Small Church Residency Program


Are you ready for an adventure with God? Do you have a heart for the small church? Are you seeking a first call that will allow you to grow in pastoral wisdom, knowledge, and experience? Do you desire to live and work with a tight-knit community of Christ's disciples? If so, the Synod of Mid-America has exactly the opportunity for you.

The Small Church Residency Program (SCRP) pairs small, under-served congregations with recent seminary graduates who are interested in answering God's call to serve where there is need. The SCRP is open to all candidates who have been certified by their presbytery as "ready to receive a call."

Our pastor is an answer to prayer. He is a major asset not only to our church, but the whole community.
- Ted Martin, ruling elder, First Presbyterian Church, Holden, MO.

Each pastoral resident will be assigned a pastor-mentor from their presbytery, who will regularly engage in one-on-one conversations. Pastor-mentors will also meet regularly with other pastoral residents from the SoMA to engage in spiritual practices, explore of the practice of pastoral ministry, and learn from one another through case studies.

Pastoral residents will be ordained as Ministers of Word and Sacrament, and installed as Designated Pastors. All positions are full-time and will be compensated at presbytery minimum salaries. Pastoral residents will be enrolled in the PC(USA) Board of Pensions plan and may qualify for a seminary debt reduction program.

The SoMA is currently working to recruit candidates for SCRP Cycle 1 (2018-2020). For further information, contact Synod Executive Landon Whitsitt.

FAQs about the SCRP

What is the SCRP? The SCRP is a two-year pastoral residency program for first call pastors to serve small, underserved congregations. Residents are provided with a network of support during the two years through a pastor-mentor and cluster meetings. Participating congregations receive a two-year designated pastor (whose call is renewable at the conclusion of the program if all parties agree), a salary support grant ($4000 for each year of the residency), and an opportunity to be a teaching congregation for a new pastor.

What congregations are eligible to participate? the SCRP is designed to serve small congregations that are open to change and interested in increasing their community engagement and exploring new ministries. Participating congregations are generally (though not strictly) defined as less than 100 members/less than 75 in worship).

Who is eligible to be a pastoral resident? Any candidate who is certified ready to receive their first call as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, or authorized to circulate their PIF. We seek candidates who are interested in the small church, and eager to engage in continued training and nurture in pastoral ministry.

SCRP Cycle 1 Timeline

March 31 2018     Candidate Application Deadline

April 2018            Selection of first round candidates

May 2018              Phone/Skype interviews with first round                                      candidates; Selection of final round                                              candidates

June 2018              Face-to-Face interviews with final round                                      candidates in Kansas City

July 2018               Congregations and candidates submit                                          preferences; Candidates matched to                                              congregation based on preference ranking

August 1 2018      All parties notified of matching results;                                        On-site visits to congregations

Sept/Oct 2018       Approximate start date