In the Church, For the Church
In the Church, For the Church
Interested in residential education but concerned about putting ministry experience on hold? Midwestern Seminary now has a way to gain valuable ministry experience — under a local pastor’s mentorship — while you pursue your studies.
The Timothy Track offers select residential M.Div. students at Midwestern Seminary in-the-field ministry training in a local ministry context. In addition to their regular studies, students in the Timothy Track will spend their first two semesters participating in an internship with one of Midwestern’s partner churches. In addition to gaining valuable ministry experience, all Timothy Track students will receive a 50% scholarship toward all on-campus classes during their first year. Students in the program earn 12 credit hours by taking four classes together, all of which are core MDiv classes. Two of these are practicum classes with their pastor/mentor serving as a field supervisor, and the other two are campus-based classes with the rest of the students in The Timothy Track.
Tuition Scholarship for first year
Local church partners
Students participating in The Timothy Track will spend a considerable portion of their time serving the church in a variety of ways. Students are expected to be exemplary church members first and foremost. As church members, they may be given a variety of opportunities to serve which will vary from church to church. They may be given tasks such as:
- Providing support to the church’s weekly food pantry.
- Helping manage the church’s website, bulletin, or other communication pieces
- Providing support to various other ministries throughout the church
- Serving as a research assistant to the pastor as he develops his sermon
In addition to serving and leading in various contexts, interns will also learn through a variety of formats. The partner church has been asked to provide a context in which the student can observe leadership from the inside. That means, students may get to:
- Regularly attend staff and business meetings to observe
- Regular meetings with one’s direct supervisor to discuss theology, the practice of ministry, areas for growth, etc.
- Join with ministry leaders on hospital visits, funeral or wedding preparation, and more
In addition to serving behind the scenes, churches are also encouraged to provide occasional opportunities for interns to lead in appropriate ways. Churches are encouraged to reserve the bulk of these opportunities for the Spring semester, after they have opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the student. Below are a few examples of what this might look like:
- Driving the effort to research and draft an update to the church’s bylaws or constitution
- Leading a small group or Bible study
- Leading a weekend missions initiative
- Leading worship
An added benefit of The Timothy Track is participation in six special nights throughout the year called The Timothy Talks. On three Monday nights in the fall and three in the spring, our Timothy Track students travel together to one of our partner churches to hear from that pastor about a specific element of pastoring. So not only do our students learn on a weekly basis from their own pastors, but they are also given the exclusive opportunity to hear from some other pastors on topics such as sermon preparation, church membership, relational conflict in the church, balancing church and family, handling church business and building matters, and more. These are fun and informal nights together, as our students can discuss what they’ve been learning over dinner provided by the churches, and then broaden their perspectives and recalibrate their expectations as they listen to an experienced pastor share wisdom on practical topics. Attendance at each Timothy Talk is required as part of the campus-based class each semester.
Have a 3.0 incoming GPA and maintain the same throughout the program.
Be recommended by a pastor of their church, and be a member in good standing of that church.
Uphold biblical conduct as required by the student handbook.
Must become and remain members in good standing of their partner church (includes consistent attendance, giving, and service).
Within 40 mile radius
of Midwestern campus.
Baptist Faith and Message 2000, Danvers and Chicago Statements, Biblical Exposition in Preaching.
Stability in church staff for past
couple of years (Not in transition).
DIRECTOR OF CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS
Jordan Wilbanks serves as the Director of Church Partnerships here at Midwestern. Before coming to Kansas City, Jordan served as a founding member and an elder at Christ Fellowship Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Professionally, he comes from both a business and a ministry background, having served as Accounts Receivable Manager for a major domestic staffing firm based in Birmingham, and having worked on the Communications team of Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes.
Jordan received his education in Communications from The University of Miami. Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Jordan has been a part of Baptist churches in five different cities, and grew up as the son of a Southern Baptist pastor. He loves the church, and his aim at Midwestern is to see the church in this region grow and flourish, as we all work together to proclaim Christ, make disciples of all nations, and give glory to our Father. You can contact Jordan at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
No; The Timothy Track M.Div. is only for incoming MBTS students.
How many times a year does the internship start?
