Pastoral Residency Program
Applications are being accepted for the 2018-20 Pastoral Residency program at Richmond's First Baptist Church.

Download a pdf application and apply no later than March 30, 2018.

Pastoral Residency Program

Richmond’s First Baptist Church’s Residency Program stems from a desire to foster lasting, healthy leadership in new ministers while enriching and strengthening congregational life. The primary purpose of the Residency Program is to provide an opportunity for the next generation of vocational ministers to integrate theological education with the practice of ministry within the reflective space of a teaching congregation. This includes growth in intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness, practicing ministry skills and spiritual practices, pastoral and personal, essential for sustaining effectiveness and longevity in vocational ministry.   

The Pastoral Resident will be a recent seminary graduate; a minister prepared for his/her first calling and entry into the local congregation. The unique qualities of a ministry residency that differs from most first-call ministry positions are the deliberate aspects of mentoring and support offered this new minister as a part of the residency program. While all ministers on staff are encouraged to welcome and support the Pastoral Resident, one specific experienced minister is designated to function as the mentoring supervisor for the resident  The mentoring supervisor intentionally works alongside the resident to reflect theologically on the practice of ministry, identify teachable moments, provide support, and offer guidance on developing healthy pastoral and spiritual practices that will sustain and enrich the new minister throughout the years to come.

Duration of Residency:
Two years, beginning no later than August 21, 2018, and concluding no later than June 30, 2020.  

Structure of Residency:
Richmond’s First Baptist Church’s five core areas of church life—Worship, Formation, Community, Invitation, and Compassion—provide a natural framework to build a curriculum of pastoral rotations that will meet the expected competencies of an effective pastoral minister. A sixth area combining the ministries of Support and Communication will provide opportunity for the Resident to learn administrative and communication skills essential to function effectively as a vocational minister. 

In consultation with the senior pastor and seven ministry team leaders (five associate pastors plus director of communication and church administrator), the supervising minister and resident will determine the specific opportunities for service and leadership in each of the ministry areas.

The Senior Pastor or his designee (usually one of the five associate pastors) will serve as the mentoring supervisor. The selection of the supervisor will be informed based on the resident’s primary area of calling. The resident and supervisor will meet weekly for theological reflection and coordination of ministry assignments.

Lay Mentoring Committee:
A Lay Mentoring Committee (LMC) composed of lay leaders representing all five core areas will meet periodically with the Resident to review the progress toward learning goals while offering feedback and support. The Resident will be responsible for developing a Learning-Serving Covenant outlining his or her goals for the residency. He or she will bring to each LMC meeting a recent ministry experience, intra- or interpersonal issue for review and theological reflection.

Ministry Coach/Spiritual Director:  
Depending on the background and preference of the Resident, he or she will choose a spiritual friend, mentor, or director. Acting under a covenant of confidentiality, concerns for the resident’s personal and professional life will be addressed in the context of Christian friendship.

Practical Ministry Skill Development:
The residency is designed to give the new minister opportunities to learn and apply practical ministry skills in each of the ministry areas. The following are suggestions of ministry skills that might be addressed under each ministry area:


  • Preaching
  • Worship leadership – scripture reading, leading in corporate prayer (invocation, offertory, pastoral), offertory dedication
  • Assisting or officiating Baptism and Lord’s Supper
  • Participating in weekly worship planning


  • Cooperating with God’s forming work by identifying and observing spiritual practices and habits most helpful to resident (i.e., reading and praying the Scriptures, solitude, devotional readings, journaling, centering prayer, retreating, etc.)
  • Development and growth in teaching, facilitating, and leading small groups of all ages
  • One-to-one discipleship mentoring/spiritual direction skills
  • Growth in articulating theological and ethical perspective (e.g., getting clear about beliefs, principles, core values and ministerial ethics)


  • Growth and refinement of pastoral care skills needed in the cycle of people’s lives from birth to death.
  • Guiding families in planning funeral/memorial services; officiating at funerals
  • Premarital preparation and officiating weddings
  • Homebound and hospital visitation
  • Refinement of listening and assessment skills for purpose of counseling referrals


  • Skills needed to cultivate culture of hospitality; practicing of hospitality
  • Connecting and ministering to those in community facing significant life challenges (recently divorced, refugees, international students, etc.)
  • Follow up with first-time guests, assessing of needs and development of response
  • Development and implementation of programs and ministries that invite and welcome folks in our community


  • Assessment skills needed to determine community missions needs (places of injustice and powerlessness)
  • Learn strategies for mobilizing members to address human need locally and globally.
  • Learn strategies for partnering with local agencies and other churches to address community needs.


  • Financial management skills (budget planning and administration)
  • Planning, calendaring, promoting and communicating ministry events