Overview

The university campus is a ripe mission field and a potent mission force. Most revivals in church history have started on or near a university campus - the Reformation started at the University of Wittenberg, the First Great Awakening at Oxford, the Second Great Awakening at Yale and the Student Volunteer Movement at Williams College. From a historical standpoint universities are one of the most strategic mission fields in North America. 

Leading UVA students to Love God, Love Each Other and Love Our World is core to the vision of Center Church - it’s one of the main reasons we decided to plant in Charlottesville. But that vision won’t become a reality without men and women who are willing to take personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of UVA and labor to make disciples on Grounds.

Our College Residency Program is designed to raise up those laborers. Through the Center Church College Residency Program college graduates and young professionals have the opportunity to engage in the mission of God right now with UVA students in Charlottesville. 

During this two-year program residents will acquire hands on disciple making experience, they will be intentionally invested in by the members & leaders of Center Church and they will obtain a theological education through Southeastern Seminary (SEBTS). At the end of two years residents will be equipped to make disciples who make disciples wherever they go - and they will be challenged to leverage their lives for the Great Commission.

Purpose

  1. To equip residents to make disciples who make disciples among UVA students

  2. To raise up residents as the next generation of church leaders & planters

Strategy

(A) Hands On Disciple Making

Evangelism → Residents first role in this residency is to be a missionary to UVA. You will be stepping out in faith and into awkwardness, across cultural divides, to reach incoming First Years with the message of Jesus Christ.

Discipleship → Residents will lead D-groups of students who have come to faith and who want to grow in their faith.  D-groups are small (3-5) gender specific groups focused on developing intentional relationships and fostering growth through accountability and challenge. Leading D-groups will equip residents to be disciple-multipliers in all-of-life.

Summer Project → Residents will serve in key leadership roles during City Project (locally, nationally, and internationally). City Project is an intensive discipleship experience designed to be a greenhouse for spiritual growth for one summer during the college years.

(B) Life In The Local Church

Missional Community →  An MC is the smaller group of people with whom our members carry out the mission of Center Church. College Residents will belong to a Center Church Missional Community intentionally working to intersect their lives with other members of their Group.

Membership → Both Jesus and Paul point us towards church membership for our mutual growth, protection and encouragement. College residents will become members of Center Church and will carry out the responsibilities and receive the care involved in it.

Serving → College Residents will focus the majority of their ministry on reaching & discipling college students but will also maintain a supplemental serving role within Center Church. This role won’t compete with their ministry to students but will broaden their ministry exposure and help them intersect with other members of the church.

(C) Theological Education

MACP → Through a partnership with Southeastern Seminary (SEBTS) residents will participate in world class theological education without leaving Charlottesville. At the end of the program residents will graduate not only with valuable disciple making experience but also with a Masters of Arts in Church Planting (MACP).

Seminary Cohort → To maximize learning residents will take the same classes each semester. Each week residents will participate in a seminary cohort where they watch lectures together and participate in discussion led by the college director. This approach leverages the benefits of online education without losing the unique advantage of group discussion.

Course Load → The MACP is a 36 hour degree designed to be completed in six semesters. Residents will take an additional course each January to supplement their degree. Residents will take two classes each semester (6 credit hours) and will have time set aside in their working week to watch lectures and discuss implications for their ministry at UVA.

Raising Financial Support

The Center Church College Residency is a support based position, meaning each resident will be trained and coached to raise personal financial support in order to participate in the program through Reliant . The phrase “support raising” may create a pit in your stomach but those who have gone through the process can testify to God’s faithfulness and the great personal growth that takes place through it.

As a church we are committed to equipping residents with the best training, coaching and tools available to make their support raising journey a success.  For this reason we partner with a missions agency that specializes in personal support raising - Reliant. Once accepted into the program residents will participate in an intensive training weekend followed by regular coaching.  From big picture vision to the nuts and bolts of setting up recurring giving residents will be equipped to raise their personal support. And our staff will walk alongside residents in the process.

Next Steps

Email Justin Leitch to learn more or acquire a Center College Residency Application.