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Embrace residents begin journey

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas Conference UMC

Pastor Travis Waldner speaks at the Tea Campus of Embrace Church.

Embrace Church, in partnership with the Dakotas Conference, has three residents beginning a journey, to experience what it is like to step into leadership of a faith community.

Three campuses and mentors host the three residents at Embrace Church, the 57th Street campus, the Tea campus, and the Sertoma campus. Each candidate brings a unique background to the nine-month program.

Desirae, a recent college graduate, is looking for what God has next for her. She was encouraged to apply by an Embrace staff person.

Small group at Embrace Church.

Noah, a former agnostic, found God six years ago. He senses that God is calling him into ministry. He was in the military and now the reserves. Noah is married and has two daughters. 

Scott has more than twenty years of experience in real estate. He has served in ministry roles in the past and feels God is leading him back into some form of ministry again.

The goal of the residency program is for residents to learn what it is like to be on a church staff and to determine where God is calling each person in pursuing full-time ministry.

Rick Post, Embrace Church Network and Residency Coordinator.

The residency is a nine-month program that takes a resident through four phases: learn, task, own, and lead. Currently, the residents are finishing up the learn phase. Each resident has been shadowing different staff and pastors to learn about each area of ministry. They observe and meet with volunteers. During the learn phase, the residents are reading and discussing two books to learn about themselves and the Bible.

Each resident reports to a campus pastor at Embrace and meets with Rick Post, residency coordinator, at least monthly to review progress and what they are learning. 

“We are working with the Sioux Falls Seminary to explore how the residency program could be turned into a seminary program,” says Rick Post. The idea is that candidates could earn credits towards a degree program through the residency.

Post says, “So far, we are pleased with how the program is working. Each resident feels that they are learning and growing in their knowledge, their skills, their calling, and what ministry work is all about.”

UMC

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