if your church or network would like to explore starting an Apprentice Program in your city. You may also want to consider taking a training course through City to City Learning.
Tell me about the application process.
Because the program involves a significant commitment from both the apprentice and their pastor, both are involved in the application process.
A pastor recommends a candidate for the program using the recommendation form.
CTC sends the candidate an application.
Within two weeks, the candidate completes the application and returns it to CTC.
CTC arranges an interview with the candidate. This interview may take place in person, over the phone, or via video conference.
Using the information gathered during the application and interview process, CTC and the pastor jointly determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the program.
CTC communicates the admission decision and next steps to the candidate.
What is the deadline for pastors to recommend apprentices for the program?
May 1, 2017 is the priority deadline for pastors to recommend candidates for the 2017-18 cycle of the Apprentice Program. After May 1, recommendations will be accepted until all spots in the program are filled. Final admissions decisions will be communicated to candidates and their pastors by June 1.
I still have questions. Can I talk with someone from the City to City team about this?
Of course! Send us an email, and we’ll do our best to clear up any lingering questions.
Fill out this form if you are a NYC pastor and want to recommend a leader from your church for the Apprentice Program.