The internship begins once a year, at the beginning of each fall semester.
How is a Timothy Track M.Div. different from the other M.Div. programs?
The primary difference with the Timothy Track M.Div, from a curriculum standpoint, is that the internship will take the place of the elective courses of other M.Div tracks.
How do I get matched up with a church?
We don’t choose what church a student joins! Instead, based on the student’s interview in the application process, the Director of Church Partnerships will make suggestions for churches that seem like the best available fits. This depends also on which churches are participating in a given year. Then, the student and pastor/mentors can give feedback until the student is able to find the right church.
First, we want to be clear that all of our Timothy Track church partners are in this program for multiple reasons. Not only have these churches agreed to partner with Midwestern, but we strongly support their ministries as well. We will do everything we can to match you with your preferred church, and your feedback will play a significant role in the matching process; however, it may be the case that this is not possible. Should you be matched elsewhere, we will be very prayerful and intentional to place you in another church that will provide you with the opportunities for growth in your pursuit of pastoral ministry. If this happens to you, we ask you to please be willing to prayerfully accept your placement. If you have severe concerns, please submit them to us before the internship begins.
How will I succeed and learn as much as I can?
The students will have four debrief meetings throughout the year with the Director of Church Partnerships, Mr. Jordan Wilbanks. These meetings are an opportunity to process what the student is learning in the church, to ask questions, and to press in on practical matters in the church.
Practicums, as you might guess by the name, are courses which allow for the studies of a seminary student to have a practical application. These courses logistically function similarly to online courses but count toward the student’s on-campus credits (and thus are included in the scholarship for The Timothy Track). The faculty has worked hard to provide an opportunity to earn significant course credit during the Timothy Track internship year. The student will have a course syllabus, and the pastor mentoring that student will serve as the “field supervisor” for the course. The elements of the internship may be applied to the requirements of a practicum, and therefore count toward the student’s grade. Certain aspects of the course may be adapted to fit the specific context of a particular local church, but it is the responsibility of the student to discuss the syllabus with the field supervisor (the pastor), and have those adaptations approved by the course’s professor at the seminary. All in all, up to 12 credits may be earned through practicums throughout the year.
In our efforts to be for the Church, we have sought to make The Timothy Track accessible to churches of every size by scaling down the pricing for smaller churches.Even so, we understand that one of the primary barriers to your church participating in The Timothy Track may still likely be financial in nature. But we’d like to encourage you not to close the book on it just yet. Even if your budget is fixed, we want to suggest a few very manageable ways that you may be able to raise funds to free you and your staff to invest in a future pastor:
- Ask specific church members to give directly
- Bring it to your church on a Sunday, a members’ meeting, via “love offering,” etc
- One-day fundraising event
Your church may invest in as many interns as is mutually agreed will be beneficial to each of those interns. The goal of this program is to develop these young leaders for the sake of their future ministry. So we ask for discernment in the number of interns you bring on, considering the bandwidth of your pastoral staff toward that end.
What is expected of our church in this program?
Church partners are expected to invest in your interns alongside MBTS. We hope our partner churches will see this as an opportunity to strengthen the Church at large by taking ownership of the formation of future pastors and leaders as they train with you. Please pray for them, and with them! Also, churches are expected to provide:
- Regular opportunities for interns to attend staff and business meetings
- Opportunities for leadership in the ministry area of their internship, and perhaps in other areas as well
In an effort to be inclusive and strategic in the mission of MBTS to be “For the Church” with churches of all budgets and sizes in mind, a progressive pricing model will be used:
- Attendance 0 – 100: $1,000 per intern
- Attendance 100 – 200: $2,000 per intern
- Attendance 200 – 500: $3,500 per intern
- Attendance 500+: $5,000 per intern
What makes this program unique?
The Timothy Track M.Div. program is unique because of the layers of investment, both by Midwestern and the local church, in the growth of the intern. Of course, we are excited that this program provides our students with the opportunity for in-the-field pastoral ministry experience, but the hands-on mentorship of the student from the pastor(s) and the MBTS Director of Church Partnerships make this program stand out.
How can I find out more?
To learn more about the Timothy Track, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.